You can argue that Penn State's women's volleyball team is the best program on campus. Not team, but program. And as (arguably) the best program on campus, they deserve some respect, amirite?
That's why all this week, fearless leader Cari and myself will be gearing you guys up for their season, which kicks off with an exhibition on August 30 against the Polish National Team.
But first, to kick off our week of coverage, here's a recap of the 2012-13 team that
GOT FUCKED IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT lost in the NCAA tournament to Oregon (we'll talk about that in a second):
Record: 33-3 (overall), 19-1 (Big Ten), 17-0 (home), 11-1 (Away), 5-2 (Neutral)
All-Americans: Micha Hancock, Ariel Scott (1st Team); Katie Slay (2nd Team); Deja McClendon (3rd Team)
All-Big Ten: Hancock, McClendon, Scott, Slay.
All-Big Ten Freshman: Megan Courtney.
Individual Awards: Scott (Big Ten POY), Hancock (Big Ten Setter of the Year), Courtney (Big Ten Freshman of the Year), Russ Rose (Coach of the Year), Kristen Carpenter (Sportsmanship Award Honoree).
Regular Season Recap: The Nittany Lions rolled through the regular season in 2012. They won their first six matches, including wins at home against Stanford and eventual national champion Texas (they swept them 3-0, I was there, it was awesome), before falling in Chicago to Oregon State, 3-2. The Lions left a trail of bodies in their path during the rest of the regular season, winning 22 of their final 23 matches. Their only loss was a 3-2 loss against Nebraska in Lincoln, which was one of two times in Big Ten play that Penn State let a team win at least two sets against them. In fact, they shut out their opponents in six of their final seven regular season matches. They were awesome.
Postseason Recap: Their first three matches in the postseason were against Binghamton, Bowling Green and Kentucky. They won all three matches, 3-0. I went to the match against Bowling Green, there was one kid who had a sign that ended with "BEATING PENN STATE: PRICELESS." I giggled.
Their quarterfinal match was against Minnesota, who they beat twice in the regular season, 3-0 and 3-1. It was a hotly contested match that came down to the final point.......ok I'm screwing with you, Penn State beat them, 3-1. This set up a semifinal showdown against Oregon.
Now, a quick tangent: I am of the belief that the only people who complain about officials are people affiliated with shitty teams that are desperate to blame someone for their team's awfulness (ex: in my rec hoops league this summer, my team won once, and the refs were TERRIBLE). However, against Oregon, Penn State legitimately got screwed.
Penn State won the first set. Second set, Penn State was up with the chance to win the set, when someone on Oregon (whose name I don't remember, so we'll just call her "Satan") obviously smacked the net, which should have given the point and set to Penn State. A 2-0 lead for the #1 seed in the tournament. Even with a gimpy Hancock, who hurt her ankle earlier in the match, the Nittany Lions should have been able to put Oregon away with that imposing of a lead.
However, the net official, who was RIGHT FUCKING THERE, gave Oregon the point because, apparently, Satan didn't touch the net. Which was bullshit. Because she did. Russ Rose even got out of his chair to argue, which never happens. Russ Rose doesn't leave his chair. Ever. A group of clowns with the intent of giving him hepatits can be headed in his direction, and Russ would sit there stoically.
Anyway, Oregon won the set and the match and Penn State's season was over. Oregon went on to get swept by the Texas team that PSU swept earlier in the year. It was awful. Here's to that not happening again and this season ending with a national title.
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