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Husker women close out wild season PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Tuesday, 23 December 2008 15:00


     Top-ranked Penn State saw one of its impressive NCAA records come to an end on Thursday night, but the Nittany Lions’ ultimate goals of an unbeaten season and a second straight national title remained firmly in tact.
    Penn State held off a furious rally by No. 4 Nebraska in a 3-2 NCAA Semifinal victory over the Huskers in front of an NCAA-record crowd of 17,430 inside the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb.
     The Nittany Lions, who hadn’t been pushed passed a third set all season, proved they could handle the pressure and fatigue factors of a fifth set.
    Trying to complete an improbable comeback, Nebraska led 10-8 in the final set before a poised Penn State team emerged from a timeout and strung together six consecutive points to essentially seal the match and the Nittany Lions’ NCAA-record 64th straight victory.
     With the win, the 37-0 Nittany Lions kept their perfect season alive and moved within one victory of becoming only the sixth women’s volleyball program in NCAA Division I history to repeat as national champions.
     Penn State, which features six All-Americans in its lineup, hit .305 on the night, while Nebraska attacked at a .247 clip.
    The Nittany Lions cruised through the first two sets, winning 25-17 and 25-18. Penn State hit .403 over the first two sets while Nebraska struggled to a .169 mark. In sets three and four, the Huskers hit .348, while holding Penn State to a .203 attack percentage.
     The Huskers’ improved efficiency set the stage for the fifth set, which featured seven ties and three lead changes.
    During the decisive 6-0 run that turned Nebraska’s two-point lead into a four-point deficit, the Huskers had three errors. Penn State had three blocks in the fifth set after recording just five blocks through the first three sets.
    The Nittany Lions showed their poise by committing just two total errors in the fifth set, while Nebraska had five. That was the difference, as both teams totaled nine kills in the final set.
     Penn’s Nicole Fawcett had a match-high 24 kills on .268 hitting for Penn State.