December 11, 2010

Penn State sweeps Oklahoma, Regionals Live Tonight

Blair Brown
It's not easy to win a national championship in any college sport. It's very tough to win two in a row. It's nearly impossible to win three straight. But Penn State is only three matches away from winning four consecutive women's volleyball national championships.

The Nittany Lions swept Oklahoma last night, 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-15), in the regional semifinals held at Rec Hall. While the win over the Sooners (23-11) was a sweep, we have to keep in mind that Oklahoma wasn't even one of the top 16 seeds in the tournament. Now with the regional finals up tonight (6:30 p.m. live on ESPNU), things will start to get tricky for No. 4 seed Penn State (29-5).

First, the quick rundown on the sweep of Oklahoma. It was a sloppy start for Penn State, as the first set was very, very close. But as great teams do, the Nittany Lions closed ranks and remembered who they were:
"Senior Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) led the Nittany Lions with 24 kills to tie her career high on .583 hitting. She also contributed three blocks and six digs. Senior Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) was second on the team with nine kills and had a team-high four blocks. Sophomore setter Kristin Carpenter (Mechanicsville, Va.) dished out 45 assists and was second on the team with eight digs. She also had three kills on four errorless attacks. Senior libero Alyssa D'Errico (Byron, N.Y.) had a match-high 15 digs.

Penn State registered a .429 attack percentage and held the Sooners to .217 hitting. The Nittany Lions totaled 52 kills, three aces 50 digs and 8.5 total team blocks. Oklahoma finished the night with 41 kills, three aces, 35 digs and 5.0 team blocks."
Now it's on to No. 12 seed Duke, which is coming off a nice 3-1 win over Missouri in their regional semis. But before that win, the Blue Devils had a shaky 3-2 win over Ohio U in the 2nd round.

For tonight's match against Duke, tickets will be available at the door for $10 for adults, $7 for youth and $5 for groups of 20 or more. The first 300 students with a valid Penn State ID will be admitted free.

If you're in the central PA region tonight, GO TO THIS GAME!

Down the road

In other matches between potential opponents for Penn State--provided PSU doesn't lose to Duke--No. 1 seed Florida was stunned by No. 16 seed Purdue last night in a 3-game sweep of the Gators, while at the same time, No. 2 seed Nebraska went down to Washington 3-1. Purdue will play No. 9 Texas, which beat No. 8 Illinois 3-2 Friday. The Huskies will play No. 7 California, which swept No. 10 Minnesota, in the regional final.

In other regional semifinals Friday involving Big Ten teams, No. 3 Stanford beat Ohio State 3-1 and No. 6 Southern California topped Indiana 3-0 in Dayton, Ohio. The winners play each other in a regional final Saturday.

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