Wisconsin & Penn State in final

December 19th, 2013
By

Wisconsin def. Texas 25-19, 25-18, 26-28, 26-23

Penn State def. Washington, 25-14, 25-13, 25-16

Nittany Lions won both conference matches 3-0

some of you may notice that the derogatory comments about Penn State and the crude acronyms used have been deleted.

Just stop. it had nothing to do with the volleyball program  Go somewhere else with your negativity.

21 Responses to “Wisconsin & Penn State in final”

  1. Manu:

    It amazes me how consistent Penn State is with their volleyball program.
    Great program.


  2. Manu:

    BTW, I've been lurking all year long. Living in Hilo now so had to give up the season tickets. I loved Na Wahine Volleyball in the SS Arena. Thank you Cindy for keeping it real when some people wanted to go WAY OFF TRACK this year. I enjoyed reading many of the comments. I'm looking forward to seeing how na Wahine come back next year. Go Bows!!!


  3. OrbitalRipZ:

    The Big Ten had 7 teams -- almost half the field -- in the Sweet 16, 4 (50%) in the Elite Eight, 2 (again 50%) in the Semis, and now it's an all Big Ten Finals. Get the drift?

    And when it comes to Showtime!, no other school hogs the spotlight than in-your-face PSU: Ariel Scott of PSU wins the Senior CLASS Award, genuflex-to-me Rose takes National COY, and -- with Washington's Krista Vansant choking in front of a national audience (7 kills in 28 attempts) --_____ captures POY.

    Only one more day to suffer, and this sooner-it's-over-with-the-better season will be PAU. The Volleyball Gods will yet have the last side out of this season. All together now, Go Badgers! Lol.


  4. Ki:

    After watching tonight's semi-finals I wondered if Hawai'i will ever make it back to the Final Four? I thought Washington and USC were pretty good teams. But after watching Penn. St. dispatch the Huskies fairly easy, they are clearly playing at a different level. Besides getting top recruits, what does Dave need to do to compete with the Penn St., the Washington's, the USC's?


  5. wop ur jaws:

    acteristically off night of unforced errors, errant passing and porous blocks ends third-seeded Washington’s magical season. UW loses in three sets to No.-2 seed Penn State before 14,975 roaring fans at KeyArena, the sixth-largest crowd in NCAA volleyball history.

    By Gregg Bell

    UW Director of Writing

    SEATTLE – About 20 minutes after it ended, the Pac-12 champions' 33-match march to winning a national championship, and its backyard, Huskies seniors Kylin Muñoz and Jenna Orlandini emerged with junior Krista Vansant from the locker room.

    All three were in tears. Vansant dropped her head onto the right shoulder of Muñoz, whom these Dawgs all know as the "team mom."

    Then, the three leaders of UW volleyball turned, lifted their heads and proudly strode 50 yards down the hallway into a press conference to show their character remains unbeaten.

    "We just worked so hard for this all year for this," Vansant, the soaring All-American and Pac-12 player of the year said through sobs after Penn State had grounded her and Washington Thursday night. "It's just so sad not to put our best foot forward.

    "I thought I could have played so much better tonight."

    She wasn't alone. This was the wrong opponent and absolutely wrong stage for a completely off night.

    Third-seeded UW had a rockin’ KeyArena crowd poised for a SuperSonics-like eruption. But it, like the Huskies’ normally brilliant play, never came. Many uncharacteristic errors and a dominant performance by second-seeded Penn State ended the Huskies' magical season in the national semifinals with a 14-15, 13-25, 16-25 loss.

    Penn State will take on fellow Big Ten foe Wisconsin for the title on Saturday night at 6:30 p.m., after the Badgers upset defending champ and top-seed Texas in four sets in the evening's opener.

    It was Washington's worst night against the best foe it's faced this season.

    Bad combination.

    "It's tough. It stinks," coach Jim McLaughlin said after the abrupt -- aren't they all? -- exit from his fourth Final Four in 13 seasons leading the Huskies. "The amount of time these players put in, the investment, it's so high that the pain can be deep.

    "And we're feeling it right now."

    This city rose for this first NCAA Final Four in Seattle, with 14,975 standing, screaming and trying everything to spark the team from five miles up the freeway. It was the sixth-largest crowd ever for an NCAA volleyball match.

    But the Huskies' usually mammoth game never showed up.

