Sunday, December 19, 2010

Penn State Over Cal in Final -- An Unexpected Rout

I don't know that there's a lot to say about last night's three-game sweep that gave Penn State its fourth straight NCAA women's volleyball title. Other than in Game 2, in which Cal had a pair of set points, there was very little drama.

The statistical issue that got the most attention on ESPN's broadcast was how the Golden Bears' Tarah Murrey was getting nearly half of her team's hit attempts (she ended with 46% of them, 56/121), thus letting Penn State devote its attention to stopping her. And stop Murrey the Nittany Lions did, holding her to a very uncharacteristically low .143 hitting percentage (box score). In the semifinals against Texas, in contrast, Murrey hit .413.

For Penn State, middle-blocker Arielle Wilson exhibited her usual blend of steadiness and power, hitting .391, and right-side hitter Blair Brown punched in at .316. Outside-hitter Deja McClendon, though hitting only .250 on the night, got off to a fast start; of her 16 total kills, she recorded six each in Games 1 and 2 (play-by-play sheet).

Cal actually outblocked Penn State, 11 to 7, but the Lion block was there when they needed it, on both of the aformentioned Golden Bear set points in Game 2.

1 comment:

loco said...

tNx for the hitting percentage info about those star players! keep it cookin!