Penn State’s Season Closes with Loss to Stanford in NCAA Regional Final
The Lions Finish at 27-6 Overall
STANFORD, Calif. – The 2019 Penn State women’s volleyball season came to a close Saturday with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-15, 25-17) loss to No. 3 Stanford in the NCAA Regional Final at Maples Pavilion. The Lions went 3-1 in the NCAA Tournament with wins over Princeton in the First Round, Towson in the Second Round, and Cincinnati in the Regional Semifinal.
Penn State wraps up the season at 27-6 overall after competing in the NCAA Tournament for a 39th consecutive year. It and Stanford are the only two programs to compete in every NCAA Tournament, while Penn State head coach Russ Rose is the only one to lead a team in all 39 tournaments.
Stanford advances to the National Semifinals in Pittsburgh, joining Baylor, Wisconsin and Minnesota as the final four teams. The Cardinal head there with a record of 28-4.
The momentum of the match swung early. Penn State got out to a 20-14 lead in set one before Stanford climbed back with a 4-0 run to cut the lead to 20-18. Just a few points later the Cardinal started a 6-0 run that would finish off the set and give them the early lead.
The Lions hit .371 in the opening set, including a perfect four kills on four swings by Tori Gorrell, but the Cardinal hit .486. Plummer had nine kills on .533 hitting.
Gorrell and Serena Gray represented Penn State on the Stanford Regional All-Tournament Team. Gorrell tallied 13 kills on .667 hitting after recording kills on her first seven kills.
Senior Kendall White finished up an illustrious Penn State career and will leave as one of the best liberos in program history. She registered 11 digs and will graduate as the team’s career leader with 1,994.
The Lions hit .347, including .414 in the final set. Jonni Parker posted 10 kills, while Kaitlyn Hord added six. Gabby Blossom contributed 33 assists and six digs.
Penn State took on two of the best players in the nation – Cincinnati’s Jordan Thompson and Stanford’s Kathryn Plummer – on consecutive nights. Plummer, a two-time NCAA Player of the Year, finished with 24 kills on .512 hitting and added five digs. Madeleine Gates hit .733 with 11 kills, and Holly Campbell contributed eight kills on .727 hitting. The Cardinal hit .525 as a team.
The matchup featured the top two programs in the nation as far as national titles won. Stanford ranks first with eight, while Penn State has won seven. All seven titles were won during Rose’s 41 seasons with the team. He will enter the 2020 season with 1,299 career wins, 104 of which have come in the NCAA Tournament.