    "We just didn't deliver. We weren't ourselves," Muñoz said, wiping her eyes with her hands. "That's the most disappointing thing. They are a very, very good team. But we weren't ourselves."

    Kaleigh Nelson had eight kills for the Huskies (30-3). Vansant had seven. Muñoz had five kills in her final college match. At .500, she was the only Husky to hit higher than .333.

    Vansant hit just .179 and Nelson .107, part of Washington’s sagging, season-low team hitting percentage of .117. The Huskies also had just three points off blocks, two fewer than its previous season low.

    "We didn't respond well to adversity," said Orlandini, the libero who had six digs to finish her UW career with 1,974, 12th-most in Pac-12 history. "Got to give credit where credit is due. But we could have put more pressure on."

    Penn State (33-2) hit a whopping .488, by far the best by a UW opponent this season, while winning for a national-best 24th consecutive time. The Nittany Lions advance to the national-championship match Saturday at 6:30 p.m. back at KeyArena against 12th-seeded Wisconsin. The Badgers upset top-seeded Texas in Thursday evening’s first semifinal.

    The huge crowd was waiting – begging – to erupt for the home team through the first two sets. But Washington couldn’t get out of its own way for much of that span. The Huskies hit just .152 with zero block points in the first set, losing 25-14. They hit even worse in set two – a crushing .033 – and lost 25-13.

    Those were the two largest margins of defeat in any sets this season for the Huskies.

    UW came out for the third set after the break to huge roars from the anxious home crowd, which included new Huskies football coach Chris Petersen. And they played much better, stringing together points for the first time since they led 10-6 in the first set. But they just could not sustain rallies.

    "It was a nightmare," McLaughlin said. "It was not fun in any way, shape or form.

    "But that's part of the deal. ... Only one team at the end doesn't go through this. So you kind of sign up for it a little bit."

    Washington didn't sign up for the punishment delivered by Penn State's Micha Hancock. The All-American was dominant on her serves, twice sending the Nittany Lions off on seven-point runs. The left-hander sent rockets low over the net that broke sharply late, like a left-handed pitcher with a 95-mph slider. Hancock had three aces in the first two sets, and it seemed like every other point to Penn State came off her serves. Hancock’s serves turned that 10-6 UW lead in the first set into Penn State winning 17 of the final 19 points of the set.

    "It's just a different angle," Orlandini said of Hancock's cutting jump serve, after she faced most of those lasers from the back row.

    The Huskies were denied their second national championship in eight years. They finished set wins short of fulfilling the goal Vansant and her teammates set among themselves 11 months ago: Winning it all, and in their backyard.

    UW had made exactly zero Final Fours in 27 volleyball seasons before McLaughlin arrived in 2001 from Kansas State.

    "I'm proud of what these players accomplished," McLaughlin said. "I told them that I love 'em.

    "I looked at the pain on their faces. It's very deep. But it's good because they put so much time in, and I love them."

    Penn State’s suffocating blocks and diving digs ensured Vansant could not come close to her Herculean, 38-kill, 30-dig night Saturday in UW’s rally from two sets down to beat USC.

    Penn State has won four of the last six NCAA championships. The way the Lions played Thursday night, their fifth and seven years looks imminent.

    "They play like that, they are going to win this thing," McLaughlin said.

    And they walked out of the press conference and into the rest of their lives -- graduation, then potentially professional careers -- seniors Muñoz and Orlandini still had tears.

    They also still had their heads held as high as their pride, showing impressive character through the very end of their impressive UW careers.

    These seniors plus classmates Jenni Nogueras (14 assists in her finale) and Gabbi Parker (a reserve who faced her playing, struggling teammates sitting on the bench during a timeout in the third set and shouted, "We are ALL behind you right now!") went to one NCAA Sweet 16, one Elite Eight and this Final Four. This season they won just the third conference title in program history, with the second-most victories in any UW volleyball season in the NCAA era -- behind only the 2005 national champions.

    "We were talking about that in the locker room. We set goals for ourselves, and we succeeded," Orlandini said. "Not losing at home, we accomplished that. Winning the Pac-12 title, and we did that ...

    "Sorry," she said, unnecessarily, as she stopped to cry.

    "Just going out with no regrets. And up until this last game, we showed that. Hey, we just didn't respond (Thursday) like we normally do in those situations. ... At the same time, looking back on it we did accomplish a lot."

