Men’s Volleyball Loses in NCAA Final
Penn State’s quest to win a third national championship was ended last night by top-ranked Stanford and their outside hitter Brad Lawson, who finished the match with a .821 hitting percentage and only one error from 28 swings. Stanford swept the Nittany Lions (30-25, 30-20, 30-18) to win their second national title.
With the teams even at 15-15 in the first set and both teams hitting well, Stanford turned to their serve to create free points. Three aces and several overpasses in the second half of the set enabled them to pull away and win the set 30-25. Despite the five point margin, Penn State still seemed to be in the match and carried this momentum into the second set.
The Nittany Lions took a 10-5 lead in set two, but Stanford came back with an outstanding performance from Lawson, who had eight kills and an ace in the set. His performance helped Stanford end the set on a 25-10 run that saw Penn State begin to falter. Both the Stanford serve and block seemingly frustrated the Nittany Lions.
Stanford was completely dominate in the third set, winning 30-18. Almost fittingly, Lawson finished off the match with a thunderous kill over a three-man Penn State block.
Stanford ended their season as national champions with a record of 24-6. Penn State finished a good season at 24-8 and can take solace in the fact that they won their conference championship for the twelfth straight time and were able to make it to the NCAA Finals for the sixth time in the program’s history.