Penn State Women's Volleyball: Nittany Lions Fall to Oregon, 3-1 in National Semifinal
Updated at 12:12 a.m. Dec. 14
Penn State's top-ranked women's volleyball team was upset in a national semifinal match, 3-1 to No. 5 Oregon on Thursday night in Louisville, Ky.
The match turned when sophomore setter Micha Hancock, the Big Ten Setter of the Year and a first-team All-American, turned her left ankle while attempting a block in the second set. She missed a portion of the second set before returning, but her net presence and serving ability was limited. She finished with just one blocking assist and no aces. Penn State finished with six aces and six service errors. Oregon matched the six aces but only committed one service error.
Penn State's block, a force in the first two sets, was less effective after the intermission. Deja McClendon and Ariel Scott led Penn State's attack from the outside, recording 14 and 18 kills, respectively. However, PSU was outhit by Oregon, .167-.165.
Oregon will face No. 3 Texas in Saturday's national championship match.
Set No. 3 Recap
Penn State, the No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, is on the brink of elimination after falling 25-22 to Oregon in the third set of their best-of-five match in Louisville, Ky. Oregon leads the match, 2-1.
Set No. 2 Recap
Down its All-American setter for a portion of a thrilling second set, Penn State erased a 10-point deficit in rally scoring before falling to Oregon, 30-28.
Sophomore setter Micha Hancock turned her left ankle while attempting a block in the early stages of the second set. Penn State was trailing, 9-4, when Hancock turned her ankle. She returned with the Nittany Lions behind, 16-9 but was limited in her ability to block and use her jump serve.
"We're gonna try and overcome that challenge and see if other people step up," coach Russ Rose said on the ESPN2 broadcast during intermission. "You gotta change some things and ask other people to do more."
Penn State trailed, 20-10 before dominating defensively at the net to carve into the deficit. Penn State and Oregon had multiple set points, but the Ducks ultimately broke through late.
Penn State has recorded 15 blocks through two sets.
Set No. 1 Recap
Penn State separated itself from Oregon in the first set of their NCAA national semifinal, taking five of the last six points en route to a 25-21 victory against Oregon.
Nia Grant recorded four kills, and the Nittany Lions out-blocked Oregon, 6-0
Penn State (33-2) and Oregon (29-4) are meeting for the first time since the Ducks snapped the Nittany Lions' 94-game home match winning streak last season. A berth in the national championship Saturday night against No. 3 Texas at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. is on the line.