Editor's Note: RobertC3 was on hand to observe the last game for the Women's Volleyball as they struggled against the "Alabama of Volleyball" - Penn State - in last night's Final Four matchup. Here is his report:
The Huskies came into last night’s match against #2 seed Penn State riding a wave of momentum from their thrilling elite eight victory over USC. That momentum built as they jumped out to a 10-6 lead in the first set in front of a loud and purple clad crowd of nearly 15,000. Unfortunately, the Nittany Lions had an answer to the momentum in the form of the thundering jump serve of Micha Hancock. In previous matches against some of the nation’s best servers the Dawgs were able to handle the serves with great passing and that great passing lead to great offense. Last night, that wasn’t the case as our serve receive let us down. Time and again our setters were scrambling after errant passes and we were forced into predictable and easily blocked attacks when we were able to get a swing at all. Hancock served up 8-0 scoring runs in both the first and second sets and completely turned the tide against the Huskies. Our usually dominant serving was passed beautifully by Penn State which allowed them to stay in system and distribute their offense amongst their two all american outside hitters and their powerful middle blockers. Even their setter got into the act launching thundering kills on a handful of occasions. So, the Huskies came so close to playing for a national championship in front of their home crowd, but they were far from the equal of Penn State last night. Penn State played as well as they were capable of playing the University of Washington played their worst match of the year. Some of the nerves that lead to the Huskies shaky performance are to be expected of a team that is making its first final four appearance in seven years and the dominant play of the Nittany Lions looked like that of a team which is on the verge of claiming its fifth national championship in those same seven years. The Dawgs now have a measuring stick by which to judge their offseason work. They know how good they need to become to win a national title.