May 7, 2010

Penn State Volleyball: One Win Away From U.S. Domination

Will Price gets ready to serve up a fresh helping of Red, White, and Blue rubber into his opponent's face. Take that, latte-sipping West Coast hippie!

As you've likely heard by now, PSU's men's volleyball team swept Cal State Northridge in three sets last night, setting up a showdown with #1 ranked Stanford Saturday Night (7 PM ET, ESPN2). The Nittany Lions are vying for their second national title in three years, which combined with the Lady Lions' Tom Emanski-like run of titles (back-to-back-to-back) would leave no doubt in anyone's minds that the volleyball capital of the United States resides in State College, PA.

Such a feat would be nothing short of impressive when you consider the fact that PSU is the only Eastern school to have won national championships in what is otherwise a West Coast-dominated sport. The stats below, taken from NCAA Men's Volleyball Wikipedia page illustrates my point.

School # Last
UCLA 19 2006
Pepperdine 5 2005
Southern California 4 1990
BYU 3 2004
Penn State 2 2008
UC Irvine 2 2009
Long Beach State 1 1991
San Diego State 1 1973
Stanford 1 1997

Also for good measure, check out the women's national title results and you'll notice that the only non-West Coast schools other than PSU to have won it include Nebraska (3 times) and Texas (once). Oh, and did I neglect to mention that the game is being played on Stanford's home court? Even though Stanford doesn't have the richest winning tradition in volleyball, playing any West Coast team on their home court for all the marbles can be a rather tall task not unlike playing in other hostile environments...

Okay, perhaps not THAT hostile (and racist), but you get my drift.

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  1. Questions for anyone knowledgeable about men's volleyball. I know we are the beast of the East, but do we compete in the Big 10? If so, I assume we won the conference title. Did we go head to head with OSU? How did we fare? How did they make the Final 4?

  2. PSUalum: There is no Big Ten conference in men's volleyball. Instead, PSU plays in the EIVA conference, whose conference tournament they ended up winning and as a result, made it to the Final Four. They also played Ohio State twice this year, splitting the two meetings.