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OKLAHOMA CITY — After five straight matches against seeded opponents, the BYU women’s volleyball team finally ran out of gas.
Traditional powerhouse Penn State swept the Cougars, 25-21, 26-24, 25-14 for their seventh NCAA championship on Saturday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It was the first title for the Nittany Lions since 2010, and the sixth in eight years.
The win gives Penn State the most women's volleyball championships in NCAA history, breaking a tie with Stanford.
Aiyana Whitney and Megan Courtney had 11 kills each for the Nittany Lions, who got 36 assists and five digs from Micha Hancock.
Hancock’s service was clutch for the Nittany Lions, who scored seven points when the senior setter and Oklahoma City native went to the stripe.
Jennifer Hamson led BYU with 14 kills and eight digs, and Alohi Robins-Hardy had 31 assists for the Cougars. West Coast Conference player of the year Alexa Gray was held to nine kills on .214 hitting in the match, and Hamson had 11 hitting errors as Penn State consistently pressured the Cougars’ top options.
BYU was making its first-ever appearance in the national championship match after knocking off No. 2 Texas on Thursday night. But Penn State, which beat top-seed Stanford in the national semifinals, showed its experience early.
The Cougars had six service errors in the opening two sets to fall behind 0-2 going into the break, and they couldn’t catch up.
The Cougars' national runner-up finish was their best finish in program history. The loss snapped a 12-match win streak for BYU. Penn State ends the season on a 20-match win streak.