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4-time defending champ Penn St falls in volleyball

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    UCLA's Lainey Gera (6) and Kelly Reeves (2) celebrate after defeating Penn State during an NCAA regional semifinal college volleyball match on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011, in Lexington, Ky. UCLA won 3-0. (AP Photo/The Lexington Herald-Leader, Mark Cornelison)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    UCLA's Tabi Love (3) puts a shot over Penn State's Micha Hancock (12) and Nia Grantduring an NCAA regional semifinal college volleyball match on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011, in Lexington, Ky. UCLA won 3-0. (AP Photo/The Lexington Herald-Leader, Mark Cornelison)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Penn States' Katie Slay (16) scores against UCLA's Zoe Nightengale (13) and Lauren Van Orden (5) during an NCAA regional semifinal college volleyball match on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011, in Lexington, Ky. UCLA won 3-0. (AP Photo/The Lexington Herald-Leader, Mark Cornelison)
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LEXINGTON, Ky. >> Junior outside hitter Rachael Kidder had 15 kills and UCLA swept four-time defending national champion Penn State in the NCAA regional semifinals Friday to end the Nittany Lions’ record 26-game postseason winning streak.

Aiyana Whitney had 12 kills for the eighth-seeded Nittany Lions in the 25-20, 25-22, 25-21 loss.

Kelly Reeves had 11 kills, while senior libero Lainey Gera led the ninth-seeded Bruins (27-6) with 15 digs. Penn State (25-8) held a 13-12 lead in the first set and a 1-0 lead in the third set before UCLA rallied in each.

This was Penn State’s ninth consecutive trip to the NCAA regional semifinals. The Nittany Lions have participated in every NCAA postseason event since 1981, but are 1-5 in tournament play against UCLA.

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