Dec. 9, 2015
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Seventh-seeded Penn State women’s volleyball (28-5) is set to accomplish its 13th beeline actualization in the NCAA bounded semifinals, traveling to Des Moines, Iowa to booty on Hawaii (28-1) Friday, Dec. 11 at 8:30 p.m. ET in Wells Fargo Arena. The antagonism will beck alive on ESPN3 with Cara Capuano and Maria Taylor on the call.
The Nittany Lions avant-garde to the annular of 16 afterwards defeated Howard and Dayton in aftermost week’s NCAA aboriginal and additional annular matches at home in Rec Hall.
FIRST SERVE* The Nittany Lions accept won their aftermost 14 beeline NCAA Clash matches, dating aback to a accident to Oregon in the 2012 NCAA civic semifinals. Penn State is one of two programs, with Stanford actuality the other, to participate in all 35 NCAA Clash postseason contest aback its birth in 1981. The Nittany Lions are 92-27 best in NCAA Clash matches.
* PSU is additionally two circuit afterpiece in its adventure for a third afterwards NCAA appellation as the Nittany Lions swept accomplished BYU aftermost year to abduction the team’s seven NCAA civic championship in affairs history and sixth in the aftermost eight years.
* Penn State and Hawaii accept met bristles times in affairs history, with the Nittany Lions claiming wins in all bristles outings. In the best contempo and the alone NCAA Clash affair amid the two teams, the Nittany Lions pushed accomplished the ‘Bows in four sets to affirmation a win in the 2009 NCAA civic semifinals, on the way to an closing civic title.
* Hawaii becoming one of 32 automated qualifier bids to the 2015 NCAA Clash afterwards capturing the Big West championship afterward a 16-0 almanac in alliance matches. The Rainbow Wahine outlasted TCU in bristles sets in the aperture annular of the tourney afore abashing No. 10 Texas A&M in beeline sets.
* Penn State’s antagonism adjoin Hawaii places the top two winningest coaches in NCAA DI women’s volleyball on adverse benches. Rose anon ranks aboriginal on the NCAA DI best account with 1,189 career wins. Shoji is in additional abode with 1,178 career victories.
* Bristles Nittany Lions becoming AVCA DI All-Northeast Arena honors. Redshirt chief Aiyana Whitney and green Ali Frantti accent the accumulation with their additional beeline All-Region nod. Chief Megan Courtney and green Haleigh Washington aing Whitney and Frantti on the All-Northeast Arena team, while redshirt apprentice Bryanna Weiskircher becoming atonement acknowledgment honors.
* Four Nittany Lions becoming Big Ten postseason awards. Chief Megan Courtney and redshirt chief Aiyana Whitney becoming spots on the All-Big Ten team, aing by green Haleigh Washington, who was called a accepted selection. Chief Kendall Pierce angled out the accumulation as Penn State’s sportsmanship honoree.
* PSU is 9-3 on the year adjoin teams ranked aural the AVCA Top 25 afterwards advancing up abbreviate at No. 5 Nebraska in the 2015 approved division finale. Penn State is 6-1 adjoin ranked teams at home in Rec Hall and 3-2 on the road.
* Penn State has becoming 22 of its 28 victories this year by way of a 3-0 sweep, while additionally attached its opponents to a .155 hitting percentage. The mark ranks 11th nationally and leads the Big Ten.
* Averaging 3.11 blocks per set on the year, Penn State owns a 348.5 – 182.5 advantage in the blocking allowance adjoin its opponents in 2015. The boilerplate ranks third nationally and leads the Big Ten. Individually, green Haleigh Washington’s 1.40 blocks per set ranks 20th nationally and additional in the Big Ten.
* Penn State’s .297 hitting blow ranks fifth in the NCAA civic standings and leads the Big Ten. Helped out by Haleigh Washington’s team-high .443 hitting clip, her ability ranks third nationally and leads the Big Ten.
* Veterans chief Megan Courtney and redshirt chief Aiyana Whitney are amid the accumulation of top Nittany Lion attackers. Averaging 3.04 kills per set, Courtney had bifold chiffre kills in eight of 16 appointment matches she played in. Whitney’s arch the aggregation with 3.11 kills per set with bifold chiffre kills in 12 of the aftermost 18 matches, including nine of the aftermost 11 outings.
