The clock struck midnight on BYU's Cinderella season.
Penn State, lead by the play of Megan Courtney, Micha Hancock, and Aiyana Whitney, recorded their 7th National Championship. The Nittany Lions 6th title in 8 seasons.
In the first set, the Cougars were out-hit, out-blocked, and out-served by the Nittany Lions. As such, the defending national champions won the set 25-21. A bright spot for the Cougars came from the hitting of Amy Boswell with 4 kills. Jen Hamson also had 4 kills, but also 4 swinging errors. Collectively, the Cougars had a .132 hitting percentage with 7 errors. While Penn State hit .250 with 5 errors -- distributed the ball well among their players.
BYU responded well in the 2nd set, seemingly forgetting the 1st set entirely. Penn State's coach Russ Rose was forced to call a timeout after the Cougars took a 12-8 lead in the frame. The mighty force of momentum was behind Shawn Olmstead's crew. The timeout came on the heels of a huge Hamson hammer that wouldn't have been blocked by Mt. Nittany -- the All-American outside hitter nearly hurdle over her 6'2" setter teammate, Alohi Robins-Hardy.
The Cougars held a lead in the set until Penn State rallied to knot up the score a 20-20. Timeout Cougars. Cougar fans everywhere began to search for the Maalox. The teams traded points. 21-21. 22-22. 23-23. 24-24. Finally, Penn State scored two points in a row on a Jen Hamson serving error, and a Tambre Nobles swing that was blocked by Penn State's Micha Hancock -- her first block of the match. Both Penn State and BYU hit for a .267 percentage. Penn State won a razor edge 2nd set 26-24, and took a 2 set lead over the underdog BYU team.
In the third set, Penn State jumped out to a 3 point lead and were in control the rest of the way extending their lead to as much as 11 points. The Nittany Lions cruised to a 25-14 third set, completing the sweep and sealing a 7th National Championship.
The National Runner-up Cougars finish the season 30-5, the best finish in the history of the women's volleyball program. Shawn Olmstead was named National Coach of the Year. Jen Hamson was named an All-American, while Alexa Gray was honored as West Coast Conference Player of the Year. A tremendous 2014 campaign for the BYU women's volleyball team!