December 16, 2010

Penn State dominates Texas, advances to another NCAA final

In a rematch of last year's national title bout, Penn State swept Texas tonight (25-13, 25-13, 25-22) in the NCAA women's volleyball semifinal. But unlike the classic battle from 2009, the Nittany Lions completely dominated the Longhorns, only trailing a few times in the third set. Most of the match, Penn State led Texas by double digit margins.

But to those watching the game, one couldn't discern which was scarier--the dominance of senior captain Blair Brown, or the equal dominance of Penn State's young freshmen like Deja McClendon, Ariel Scott and Katie Slay.
In the first set, 11 of the Lions' 16 kills came from freshmen.

With Penn State leading 16-10 in the second, the freshmen had already accounted for 16 kills and 8 blocks.

In the victory, freshmen contributed 23 kills and 12 blocks. Deja McClendon did not have a single error on the night, while hitting a ridiculous .733.

Blair Brown finished with 12 kills, while McClendon added 11 and Scott 10.

Penn State will now go on to face the winner of the other semifinal, either Cal or USC. That match starts in a half hour (9:30 p.m. ESPN2).

USC is 29-4 on the season and enter the final four having defeated New Mexico, San Diego, Indiana, and then No. 3 seed Stanford.

California, 29-3, didn’t drop a set on their road to the final four. Utah St., N. Carolina, No. 10 seed Minnesota, and Washington were all victims of their tournament dominance.

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