    The last time UW lost in the Final Four, in the national semifinals in four sets to Stanford in 2004, the Huskies stormed the next year to their only national title.

    That's the standard by which ever successive Husky team will be judged. This team knows that.

    "Our goal ultimately was to win the national championship," Orlandini said. "At the same time, this was a step in the right direction. Hopefully there is something there that we can leave for last year's team."

    As their character and pride after Thursday's finale exemplified, Orlandini and her senior classmates are leaving way more than that.

    Washington Volleyball


  6. Cindy Luis:

    3. Lot of pressure on an 18 year old amateur athlete. it is a team sport


  7. Cindy Luis:

    I do think we should keep things in perspective.
    Had a wonderful chat with Cia Goods Fernandez today, who is amazingly positive despite being diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. 5 kids 13 and under.
    Think I should start a new thread


  8. Cindy Luis:

    4. And wasn't that said about Texas before tonight? Sometimes it's all about the match ups. Washingotn didn't match up with Penn State. Not sure if USC would have been better. But not like Penn State wasn't bearable this season. They did lose twice this year.


  9. Cindy Luis:

    And kind of reminded me of UH against BYU. The pressure is on the home team. Penn State used to being in the final four. UW was pressing all night.


  10. Warriorfan:

    http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Fayad+tower+power/9303934/story.html

    This paper lists Emily Maglio as the number 7 player from that area. Hmmm thought she would be higher regarded.
    The top player is heading to Wichita state, and I saw her recruiting video, she looks pretty damn good, too bad Hawaii didn't go after her.


  11. Robin:

    I admit I was rooting for Penn State. First of all, UW gets more recruits in the Wahine's prime recruiting territory of So. Cal./Cal. 2nd, their dominance of that game, that was a virtual home game for the Huskies, goes to show, that a good team can get blown out at home by a team that was just on that night, while they were off. OK, BYU is no Penn State, but still a Top 25 team (#21). The Wahine and Huskies still had good seasons for the most part. Just like probably around 7-8 times out of 10, the Longhorns beat the Wahine, regardless of where played. It comes down to 1 match, and that is the beauty (or downfall) of single elimination.


  12. Robin:

    BTW, I DID mean the Longhorns.. In IMHO, Texas is clearly a step above in talent and athleticism than the Wahine. Too bad that this season opening game raised even further really high expectations. Still, it was a beautiful thing, and will be a Wahine memory to cherish.


  13. LC:

    I didn't expect Washington to beat PSU only some of their die hard fans thought it was possible.

    I did feel that Wisconsin would beat Texas but PSU has swept Wisconsin twice this year. If you need hope and like the Badgers you can drag out that old cliche..It's had to beat a team three times in one year.


  14. tommui:

    Good Morning!

    I don't know how the Wahine would do if they had beaten BYU.

    I do know that they are SUPER in my book and deserve our admiration and respect.

    GO WAHINE!


  15. mei mei:

    Thank you 5 for the article... it reminds of Hawaii's own loss and the deep sadness the team and the fans all felt....

    In the end yes it is a college sport and these women do play with all their hearts!

    On a side not Penn State was truly amazing and Deja McClendon wow!! front row & back row -
    and Hancock - gotta give them credit- they're an amazing team are probably on their way to win their 6th national title.


  16. 808BV:

    THANK YOU CINDY!! I wanted to say something but didn't want to feed into it. It had nothing to do with volleyball.....PSU was great again UW. I agree with feeling for UW being swept at home (like the wahine). I really do hope that WISCONSIN will just be in overdrive saturday nite. Number 15 (I think that was her number on wisconsin, outside hitter) really did use her 'disadvantage' in the first and second set like a beast!!


  17. Tiki808:

    4 time NCAA Women's volleyball champion, Wisconsin


  18. Kazu:

    I think the Badgers can beat Penn State,because on any given day the best team in sports can be beat. I understand the Badgers loss twice during the regular season,but the third time may be a charm. I also think UH will win another championship,however not for another 2-3 years. Go Badgers!!


  19. PurpleMaple:

    Penn St was simply better than Washington. And blocking is the name of the game and Penn St executes it very well.


  20. tsboy:

    Penn State vs Wisconsin? boring.


  21. Warriorfan:

    re. 20. not really, I am excited to watch Lauren Carlini, she's amazing.