Penn State was written off by some early in the season, following losses to Illinois, Purdue, and Indiana. But never by Russ Rose and never by the players themselves.
As Coach Rose told Karch Kiraly after #4-seeded Penn State swept #7-seeded California (25-20, 27-25, 25-20) to win its fourth consecutive NCAA National Championship, the team kept working hard and put themselves in the position to win some matches. And win they did, losing only one set throughout the NCAA Tournament (Cal had lost only one before tonight’s match).
The Nittany Lions, who were the only team in Division I women’s volleyball to win three consecutive National Championships, are now the first to win four consecutive National Championships.
Blair Brown ended her Penn State career in high style, as she led all players with 18 kills (.316 attack %) , followed by 6-1 Fr. OH Deja McClendon who totaled 16 kills (.250 attack %), and 6-3 Sr. MH Arielle Wilson with 12 kills (.391 attack %). The player who all the announcers love to talk about, because of her height (did we mention she is 5-6?) — So. S Kristin Carpenter — registered 46 assists and 8 digs, and 5-6 Fr. DS Ali Longo helped close out the third set with a prolonged serving run and had a match high 3 service aces. 5-9 Sr. L Alyssa D’Errico, who has played with such heart for four years, was first on the team with 13 digs. Brown added 10 digs. 6-6 Fr. MH Katie Slay was tops in the match with7 total blocks.
Penn State hit .276 for the match and held the Bears to .182 hitting. The Nittany Lions totaled 54 kills, four aces, 52 digs and 8.0 total team blocks. California finished the match with 37 kills, three aces, 45 digs and 11.0 team blocks. Blair Brown chipped in four.
We’ll have more tomorrow, but for now, thanks to every player, coach, staff member and supporter who helped Penn State achieve this fantastic accomplishment. We fans appreciate it more than you know. Oh, and to the guy at the match with the sign that said “I Packed My Party Pants” — take care of yourself tonight. And great sign!
Unofficial Match Statistics