The season is over for the Penn State Women’s Volleyball team, as they lost to #5 Oregon on Thursday 3-1 (25-21, 28-30, 22-25, 19-25). This was Penn State’s first loss in the Final Four in its last six appearances.
Penn State jumped out to an early lead in set one and held on to win 25-21, but an ankle injury to 1st team All-American setter Micha Hancock in the second stopped the Lions’ momentum. Penn State fell behind by as much as 10 in the second set before a 10-2 run made it close again. The teams’ battled to a 28-28 tie before the Ducks pulled away for a 30-28 lead to pull even before the intermission. A questionable call that would have given the Nittany Lions the set and a few missed opportunities on set points would prove extra costly.
Penn State looked completely out of sync in the third and fourth sets. Despite out-blocking the Ducks 19.5-10, the team committed 6 hitting errors in each set. They also had 6 serving errors on the night, as well as 6 receiving errors. Ariel Scott led the team with 18 kills, and Deja McClendon had 14, on .231 and .120 hitting, respectively. The team looked uncomfortable from the start, and could never really get in rhythm against a hot Oregon team and outside hitterAlaina Bergsma, who recorded 16 kills.
Oregon moves on to play Texas in the finals from Louisville, Kentucky Saturday night while Penn State’s season concludes with a 33-3 record. All major contributors will return next season.