Everyone thought Penn State had reached the pinnacle of NCAA Division I Women’s volleyball last year with their epic win over Texas for the team’s third straight national title. But Russ Rose’s squad wasn’t finished winning yet. The fourth-seeded Nittany Lions beat number seven California 3-0 (25-20, 27-25, 25-20) in the 2010 National Championship match on Dec. 18, in front of 14,032 fans at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. The win marked the first time in NCAA history that a women’s volleyball team has taken four titles in a row.
UT vs. Penn State
In a rematch between the two finalists from last year’s competition, the Nittany Lions rolled over the Longhorns (25-13, 25-13, 25-22) in the first semifinal match on Dec. 16 on their way to the eventual National Championship title. Penn State put the first point on the board and it was nothing but domination from there on.
Cal vs. USC
champion Golden Bears showed no mercy against the Trojans, taking a three-set sweep (25-14, 25-17, 25-20), on their way to the program’s first ever title game. Cal had lost to local rival USC twice during the regular season, marking two of their three regular season losses. But AVCA and VBM Coach of the Year Rich Feller came back with a vengeance to knock USC out of the tournament.
Penn State vs. Cal
Although Cal put up a solid fight (and staked claim to both AVCA and VBM Coach of the Year Rich Feller and AVCA Player of the Year Carli Lloyd), the Golden Bears were no match for the triple threat of Deja McClendon, Arielle Wilson and Blair Brown, who led Penn State with 18 kills. In another first, Wilson and Brown, along with fellow senior Alyssa D’Errico, now hold the special honor of winning a national title every year of their collegiate career, and never loosing a final match of the season.
2010 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship All-Tournament Team
Most Outstanding Player
Originally published in February 2011