For Penn State and Texas on Thursday night, it was supposed to be another classic. Russ Rose's squad had another plan, though.
The Nittany Lions dominated the Longhorns in a 3-0 sweep ( 25-13, 25-13, 25-22) of their national semifinal match Thursday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Penn State will face the winner of California vs. USC on Saturday night for its fourth straight national championship.
Penn State's young players came up huge against Texas in their first Final Four match. Freshman Deja McClendon had 11 kills on a dominating .733 kill percentage. Fellow frosh Katie Slay led the Lions with six blocks and sophomore setter Kristin Carpenter had 38 assists. Freshman Ariel Scott added 1o kills.
The upperclassmen had a big game, too, though. Senior Blair Brown led the Lions with 12 kills and senior Arielle WIlson chipped in 6 kills on a solid .462 hitting.
Man, did this team look good tonight. Texas paid for nearly every error, and save for the first few points coming out of the locker room for the third set, Penn State played perhaps as dominant as it has all season. As the commentators on the broadcast noted, it was the first time on the big stage for a lot of Penn State's underclassmen, but they shined for Penn State tonight. Another effort like this, and the Lions will be well on their way to a fourth straight national title.