Match Day: Penn State vs. Minnesota (Will it be a Three-Peat?)

Tournament Central

About the Lions-Gophers Re-Rematch

Minnesota Nearly Beat Penn State Last Time Out

There’s alot of chatter on the internet about the fact that this afternoon’s match between Penn State and Minnesota will be the third time the two teams have met this season.

We admit, in the absence of any data to the contrary, the argument that it’s very difficult to beat a team three times in one season makes alot of sense.  But it may not be quite as daunting a task as conventional wisdom suggests.  More on that later.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Golden Gophers, who knocked off Purdue last night, 3-1 (23-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-21),  are a very good team, regardless of whether it’s the first match or the third match a team is playing against them.  Minnesota will definitely give Penn State all they can handle.  Maybe more.

In their last meeting — a 3-1 Penn State win in Rec Hall on Novermber 2nd — the Gophers had a slightly better attack % (.207) than the Nittany Lions (.205) and outblocked them 16-9.   The statistical differences?  Penn State had 11 service aces to Minnesota’s 5 and 72 digs to the Gopher’s 49.

But that was then and this is now.  In that match, Minnesota’s 6-1 Fr. OH Daly Santana had 7 kills (.200 attack %) and 8 digs.  Last night against Purdue, Santana  had a team-high 16 kills and 14 digs.  Talk about improvement!

And Santana has plenty of help.  Against Purdue, 6-2 Sr. RS Katherine Harms had 15 kills and 10 digs, 6-0 Jr. OH Ashley Wittman had 14 kills and 12 digs, and 6-3 Jr. MB Tori Dixon had 11 kills and a team-high five blocks.

This is a very tough team, and Penn State will [Cliche alert!] need to bring its “A-Game.”  And some real determination.

Will Third Time Out be the Charm for Gophers?

So, about that “it’s very difficult to beat a team three times in the same season” thing.  Here’s something on that point from a January 3, 2010 article in

Beating a Team Three Times in One Season Is Easier Done Than Said

All week, you will hear the self-proclaimed experts tell you it is difficult to beat a team three times in one season.

They will sit in their fancy studios and use that logic to explain why the Eagles are going to beat Dallas next weekend.

Clearly, these pundits of prognostication do not have access to the Internet. If they did, they could do some research and realize that since the NFL merger in 1970, the team that won the previous two meetings against its divisional rival has a 12-7 record.

Read the complete article at

Two points.

  • Point 1: that’s a 70.5% success rate — obviously lower than the 100% success rate in the first two matches.  However, a 70.5% winning percentage is very good in the NFL.
  • Point 2: NCAA women’s volleyball is not the NFL.  Well, you’ve got us on Point 2.

Minnesota Post-Purdue Match Interviews

Stat Joust

(Statistics through 12-7-12)

Minnesota Category Leaders


Penn State Category Leaders

Attack Leaders - 2012

1Scott, ArielJr.12536354693.751271110.308
18McClendon, DejaJr.12436364033.251311106.246
16Slay, KatieJr.12235272792.2958537.412
17Courtney, MeganFr.12036352402.0088632.241
7Grant, NiaSo.12436362051.6552407.376
12Hancock, MichaSo.12536361251.0032260.358
6Martin, MaddieJr.62301510.8221129.233

Set/Serve Leaders - 2012

#Name ClSPMPMSAstAst
12Hancock, MichaSo.1253636140311.22810.65113
4Gonzalez, DominiqueSo.125360960.77260.2134
18McClendon, DejaJr.1243636420.34180.1538
17Courtney, MeganFr.1203635330.28130.1131
33Fuller, LaceySo.119361150.13190.1618
5Carpenter, KristinSr.95366120.1380.0824
6Martin, MaddieJr.6230130.05140.2329
3Pierce, KendallFr.2918120.0790.316

Recept/Dig Leaders - 2012

#Name ClassSPMPMSREDigDig/S
4Gonzalez, DominiqueSo.125360194573.66
18McClendon, DejaJr.1243636353392.73
12Hancock, MichaSo.125363612982.38
17Courtney, MeganFr.1203635222371.98
33Fuller, LaceySo.11936121691.42
6Martin, MaddieJr.6230110711.15
5Carpenter, KristinSr.953660540.57
Penn State

Blocking and Points Leaders - 2012

1Scott, ArielJr.125363511911020.823528.54.23
18McClendon, DejaJr.12436362347700.566467.53.77
16Slay, KatieJr.1223527191451641.3412370.53.04
17Courtney, MeganFr.120363532691010.848319.52.66
7Grant, NiaSo.120353571081150.9611260.02.17
12Hancock, MichaSo.1253636868760.616248.01.98
6Martin, MaddieJr.623010880.13169.01.11

Minnesota 2012 Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown (Last School)


Bohl,   Morgan Outside Hitter 6-0 SO Centennial, Colo. (Eaglecrest HS)


Dixon,   Tori Middle Blocker 6-3 JR Burnsville, Minn. (Burnsville HS)


Harms,   Katherine Opp Hitter 6-2 SR Albertville, Minn. (St. Michael-Albertville HS)


Hauer,   Karlie Outside Hitter 5-11 FR Andover, Minn. (Andover HS)


Haugen,   Brianna Outside Hitter/Middle Blocker 6-1 SR Minneapolis, Minn. (Southwest HS)


Israel,   Karyn Setter 6-0 FR Huntington Beach. Calif. (Edison HS)


Knudsen,   Dana Middle Blocker 6-3 SR Sacramento, Calif. (Santa Clara)


Lawmaster,   Lindsey DS/Libero 5-5 FR Los Alamitos, Calif. (Los Alamitos HS)


Lindstedt,   Kara Outside Hitter 5-8 JR Shoreview, Minn. (UW-Green Bay)


Palmer,   Alexandra Setter 5-7 JR Laguna Beach, Calif. (Santa Clara)


Santana,   Daly Outside Hitter 6-1 FR Corozal, Puerto Rico (Bayamon Military Academy)


Tabberson,   Mia Setter 6-2 SR Muncie, Ind. (Burris HS)


White,   Kalysta DS/Libero 5-5 FR Laguna Beach, Calif. (Laguna Beach)


Wittman,   Ashley Outside Hitter 6-0 JR Shakopee, Minn. (Shakopee HS)

Penn State 2012 Roster

2012 Team Roster (Updated)

NumberName PositionEligibilityHeightHometownState/Nation
1Scott, Ariel

Opp/MHJr.6-4RidgewoodNew Jersey
2Caraway, LaraDS/LFr.5-4Evans CityPennsylvania
3Pierce, KendallDS/LFr.5-6EdenNew York
4Gonzalez, DominiqueDS/LSo.5-6San AntonioTexas
5Carpenter, Kristin DS/L/SSr.5-6MechanicsvilleVirginia
6Martin, MaddieOHJr.6-2TampaFlorida
7Grant, NiaMH/OHSo.6-2WarrenOhio
8Denny, Erica
MHSo. (RS)6-5CentennialColorado
9Prieto Cerame, PaulinaOH/Opp/MHFr.6-2MiamiFlorida
10Racibarskas, Marika SSr.6-0ChathamNew Jersey
12Hancock, MichaSSo.5-11EdmondOklahoma
14Whitney, AiyanaOH/Opp/MHSo.6-5RidgewoodNew Jersey
15Harding, MaggieDSSo. (RS)5-6State CollegePennsylvania
16Slay, Katie
MHJr.6-6RaleighNorth Carolina
17Courtney, Megan
18McClendon, Deja

33Fuller, LaceyDS/LSo.5-6San DiegoCalifornia