FIVE EARN AVCA ALL-NORTHEAST REGION ACCOLADESFive Nittany Lions becoming AVCA DI All-Northeast Arena honors, as called by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). Redshirt chief Aiyana Whitney and green Ali Frantti accent the accumulation with their additional beeline All-Region nod. Chief Megan Courtney and green Haleigh Washington aing Whitney and Frantti on the All-Northeast Arena team, while redshirt apprentice Bryanna Weiskircher becoming atonement acknowledgment honors.
The bristles all-region ceremoniousness brings Penn State’s absolute cardinal of selections to 90 in affairs history, while additionally appearance the fourth afterwards division the Nittany Lions accept becoming at atomic four in a distinct season. Penn State’s bristles honorees additionally marks the aboriginal time aback 2012 that Penn State has had bristles Nittany Lions acquire All-Region distinction. PSU additionally has added All-Northeast selections than any added affairs in the region, with four selections authoritative up the 14-member All-Northeast arena band and one of six in the atonement acknowledgment category.
FOUR NITTANY LIONS EARN BIG TEN POSTSEASON HONORSFour Nittany Lions becoming Big Ten postseason awards. The Nittany Lions are able-bodied represented on this year’s All-Big Ten team, as one of alone two programs to accept at atomic three selections. Chief Megan Courtney and redshirt chief Aiyana Whitney becoming spots on the All-Big Ten team, aing by green Haleigh Washington, who was called a accepted selection. Chief Kendall Pierce angled out the accumulation as Penn State’s sportsmanship honoree.
Washington earns her additional afterwards atom on the All-Big Ten team. Whitney garners All-Big Ten ceremoniousness for the additional beeline season, accepting been called an atonement acknowledgment aftermost year. Washington is amid a accumulation of aloof seven honorees to be called a accepted All-Big Ten alternative this year. Courtney’s nod marks the aboriginal time she’s been called for a Big Ten postseason award. Pierce has additionally becoming her aboriginal postseason acceptance as this year’s sportsmanship honoree.
WASHINGTON EARNS CoSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT HONORSPenn State green Haleigh Washington has been called to the Academic All-District team, as appear by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Washington is one of six student-athletes to accumulate the acumen in the District 2 category. Washington will now be advised for civic ceremoniousness as an Academic All-American, which is set to be appear a the end of the month. Aback 1996, Washington is the 11th altered Nittany Lion in affairs history to acquire the acumen and Penn State’s 18th all-embracing alternative to an Academic All-District team.
NITTANY LIONS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENTWith a 92-27 best almanac in the NCAA tournament, Penn State has totaled 10 civic final appearances (’93, ’97, ’98, ’99, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’13, ’14), 12 trips to the civic semifinals (’93, ’94, ’97, ’98, ’99, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’12, `13, ’14) and seven civic championships (’99, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’13, `14).
REGIONAL SEMIFINAL SNAPSHOTMaking their 13th afterwards cruise the NCAA bounded semifinals this weekend, the Nittany Lions’ band of appearances in the annular of 16 is the longest alive DI stretch. Aftermost year, Penn State swept then-No. 12 UCLA in the Louisville Bounded semifinals. SUCCESS IN THE SECOND ROUNDPenn State bigger to 21-5 best in accurate additional annular matches (beginning in 1998) of the NCAA clash afterwards a four-set achievement adjoin Dayton. The win adjoin the Flyers additionally apparent PSU’s 13th afterwards second-round victory, aback 2002, aback Temple agape PSU out of the tourney.
NCAA FIRST ROUND FACTSIncluding this year, PSU hosted the aboriginal two circuit of the NCAA clash for the 29th time aback 1981, affable three teams to Rec Hall for the 26th afterwards year. Penn State bigger to 30-5 best almanac in aperture matches of the tourney, afterwards across-the-board Howard. The Nittany Lions accept not surrendered a distinct set to a aboriginal annular adversary aback 1989, accepting acquaint sweeps in its aftermost 26 afterwards first-round victories.
2015 NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTESPenn State owns a 2015 NCAA Clash best .391 hitting blow afterwards earning wins adjoin Howard and Dayton. The Nittany Lions hit at atomic .369 in anniversary outing. Penn State accent the aboriginal and additional circuit with a .424 ability adjoin Howard.
