UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The 2012 Big Ten Champion and No. 1 seed Penn State women’s volleyball team (29-2) begins its quest for another NCAA title this weekend when it hosts the First and Second Rounds for the 23rd consecutive season. The Nittany Lions host Binghamton (13-17) in a First Round match at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30. Yale and Bowling Green play in the earlier match at 5 p.m. The winners of each match are scheduled to play at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1.
ALL SESSION tickets for the First and Second rounds MUST be purchased at the Bryce Jordan Center Ticket Office or by calling 1-800-NITTANY beginning on Monday, Nov. 26 at 10 a.m. up until Friday, Nov. 30 at Noon. All session tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for youth and students and $8 for groups (20 or more). SINGLE SESSION tickets WILL ONLY be available at Rec Hall on Friday and Saturday and are $8 for adults, $6 for youth and students and $5 for groups. The first 300 students with valid ID will be admitted for free.
Nittany Lion Preview
The Penn State women’s volleyball team closed out the regular season on Nov. 24 after earning a 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-14) win against Ohio State on Nov. 21 and a 3-0 (25-13, 25-21, 25-15) win against Michigan State on Nov. 24. Penn State is 29-2 overall and closed out the Big Ten at 19-1. Junior Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.) had a team-best 43.83 kills per set, while junior Deja McClendon (Louisville, Ky.) averaged 2.83 kills per set. Sophomore Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) dished out 9.67 assists per set and 0.67 aces per set. Sophomore Dominique Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas) had 3.00 digs per set and McClendon averaged 2.83 digs per set. Junior Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) put up a team-high 2.17 blocks per set and freshman Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio) had 1.17 per set.
For the weekend, the Nittany Lions hit .352 and averaged 13.67 kills, 11.50 assists, 1.83 aces, 11.50 digs and 3.92 blocks per set.
Penn State vs. Binghamton
Penn State owns a 2-0 record against the Bearcats dating back to 2005. The Nittany Lions met Binghamton on both occasions in the NCAA First Round sweeping the Bearcats each time.
Last Two Meetings
PSU 3-0, at PSU, Dec. 2, 2005
PSU 3-0, at PSU, Dec. 4, 2009
Scouting the Bearcats
The Bearcats are 13-17 this season and won the America East Championship on Nov. 25. Binghamton upset top-seeded Albany, 3-0, in the final to earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Championship. It’s the Bearcats’ second appearance in the tournament in the last four years.
The series vs. Possible Second Round Opponents
Penn State vs. Yale
Penn State leads the series with Yale 7-0 dating back to 1978. The Nittany Lions have never lost a set to the Bulldogs. The teams last met in the NCAA Second Round on Dec. 6, 2008. This is Yale’s fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Last Three Meetings
PSU 3-0, at YU, Sept. 14, 2007
PSU 3-0, at PSU, Sept. 19, 2008
PSU 3-0, at PSU, Dec. 6, 2008
Penn State vs. Bowling Green
This would be the first meeting between Bowling Green and Penn State. Bowling Green is making its first appearance in the tournament since 1991. The Falcons won the Mid-American Conference tournament to secure the automatic bid.
The winner of the Penn State first and second round NCAA site will advance to the West Lafayette, Ind. Regional on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7-8 at Purdue’s Mackey Arena. The Penn State site winner will play the site winner from Lexington, Ky., which features Ohio State, Notre Dame, East Tennessee State and No. 16 seed Kentucky. The other Regional Semifinal match will feature the Tallahassee, Fla. site winner (No. 9 Florida State, Hofstra, Colorado State and Purdue) and the Minneapolis, Minn. site winner (No. 8 Minnesota, Liberty, Marquette and Creighton).
The winners from each of the four Regional sites (West Lafayette, Ind., Omaha, Neb., Austin, Texas and Berkeley, Calif.) advance to the NCAA National Semifinals, which will be held on Thursday, Dec. 13 in the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. The National Championship match is set for Saturday, Dec. 15.
For more information on the Penn State women’s volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State women’s volleyball 2012 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.