Penn State women’s volleyball will host Howard in the first round of the NCAA tournament for the second straight season Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Rec Hall.
The No. 8 seed Nittany Lions (23-7) have now made the tournament 38 years in a row. This is the 32nd time they will host the first two rounds since 1981.
Penn State owns a 98-30 record in NCAA tournament play with seven national championships — tied with No. 1 seed Stanford for the most ever. The Nittany Lions swept Howard (20-10) on September 14 in Washington, D.C., and are 5-0 against the Bison.
Freshman right side Jonni Parker currently leads the Nittany Lions with 311 kills this season. After Penn State’s 3-2 win over eventual No. 2 seed Minnesota Friday, head coach Russ Rose said he thought Parker was the Big Ten’s best freshman — a statement that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Junior libero Kendall White, who was club teammates with Parker, is just 10 digs away from passing Dominique Gonzalez for fourth place on Penn State’s all-time list. She is the only returning All-American from last year’s team.
Penn State finished in fifth place in the conference behind the Golden Gophers, Illinois, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, which prevailed 3-2 over the Nittany Lions in Saturday night’s regular season finale at Rec Hall. Seven Big Ten programs made this year’s 64-team field.
Penn State earned the tournament’s top overall seed last season, advancing to its 13th NCAA semifinals before losing to Nebraska 3-2 in Kansas City. This year’s Final Four will be held at the Target Center in Minneapolis December 13-15.
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