LAST TIME OUT: HAWAIIDec. 18, 2009 — Tampa, Fla. (NCAA Civic Semifinals) Penn State 3, Hawaii 1TAMPA, Fla. – With a 3-1 (23-25, 25-18, 25-15, 25-18) celebration adjoin No. 12 Hawai’i (32-3), top-ranked Penn State (37-0) advances to the 2009 NCAA Civic Appellation bout for the third beeline year. Head drillmaster Russ Rose became aloof the third Division I women’s volleyball drillmaster to ability the 1,000 career wins anniversary with the triumph. The Nittany Lions accept now won 101 afterwards matches.
Three Nittany Lions acquaint double-digit kills. Chief Megan Hodge (Durham, N.C.) led the band with 12, while juniors Arielle Wilson (Broadview, Ill.) and Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) had 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Chief setter Alisha Glass (Leland, Mich.) dished out 41 cadre and attacked at a team-leading .692 with nine kills on 13 absolute swings.
On defense, inferior libero Alyssa D’Errico (Byron, N.Y.) had a career-high 19 digs, while Hodge acquaint 15 and Glass had 11. Inferior Fatima Balza (Merida, Venezuela) led the Lions with nine absolute blocks, while Brown accomplished additional on the aggregation with seven total. Wilson additionally contributed six in the match.
PSU registered 54 kills, 50 assists, three aces, a season-high 66 address and had 15.0 absolute aggregation blocks. Penn State captivated the Rainbow Wahine to a .135 beforehand allotment and aught aggregation blocks. The Wahine totaled 53 kills, 50 assists, three aces and 75 saves.
WELCOME TO THE BLOCK PARTYPenn State has allowable the advantage in the blocking allowance adjoin its opponents this year. Penn State has out-blocked its opponents 348.5 – 182.5, averaging 3.11 blocks per set, which ranks third nationally and leads the conference. Individually, green Haleigh Washington’s 1.40 blocks per set ranks 20th nationally and additional in the Big Ten. Redshirt chief Aiyana Whitney’s 1.13 blocks per anatomy is additional on the band and 11th in the conference. PSU has out-blocked its adversary in 29 matches this season, out-blocking anniversary of those teams by an boilerplate of at atomic six blocks. The Nittany Lions angry Stanford in the blocking allowance (7.0-7.0) and accept been out-blocked aloof three times this season, alert by Minnesota (11.0-13.0 & 7.0/9.0) and already at Nebraska (12.0/6.0).
DEFENSIVELY SPEAKINGPenn State has bound its opponents to .155 hitting this season, which ranks aboriginal in the Big Ten standings and 11th nationally. PSU has captivated its adversary to .099 or lower hitting ability 12 times and amid .135-.196 eight times. Alone Minnesota (.275), Stanford (.267) and Iowa (.283) accept hit .250 or bigger adjoin the Nittany Lions. Penn State has been out-hit by a aggregation alone six times this season, in both matches adjoin Minnesota (.198/.216 & .236/.275), and Nebraska (.164/.173 & .126/.241), at Northwestern (.193/.211) and vs. Michigan (.210/.213). Despite accepting out-hit by the Golden Gophers in the aboriginal affair of the division (9/26), PSU outlasted Minnesota in bristles sets to affirmation a aing 3-2 win.
A VARIETY OF OFFENSIVE OPTIONSRedshirt apprentice setter Bryanna Weiskircher has directed the Nittany Lions to a .297hitting percentage, which ranks fifth nationally and leads the Big Ten. Weiskircher has additionally paced four of her top attackers to aloof beneath .250, or bigger hitting, led by green Haleigh Washington’s .443 clip, which ranks third nationally and leads the Big Ten. Redshirt chief Aiyana Whitney’s .356 hitting allotment is additional on the aggregation and fifth in the conference, while green Simone Lee’s .254 ability is third on the aggregation amid hitters. Green Ali Frantti’s .246 blow is fourth on the squad. Averaging 3.04 kills per set, chief Megan Courtney had bifold chiffre kills in eight of 16 appointment matches she played in. Whitney’s arch the aggregation with 3.11 kills per set with bifold chiffre kills in 12 of the aftermost 18 matches, including nine of the aftermost 11 outings.
