Women’s Volleyball Wins NCAA Record Seventh National Title
There isn’t much to say about this team that hasn’t already been said – but it’s worth a shot.
No. 5 Penn State met up with unseeded BYU in Oklahoma City Saturday night with the National Championship on the line. BYU was not only seeking its first-ever title, but it was looking to make history, trying to become the first ever unranked team to win it all. Penn State, on the other hand, was gunning for its second-straight title, sixth in eight years, and record seventh-overall championship. The Nittany Lions claimed all of those accolades in a sweep (25-21, 26-24, 25-14), further cementing its dynastic legacy.
The first set of the match saw BYU come out swinging, but once Penn State took its first lead at 7-6, the frame was in the Lions’ hands. A well-rounded game from both sides saw the set remain close, but BYU couldn’t mount any runs and went down 25-21.
BYU played its best set of the night in the second, leading early and often. At a score of 23-23, Cougar errors gift-wrapped the set and the Nittany Lions came away with a 26-24 win and a 2-0 lead.
Russ Rose’s team, one set away from the victory, made a statement in the final frame. Penn State proved that it has been and is still the best volleyball team in the country, and rolled to a 25-14 win.
Micha Hancock, named earlier this week as the AVCA National Player of the Year, continued her outstanding play, putting up 36 assists and her 126th ace of the year. Hailing from Edmond, Oklahoma, she played the match in front of tons of friends and family, on her graduation day no less. Megan Courtney and Aiyana Whitney led the team with 11 kills each, while Nia Grant led the team with a .500 hitting percentage (for players with more than one attempt).
Penn State finished its season at 36-3. It had multiple players receiving national recognition, and culminated in defeating No. 1 Stanford in the semifinals before sweeping BYU for the championship. Russ Rose and Co. lived up to their preseason No. 1 ranking, and for the seventh time, the Penn State Women’s Volleyball team is the national champion.