Women's volleyball hosts NCAA Regionals at Rec Hall

 

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• NCAA Regional Tournament Central

The top-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team (34-0) continues its NCAA journey this weekend at Rec Hall when it hosts the NCAA Regional Championship on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 12-13. No. 8 Cal (25-6) and No. 14 Illinois (26-7) will face off in the 3:30 p.m. match on Friday before the Nittany Lions host Western Michigan (28-6) at 6 p.m. The winners of each match will square off at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Rec Hall for the right to advance to the NCAA National Semifinals next Thursday in Omaha, Neb.

All three matches will feature Gametracker and both of Friday's matches will have a free live video stream at www.GoPSUsports.com. Saturday's match will be broadcast live on ESPNU.

All-session tickets (three matches) are on sale now and are $16 for adults and $10 for youth and students. Single-session tickets will be available at Rec Hall the day of the match ONLY and are $10 for adults, $7 for youth and students and $4 per person in groups of 20 or more, any age. All seating is general admission and first-come, first-served! The first 250 Penn State students will be admitted for free each night courtesy of the Penn State women's volleyball booster club. Call 814-865-5555 or visit the Bryce Jordan Center Ticket Office for your tickets.

Previewing Penn State
The Nittany Lions enter the weekend with a 34-0 record after sweeping both Long Island (25-14, 25-15, 25-15) and Yale (25-18, 25-11, 25-12) in the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Junior outside hitter Megan Hodge and senior outside hitter Nicole Fawcett lead the squad with 3.99 and 3.79 kills per game, respectively, as senior middle hitter Christa Harmotto chips in 2.48 kills per game on a nation-leading .509 hitting percentage. Junior setter Alisha Glass directs the offense with a country-best 12.40 assists per game while senior libero Roberta Holehouse tops the defense with 3.25 digs per game. Harmotto and sophomore middle hitter Arielle Wilson head the blocking list with 1.48 and 1.41 blocks per game, respectively. As a team, Penn State is leading the country in hitting at .404 while averaging 15.00 kills per game, 1.38 service aces per game, 11.70 digs per game and 3.26 blocks per game.

Scouting Western Michigan
The Broncos come into Friday's match with a 28-6 overall record after defeating Dayton (21-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-18) and No. 16 Seed Tulane (20-25, 25-21, 13-25, 25-19, 15-12) last weekend in the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Junior outside hitter Michelle Moore leads the team with 3.92 kills per game while three other players average more than two kills per game, including junior outside hitter Katie Eberling (2.79 kpg), sophomore outside hitter Allyson Doyle (2.31 kpg) and sophomore middle hitter Jaime Gotham (2.20 kpg). Junior setter Jillian Mitchell directs the offense with 11.48 assists per game while junior libero Caitlin Strimel leads the defense with 5.21 digs per game. Gotham tops the blocking chart with 1.02 blocks per game as sophomore Katie Corbett chips in 0.83 blocks per game. As a team, Western Michigan is hitting .252 with 14.26 kills per game, 1.12 service aces per game, 17.13 digs per game and 2.00 blocks per game.

The Series: Penn State vs. Western Michigan

Penn State leads Western Michigan, 6-3, in a series that began in 1980. The last meeting was a three-game Nittany Lion victory (30-19, 30-26, 30-22) on Sept. 1, 2005 at the Hawaiian Airlines Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii. The last meeting at Rec Hall was a five-game Penn State win (6-15, 15-6, 13-15, 15-4, 15-3) on Sept. 21, 1991.

The Series Versus Possible Regional Final Opponents
California
Penn State leads California, 1-0, in a series that began in 2007. The lone meeting was a three-game Nittany Lion victory (30-28, 30-25, 30-16) on Dec. 13, 2007, in the NCAA National Semifinal in Sacramento, Calif.

llinois
Penn State leads Illinois, 34-6, in a series that began in 1981. The last meeting was a three-game Nittany Lion victory (25-23, 25-17, 25-13) on Nov. 14, 2008 in Champaign, Ill. The last meeting at Rec Hall was a three-game Penn State win (25-16, 25-19, 25-12) on Sept. 27, 2008.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010