Dec. 16, 2010
Box Score |
| Post-match interviews: Penn State
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Texas Volleyball team's rousing run to its third-straight NCAA Semifinals ended in straight sets to defending national champion Penn State on Thursday night. The Nittany Lions took a 25-13, 25-13, 25-22 victory at the Sprint Center to advance to the NCAA Championship match for the fourth consecutive year.
The Longhorns, who entered on a 19-match winning streak, close their season at 27-6. Penn State, which has won an unprecedented three-straight NCAA titles, improves to 31-5 and will play California in Saturday night's championship final.
The Nittany Lions rank fourth nationally in blocking, and are averaging 4.04 blocks per set in the NCAA Tournament. Penn State used 9.5 team blocks to hold the Longhorns to .131 hitting, their lowest mark since hitting .110 in a loss to Texas A&M on Sept. 16.
Senior All-America outside hitter Juliann Faucette led UT with 14 kills, and Amber Roberson added seven kills. Sha'Dare McNeal and Sarah Palmer each totaled 10 digs in the losing effort.
Blair Brown headlined the Penn State offense with 12 kills. The Nittany Lions hit .365 for the match and are only the second team to hit better than .300 against the Longhorns this season.
Penn State quickly took control of the first set, opening with a 10-1 run. Back-to-back kills by Jennifer Doris and Roberson pulled the Longhorns within seven, but the Nittany Lions answered by scoring five of the next seven points and cruised to the 25-13 set win. Penn State hit .556 in the first set, and Ariel Scott headlined that attack with five kills on seven swings. Roberson had three kills to lead the Longhorns, who hit just .115 for the set.
The Nittany Lions again started quickly in the second and scored six of the first eight points in the set. UT rallied and evened the set at 7-7, but Penn State pulled away with a 12-3 run and took a commanding set lead at 19-10. Faucette led UT in the second with five kills, but Penn State used 4.5 blocks to limit UT to .050 hitting.
UT jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third set, but back-to-back net violations by the Longhorns and an ace from Alyssa D'Errico quickly evened the set at four-all. The Longhorns took a 13-12 lead on a Faucette kill, then the Nittany Lions answered with five-straight points to take a 19-14 lead. UT could not get closer than two points the rest of the way.
-- The loss snapped a 19-match win streak for the Longhorns. They finished the year 27-6.
-- This was the third-straight year that Texas has appeared in the Finals. That is tied for the sixth-longest streak ever in Division I history.
-- Texas came into the match ranked fourth in the country in hitting percentage at .311. They managed to hit just .131 for the match, their third-lowest percentage of the season. They had not hit below .237 in their past 23 matches.
-- Rachael Adams and Jennifer Doris were ranked 1-2 in the country in hitting percentage prior to tonight at .448 and .435, respectively. Adams hit only .231 and Doris .091 in the contest.
-- Senior All-American and Big 12 Player of the Year Juliann Faucette led all players with 14 kills. She was the only player in double figures for the Longhorns. She also notched seven digs.
-- Sophomore Sha'Dare McNeal and freshman Sarah Palmer led Texas with 10 digs apiece.
Penn State Notes
-- In a rematch of the 2009 national title match, Penn State defeated Texas (25-13, 25-13, 25-22) to advance to the national championship match for the fourth consecutive year and the eighth time in school history.
-- Penn State is now the only school in Division I history to reach the championship match four straight years.
-- Penn State is now 11-6 all-time against Texas. This was the second time that they've met in the Finals, including last year's championship match.
-- Penn State upped their Division I postseason record winning streak to 23 straight matches. They also own the overall winning streak of 109 consecutive matches, which was broken earlier this year.
-- The win was the 71st all-time for Penn State in NCAA Tournament action, fourth-best all-time.
-- The Nittany Lions are now 12-4 all-time in NCAA Finals action
-- Penn State is now 31-5 on the season and has now won 18 of their past 19 matches.
-- Penn State held Texas to just 48 points in the match. That is an NCAA Finals record for fewest points allowed in a three-set match in the 25-point, rally scoring era.
-- The 13 points Texas scored in sets one and two were the fewest ever scored in a non-deciding single-set of the Finals in the 25-point rally scoring era.
-- AVCA Freshman of the Year Deja McClendon hit .733 for the match, an NCAA Finals record for a match with 15-19 attack attempts. She had 11 kills in 15 attack attempts with no hitting errors.
-- McClendon added eight digs, three blocks, one assist and one ace.
-- Their 3-0 win was their 26th shutout of the season and their first over Texas in the rally-scoring era.
-- Senior All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year Blair Brown led the Nittany Lions with 12 kills. She added 10 digs for her 10th double-double of the season.
-- Senior All-American Arielle Wilson hit .467 and contributed three blocks.
-- Sophomore setter Kristin Carpenter dished out 38 assists and notched nine digs.
-- Freshman middle hitter Ariel Scott chipped in with 10 kills and three blocks.
-- Senior libero Alyssa D'Errico had a match-high 11 digs.
-- Penn State, ranked second in the country in hitting percentage, connected at a .365 clip.
-- The Nittany Lions had 9.5 total team blocks, led by freshman middle hitter Katie Slay with six.