Dec. 16, 2008
Complete Release in PDF Format
Penn State advanced to the NCAA Semifinals for the seventh time in program history after sweeping through the regional rounds with wins over Western Michigan and No. 8 California. The victories extended the Nittany Lions’ NCAA-record winning streaks to 62 matches and 109 sets, dating back to last season.
PSU junior Megan Hodge was named the Most Outstanding Player at the University Park Regional after averaging 4.67 kills per set on .480 hitting, also contributing 14 total digs and a block solo. Hodge was joined on the All-Tournament squad by teammates Blair Brown, Nicole Fawcett, Alisha Glass and Christa Harmotto.
Penn State will play fourth-seeded Nebraska in the second semifinals game on Thursday at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb., at 8 p.m. CT. The game will be televised live on ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN360.com. Second-seeded Stanford and third-seeded Texas will meet in the first semifinals game at 6 p.m. CT. The match will be shown live on ESPNU and tape-delayed on ESPN2. The championship game will be held on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com.
PENN STATE IN THE SEMIFINALS
Penn State is making its second consecutive and seventh overall trip to the NCAA Semifinals. Each of PSU’s semifinal appearances have come while the school was a member of the Big Ten Conference. Penn State is 5-1 in semifinal action, including a 3-0 sweep over California last year. The Nittany Lions have faced Nebraska one other time in NCAA Semifinals, coming away with a 3-1 win over the Huskers in 1998.
BIG TEN IN THE SEMIFINALS
Big Ten teams have combined to make 15 NCAA Semifinals appearances since the tournament began in 1983. Overall, conference squads are an even 7-7 during semifinal action. Over the last 12 years, Big Ten teams have combined to make seven semifinal appearances and are 7-1 during that time frame. Six different Big Ten teams have advanced to NCAA Semifinals with Penn State owning the highest total. Three other teams have made multiple appearances as Illinois, Ohio State and Minnesota have each gone twice. Michigan State and Wisconsin have both made one appearance.
PENN STATE IN THE FINALS
Penn State has made five NCAA Finals appearances and has two national titles for a 2-3 record in finals play. Both of PSU’s finals wins have come over Stanford with the Nittany Lions recording wins over the Cardinal in 1999 and 2007. Penn State is 2-1 vs. Stanford in the finals all-time. The Nittany Lions’ other two finals losses came against Long Beach State in 1993 and 1998.
BIG TEN IN THE FINALS
Three different Big Ten teams have combined to make seven NCAA Finals appearances in the event’s history. Penn State owns the most bids with five. Wisconsin made the final game in 2000, while Minnesota played for the title in 2004. Overall, the Big Ten is 2-5 in finals appearances with both wins coming from Penn State. Big Ten teams have faced Stanford four times, but have never played against Texas in the title game.