BALANCING THE OFFENSIVE ATTACKThe Nittany Lions accept activated a counterbalanced abhorrent beforehand in matches this season, with a absolute of four altered players averaging at atomic 2.62 or added kills per set on the year. Penn State’s accent the division with four players in bifold abstracts on three occasions this division (vs. Stanford, vs. Wisconsin and at Illinois). Penn State has been led by three altered bifold chiffre hitters a absolute of seven times this division (vs. Auburn, vs. Minnesota, vs. Nebraska, at Northwestern, at Michigan, at Minnesota, vs. Michigan). In total, Penn State has had at atomic three in bifold abstracts in 10 of 33 matches this season. In appointment play, three or four players fueled the breach with bifold amount kills in seven Big Ten matches.
A MATCHUP FEATURING TWO ALL-TIME GREATSPenn State’s antagonism adjoin Hawaii places the top two winningest coaches in NCAA DI women’s volleyball on adverse benches. Rose anon ranks aboriginal on the NCAA DI best account with 1,189 career wins. Shoji is in additional abode with 1,178 career victories. With anniversary drillmaster bringing added than 35 years of acquaintance at anniversary program, the two accept accumulated for 2,367 career wins. RISE TO THE TOP …Following a 4-0 weekend in the 2014 Penn State Alumni Classic, Rose confused into aboriginal abode on the DI NCAA career wins account with 1,136 victories, advanced of Hawaii Shoji, who had already topped the account beforehand in 2014. The two went aback and alternating throughout the season, but Penn State’s run to its seventh NCAA civic championship in 2014 alveolate Rose 11 wins advanced of Shoji, agreement him durably aloft the alive DI career standings at the cessation of the 2014 division with 1,161 wins.
STEPPING IT UP!Sopre Ali Frantti has stepped up her abhorrent contribution. Frantti’s paced the Nittany Lion breach with bifold amount kills in six of the aftermost eight outings, alpha with bifold amount kills at Iowa (11), at Minnesota (11) and adjoin Michigan (10). Best recently, she led the aggregation with 12 kills on .400 hitting adjoin Howard, afore finishing angry for aboriginal on the aggregation with 14 kills on .407 hitting adjoin Dayton. Aural the eight-match stretch, she’s averaging 3.08 kills per set, accepting totaled 80 kills, hitting at a .293 clip.
K. PIERCE INTO THE STARTING LINEUPSenior Kendall Pierce has becoming her way into the Penn State starting calendar at the libero position. She’s fabricated bristles afterwards starts at libero in the accomplished bristles matches, accretion and again analogous a then-career-high mark with 12 address adjoin Maryland and Northwestern. Best afresh she set a new career-high with 13 address in the 3-1 win adjoin Dayton.
SWEEPING VICTORIESPenn State has becoming 22 of its 28 (79%) victories this division by way of a 3-0 sweep. Penn State has additionally bound Eastern Kentucky, Mississippi State, St. John’s, Maryland and Howard to beneath than 45 absolute credibility in a distinct match, captivation the Colonels and the Bison to a season-low 41 absolute points. The Terps had 45, the Red Storm had 43 and Bulldogs had aloof 42.
STREAK SNAPPERSThe Nittany Lions are no drifter to band snapping, accepting apoplectic Dayton’s 25-match acceptable band with a four-set achievement to affirmation a atom in the annular of 16. Hawaii enters the NCAA bounded semifinal antagonism benumbed a new national-best 23-match acceptable streak, accepting not absent a bout aback accident to UCLA Sept. 6.
THE BIG TEN AT THE BIG DANCEA absolute of nine Big Ten schools were called to the acreage of 64 teams in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Forth with No. 7 Penn State, No. 2 Minnesota, No. 4 Nebraska, No. 6 Wisconsin and No. 12 Ohio State becoming top-16 seeds. Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue additionally accustomed at-large bids to the tournament. Heading into the annular of 16, six Big Ten teams still remain, with No. 4 Nebraska and No. 12 Ohio State in the Lexington Regional, No. 6 Wisconsin in the Austin Bounded and No. 2 Minnesota and Illinois in the Des Moines bounded forth with Penn State.
LOOKING AHEADShould Penn State defeat Hawaii, the Nittany Lions would beforehand to the Des Moines Bounded Finals and booty on the champ of the No. 2 Minnesota/Illinois bout Saturday, Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET in Wells Fargo Arena. The antagonism will advertisement alive on ESPNU.
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