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Penn State 3-peats


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POSTED: Sunday, December 20, 2009

TAMPA, Fla. » Penn State players scurried for scissors to cut down the nets, ran for volleyballs left behind and moved quickly to secure pieces of banners around the arena.

Everyone wanted a piece of history. They were the only ones who got it.

Penn State became the first team to win three straight volleyball titles last night, overcoming a two-set deficit to beat Texas and extend its record winning streak to 102 straight games.

Megan Hodge led the Nittany Lions (38-0) with 21 kills, including the final one that touched off a wild celebration at midcourt. Bench players threw towels in the air and streams of tears rolled down some players' cheeks, all huddled together hoisting the title trophy.

“;Blacked out,”; Hodge said. “;I was asking everybody after the match what happened on the last play. I don't remember.”;

Penn State's 22-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-13 win helped it stake a claim as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, volleyball team in NCAA history. And maybe one of the best college teams ever.

The winning streak is second in Division I team sports behind the Miami men's tennis program's 137 straight victories from 1957-64.

“;Not a lot of people have done stuff like that,”; said Penn State coach Russ Rose, whose team defeated Hawaii in the semifinals on Thursday. “;I got a cigar with my name on it tonight.”;

Penn State hasn't lost since falling to Stanford in September 2007.