The 2013 NCAA women’s volleyball championship will be a showdown between Wisconsin and Penn State on Saturday, Dec. 21, in Seattle.
It’s an improbable finale, as the No. 12-seeded Badgers have managed to beat the odds in every round thus far. After taking down No. 1 Texas in the semifinals, Wisconsin has to win just one more match to cap one of the most incredible runs in tournament history.
The No. 2 Nittany Lions lived up to expectations on their side of the bracket, impressively knocking out No. 3 Washington in straight sets to advance to the title contest against a familiar Big 10 rival.
Let’s take a look at where you can watch this thrilling showdown and preview the action.
When: Saturday, Dec. 21 at 9:30 p.m. ET
Where: KeyArena at Seattle Center, Seattle
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Both of the two participants in this championship matchup have earned the right to be here.
Wisconsin avoided a few tough opponents in the early going, notably avoiding No. 5 Florida and No. 4 Missouri after both powerhouse programs were upset, but the Badgers proved to be for real by eliminating Texas, the top seed in the event.
Badgers star Ellen Chapman spoke with Jack Hamann of NCAA.com after the contest about what her team was able to do to nab that improbable win:
“We're just a bunch of ballers out there and our back court is going to keep hitting those hard hits that they keep putting at us. And just never giving up on those balls is what set us apart from them, I think.”
With its victory in the semis, Wisconsin became the lowest seed to reach the finals in tournament history.
Now, only Penn State stands in the way of Wisconsin. The Nittany Lions are heating up at the right time, as evidenced by their sweep of the Huskies in the semis. They also have two regular season victories over the Badgers, but it is always tough to beat an opponent three times in a single year.
Washington had only been swept once this season, getting clocked by Stanford—a team that Penn State eliminated in the quarterfinals on Nov. 20.
Penn State's Daja McClendon was on fire in the semis, mounting 23 attacks and 11 kills in the match. She’ll be instrumental to the Nittany Lions’ chances of knocking out their pesky underdog opponent on Saturday.
Which team will win?
Expect an exciting contest that will come right down to the wire. With both teams on the cusp of a championship, they will dig in and give everything they have in order to win it.
It’s definitely worth tuning in to check out the action and see which squad can wind up as the national champion in what promises to be a thrilling match.