Women's volleyball faces Nebraska Thursday in NCAA Semifinal

December 18, 2008

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University Park, Pa. — The top-ranked Penn State women's volleyball team will face No. 4 Nebraska in the second of two NCAA National Semifinals on Thursday, Dec. 18 at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb. The Nittany Lions and Cornhuskers will square off at approximately 8 p.m. CT (9 p.m. ET) or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first National Semifinal match, which features No. 2 Stanford and No. 3 Texas and begins at 6 p.m. CT (7 p.m. ET).

The Penn State-Nebraska match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 on Thursday and will also feature Gametracker and live audio at www.GoPSUsports.com. In the State College area, WMAJ 1450 AM will air the radio broadcast. If Penn State wins, the game will be replayed at midnight on the Big Ten Network, with additional replays at 10 p.m. Friday (Dec. 19) and 2 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 20)

Previewing Penn State
The Nittany Lions enter Thursday's match with a 36-0 overall record after sweeping Western Michigan (25-17, 25-12, 25-19) and No. 8 California (25-21, 25-21, 25-17) last weekend at the NCAA Regional Championships at University Park. Junior outside hitter Megan Hodge and senior outside hitter Nicole Fawcett lead the squad with 4.03 and 3.75 kills per game, respectively, while senior middle hitter Christa Harmotto chips in 2.48 kills per game on a nation-leading .498 hitting percentage. Junior setter Alisha Glass dishes out an average of 12.50 assists per game, good for first in the country, as senior libero Roberta Holehouse tops the defense with 3.27 digs per game. Harmotto and sophomore middle hitter Arielle Wilson head the blocking chart with 1.49 and 1.42 assists per game, respectively. As a team, Penn State is hitting a nation-best .403 with 15.04 kills per game, 1.37 service aces per game, 11.68 digs per game and 3.28 blocks per game.

Scouting Nebraska
The Cornhuskers come into the match with a 31-2 mark after sweeping Michigan (25-13, 25-16, 25-18) and outlasting No. 5 Washington (14-25, 23-25, 25-17, 26-24, 15-13) last weekend in Seattle, Wash. Senior outside hitter Jordan Larson and sophomore outside hitter Tara Mueller lead the team with 3.95 and 3.53 kills per game, respectively, as sophomore opposite Lindsey Licht chips in 2.55 kills per game. Sophomore setter Sydney Anderson directs the offense with 11.66 assists per game as sophomore libero Kayla Banwarth tops the defense with 4.18 digs per game as Larson chips in 3.17 digs per game. Senior middle hitter Amanda Gates leads the blocking list with 1.14 blocks per game. As a team, Nebraska is hitting .271 with 14.60 kills per game, 1.34 service aces per game, 14.88 digs per game and 2.62 blocks per game.

The Series: Penn State vs. Nebraska
Penn State trails Nebraska, 5-11, in a series that began in 1981. The last meeting was a three-game Husker win (30-20, 30-21, 30-27) on Sept. 2, 2007 at the Qwest Center. The last Penn State win in the series was a four-game victory (11-15, 15-12, 15-8, 16-14) on Sept. 28, 1999. This will be the ninth meeting during the NCAA Tournament, with the Huskers holding a 6-2 advantage. The last NCAA win for the Nittany Lions was a four game victory on Dec. 17, 1998 in the National Semifinals in Madison, Wisc.

The Series Versus Possible NCAA National Championship Opponents
Penn State and Stanford are tied 5-5 in a series that began in 1992. The last meeting was a five-game Nittany Lion victory (30-25, 30-26, 23-30, 19-30, 15-8) on Dec. 15, 2007 in the NCAA National Championship match at Arco Arena in Sacramento, Calif.

Penn State leads Texas, 8-6, in a series that began in 1982. The last meeting was a four-game Nittany Lion victory (19-30, 30-13, 30-21, 30-24) on Aug. 25, 2007 at Rec Hall.

Next Up
The NCAA National Championship is  at 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET) Saturday (Dec. 20) at the Qwest Center and will be broadcast live on ESPN2

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Last Updated November 18, 2010