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Volleyball Broncos fall to No. 1 Penn State

Dec. 12, 2008

UNIVERSITY PARK. Pa.--Western Michigan University's 2008 volleyball team, which went deeper into the NCAA Tournament than any Bronco team since 1983, fell in straight sets tonight to defending national champion and No. 1-ranked Penn State in a regional semifinal match in front of 3,007 fans at Penn State's Rec Hall.

Penn State improved to 35-0 for the season and has not lost a set since the championship match of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. WMU advanced to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1987 and won two matches in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1983 with earlier wins over Dayton University and No. 16-ranked Tulane University. The Broncos finished their season with a record of 28-7 and won the 10th Mid-American Conference championship in program history.

Penn State opened the match with a 6-1 run and took the first two sets by scores of 25-17 and 25-12. The Broncos refused to go quietly into the night and took their first leads of the match in the third set, leading 3-1, 4-2, 5-3 and 6-5, before Penn State got its first lead of the set, 7-6. WMU continued to keep it close and tied the score at 14 on a 7-3 run. After the Broncos pulled to within two points, 18-20, Penn State took control and closed out the third set with a 25-19 win.

Junior Michelle Moore put down a team-high eight kills--seven in the third set--to break Western's career kills record with 1,456. Moore passed Kim Lee's (1989-92) mark of 1,451 career kills.

Junior Katie Eberling added six kills, three digs and two aces, while sophomore Allyson Doyle hit .308 with five kills, three digs, two assists and one ace. Sophomore Jaime Gotham hit .273 with four kills and three blocks, while junior Jillian Mitchell had 24 assists, three digs and two kills. Sophomore Kate Corbett added three kills, and junior Caitlin Strimel led the Broncos with five digs.

Penn State, the nation's leader in attack percentage, hit .511 with 55 kills, while the Broncos were held to .167 hitting with 28 kills. Defensively, Penn State led in total team blocks, 8-3, and digs, 42-19. The Broncos got four points on service aces to just two for Penn State. Both teams committed five service errors.

The Broncos return their entire 2008 squad next season, except for senior Ashley Vogl, who suffered a career-ending injury in September.

Visit wmubroncos.com for more information.

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Media contact: Matt Holmes, (269) 387-3168, matt.holmes@wmich.edu

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