Three Big Ten Teams Make Elite Eight

Elite Eight
Elite Eight


The Streak Stays Alive: Penn State Wins 99th Straight To Advance To Quarterfinals

By By Paul D. Bowker. Special to
GAINESVILLE, Fla., December 11, 2009. “Penn State’s 99th consecutive win Friday sent the top-ranked and top-seeded Nittany Lions to the NCAA Division I Women‘s Volleyball Regional Finals against California. And a dominating performance it was.

Big Ten Player of the Year Megan Hodge had a game-high 20 kills as Penn State, playing in Gainesville for the first time since a loss in the 2003 Regional Final, defeated the Gators in three straight games, 25-12, 25-18, 25-21.

Penn State (35-0) will face California (21-10) at 4 p.m. ET Saturday (ESPNU). Cal beat Baylor in three games in the first semifinal. The winner will advance to next weekend’s Final Four at Tampa.

After watching her team lose in front of more than 3,400 at the O’Connell Center, Florida coach Mary Wise quickly blew praise on a team that is attempting a three-peat national title, which would be the first in NCAA Division I women‘s volleyball history. Wise said this is the best team to ever play in the O’Connell Center.

‘If you don‘t play them, you have to sit back and admire how talented they are. What a great ball control team this is,’ Wise said.” For the complete article, Click Here.

Palo Alto, CA

Dec. 12, 2009

No. 13 Michigan Drops No. 4 Seed Stanford, 3-1

By Michelle Smith, Special to
STANFORD, Calif., December 12, 2009. “Stanford got down early and could never figure out how to recapture its home-court advantage.

Michigan, the No. 13 seed, advanced to the regional final of the NCAA women’s volleyball tournament by defeating Stanford 3-1 Friday night at Maples Pavilion.

The Wolverines (27-9) move on to face 12th-seeded Hawaii on Saturday night with a trip to the Final Four on the line. It is Michigan’s first trip to the regional final.

There will be no return trip to the Final Four for the Cardinal (23-8), which played in the national title match three straight seasons.

Michigan made the most of its third straight trip to the Sweet 16, pounding the Cardinal from all sides. Four Wolverines registered double digits in kills, led by sophomore outside hitter Alex Hunt, who had 18 kills and 14 digs. Senior outside hitter Juiliana Paz added 15 kills. Setter Lexi Zimmerman finished with 51 assists.

‘The game plan for us is we wanted to be the aggressor,’ Michigan coach Mark Rosen said. ‘If we sat back and waited for them to bring the game to us, we were going to be in trouble. And I thought from Game 1, we took the aggressive approach and got paid off for it.'”

For the complete article, Click Here.

Minneapolis, MN

No. 11 Seed Minnesota Takes Down Colorado State
By Judd Spicer, Special to

MINNEAPOLIS, MN. “Making their seventh Sweet 16 appearance since 1999, host and 11th-seeded Minnesota (27-8) outlasted Colorado State ( 25-6 ) at the Sports Pavilion, defeating the Rams in four sets by scores of 25-22, 29-27, 23-25 and 25-18. The Gophers will face off Saturday night with the No. 3-seeded Florida State Seminoles (31-2), winner of Friday’s first semifinal in five sets over Kentucky (29-5). The Minneapolis Regional final is slated for 6:30 p.m. (EST).

The victory puts the Gophers into their fourth Elite Eight since 2003. Colorado State had two match-point opportunities in the second set, but ultimately couldn’t bury the Gophers before a raucous home crowd of more than 2,800.

Past becomes prologue-in-part for Minnesota, whose previous Sweet 16 hosting in 2004 found the Gophers winning their own regional and advancing as far as the national championship game.

‘I thought the match was evenly played in the serve and pass games,’ said Gopher coach Mike Hebert. ‘I thought defensively we were a little bit better and were able to convert a little more often than they did. I’m really impressed with how well coached Colorado State is. They had a great defensive plan of attack, particularly against Gibbemeyer. But we managed to find enough cracks in the block to get through.'”

For the complete article, Click Here.

For complete NCAA Tournament results, Click Here.