Minnesota and Penn State Move on to National Semifinals
Dec. 12, 2009
Minnesota and Penn State both posted wins on Saturday, earning the right to advance to the NCAA Championship Semifinals next weekend. The Big Ten boasts two national semifinalists for the first time since 1994.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11
Illinois’ season came to an end with a four-set loss to Hawai’i. Kylie McCulley led the Illini with 14 kills, while Laura DeBruler tallied 13 and Michelle Bartsch had 12.
No. 13 MICHIGAN (27-9) def. No. 4 Stanford (23-8), 3-1 (25-18, 23-25, 25-22, 25-11)
Michigan knocked off Stanford on its home court as the Wolverines made school history, advancing to NCAA Regional Finals for the first time ever. Michigan will face No. 12 Hawai’i on Saturday for the right to move on to play in Tampa. Alex Hunt led the Wolverines with 18 kills and 14 digs, while Juliana Paz tallied 15 kills, and Lexi Zimmerman was two digs shy of a triple-double with 10 kills, eight digs and 51 assists.
No. 11 MINNESOTA (27-8) def. Colorado State (25-6), 3-1 (25-22, 29-27, 23-25, 25-18)
Minnesota downed Colorado State in four sets to advance to its fourth NCAA Regional Final in the last seven years. The Gophers will take on No. 3 Florida State on Saturday for the right to advance. Four players had double-digit kills for Minnesota, including freshman Tabitha Love, who put down 22 at a .439 clip. Setter Taylor Carico recorded a triple-double with 14 kills on .647 hitting, 51 assists and 12 digs.
No. 1 PENN STATE (35-0) vs. No. 16 Florida (25-6), 25-12, 25-18, 25-21)
Penn State swept No. 16 Florida to earn a berth into the Gainesville Regional Final, where the Nittany Lions will face No. 9 California. Megan Hodge led all players with 20 kills on .366 hitting, while Blair Brown contributed 11 hits at a .440 clip. Alisha Glass tallied 45 assists as Penn State combined to hit .454 on the night.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12
No. 12 Hawai’i (31-2) def. No. 13 MICHIGAN (27-10), 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-18)
Michigan’s postseason run came to an end with a loss to Hawai’i. Alex Hunt tallied a team-high 13 kills, and setter Lexi Zimmerman recorded 32 assists. The Wolverines out-blocked Hawai’i,11-7, led by Megan Bower, Karlee Bruck and Veronica Rood, who tallied seven, six and five block assists, respectively.
No. 11 MINNESOTA (28-8) def. No. 3 Florida State (31-3), 3-1
Minnesota advanced to the NCAA Championship Semifinals with a win over Florida State on Saturday, led by freshman Tabitha Love’s 21 kills. Lauren Gibbemeyer tallied 15 hits on .464 hitting, while Taylor Carico had 44 assists, guiding the Gophers to a .331 attack percentage. Christine Tan had 24 digs and anchored the Minnesota defense that held the Seminoles to .179 hitting on the night.
No. 1 PENN STATE (36-0) def. No. 9 California (21-11), 3-0
Penn State won its 100th consecutive match and advanced to the NCAA Championship Semifinals with a sweep over California. Megan Hodge led the way with 14 kills on .429 hitting, while Blair Brown had 13 hits at a .375 clip. Alisha Glass recorded 35 assists and 12 digs, guiding the Nittany Lions to a .337 attack average on the night.