Sunday, December 21, 2008

Penn State last night won the NCAA women's volleyball championship, defeating Stanford three games to none. The Nittany Lions' title run was built upon multiple layers of streaks:

*Penn State won all of its matches this season, compiling a 38-0 record.

*This is the second straight year the Nittany Lions have won the NCAA championship; they won their final 26 matches of 2007, bringing their aggregate winning streak to 64 matches.

*Heading into last Thursday's semifinal match against Nebraska, Penn State had won all of its 2008 matches (36 matches at that point) via 3-0 sweeps. In other words, the Nittany Lions had not lost a game (also known as a "set") all season, taking all 108 they had played. Penn State then won the first two games against Nebraska, only to drop the next two, setting up a dramatic fifth-game victory for the Lions.

Though Penn State didn't quite achieve a season free of any lost games -- which would have been unprecedented in NCAA women's play -- it did set a record by winning 111 straight games (in addition to the 110 straight in the 2008 season, the Nittany Lions won the fifth and final game of the 2007 championship match, after losing Game 4).

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