Women’s Volleyball Lose Final Game, Learn Tournament Draw
The Penn State women’s volleyball team split their final two games of the season by sweeping Iowa and losing a five-set thriller to Minnesota last weekend. On Sunday, the Nittany Lions earned the fourth seed in the NCAA Tournament, meaning that they would host four games en route to the final four.
On Friday, Penn State earned the Big Ten title with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 25-20) sweep of Iowa. Senior Blair Brown led the Nittany Lions with 17 kills, and freshman Deja McClendon had 13. Penn State dominated the match in Iowa and held the Hawkeyes to a measly .149 hitting percentage. The win was the Nittany Lions’ 13th straight victory and earned them an eighth straight Big Ten title.
Penn State played Minnesota on Saturday with only pride on the line. The Nittany Lions looked great early on and took the first set 25-14. Minnesota began to play better, but Penn State was able to win the second set, 25-21. Minnesota was playing strong defense and began their comeback by taking a close set three, 26-24 and then won set four to set up a decisive final set. The teams battled back and forth, but Minnesota came out on top after nine combined match points. Brown hit a career-high 24 kills in the 3-2 loss (25-14, 25-21, 24-26, 23-25, 21-23).
With the split weekend, Penn State finished the season at 26-5 overall and 16-4 in the Big Ten. On Sunday, the Nittany Lions learned their tournament fate. Penn State will host four rounds of the NCAA Tournament, with their first game being against Niagara on Friday, Dec. 3. If the Nittany Lions win, they would play the winner of Virginia Tech vs. Delaware on Saturday.
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