The Penn State Women’s Volleyball team has earned a trip to the Final Four for the fifth time in the last six seasons. The Lions beat Kentucky 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-12) on Friday, and defeated #8 Minnesota 3-1 (25-19, 19-25, 26-24, 25-20) on Saturday to advance to the national state in Louisville, Kentucky.
Despite Minnesota playing at their highest level, Penn State was able to pull out its third win of the season against the Golden Gophers. Junior Ariel Scott had 36 kills over the two rounds, leading the team both days. Deja McClendon added 22 kills, and Micha Hancock continued her great NCAA tournament by adding seven aces between both rounds.
The top ranked Nittany Lions will play #5 Oregon in the National Semifinals in the late match on Thursday, with the match starting at 9 p.m. The last meeting between PSU and Oregon resulted in a 3-1 Ducks win that snapped the Lion’s NCAA-record 94 match home winning streak in the first match of the 2011 season — a defeat that is still bitter to most Penn State volleyball fans.
This is the 10th time that Penn State has made the Final Four, with the last five times (1999, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) resulting in the program’s five National Championships.
The other semifinal match will match two opponents that Penn State has seen this year in the University of Texas and the University of Michigan. Penn State swept Texas 3-0 in Rec Hall in September and won at Michigan 3-2 in October.
Check out highlights of the game against Minnesota here.