Volleyball draws Penn State to open NCAA Tournament

By Towson University Athletics on November 22, 2021

Tigers travel to Pittsburgh for their third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance

Towson Volleyball celebrates its third CAA Championship
The Towson University volleyball team celebrates its third-straight CAA Championship after defeating Elon at SECU Arena on Saturday, November 20. (Alex Wright/Towson University)

After waiting over a week, the Towson University women's volleyball team have learned its NCAA Tournament fate — a bus ride north to Pittsburgh for a rematch with a Big Ten powerhouse. 

The Tigers will take on Penn State in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Friday, Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. The Tigers and Nittany Lions last met in 2019 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where Penn State topped TU by a score of 3-1.

The game will take place at the University of Pittsburgh, the No. 3 seed of the tournament, and the host institution. The winner of TU-Penn State will face the winner of No. 3 Pitt and UMBC on Saturday. 

Tickets for the first and second rounds are on sale now, and ticket prices for the three matches, hosted at the Petersen Events Center, are set at $20 for the entire weekend. All tickets will be digital and can be purchased here

Towson University has won three-straight Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Tournament Championships and will play in its second NCAA Tournament this calendar year. TU earned the automatic qualifying bid after making a major comeback against Elon in the CAA championship game. 

Facing a 2-0 deficit, the Towson University women's volleyball team hit another reverse sweep to win its third-straight Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championship, topping Elon in epic fashion.

The Tigers (26-4) ran it all the way back (19-25, 17-25, 25-19, 25-23, 15-12) for a second time this season, becoming the first team in the CAA to win three titles in a row since George Mason did so from 1992-96, a run of five. Top-seeded Towson is the first overall number one seed to win the league title with no major award winners as voted by the coaches.

Irbe Lazda was tapped as the CAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player, while teammates Lydia Wiers and Nina Cajic were also voted to the All-Tournament Team. Elon's Jenn Krzeminski and Haylie Clark were named All-Tournament as well, while Delaware's Grace Underwood and Hofstra's Chiara Cucco were selected.

Towson was led by a career-best 17 kills from Lazda, who added six blocks to her line as well. Nina Cajic put down 13 kills at a .333 rate while Lydia Wiers nearly hit a double-double with 11 kills and nine blocks. Rachel Hess grabbed another 23 digs while Emily Jarome grabbed a dozen and Megan Wilson logged 10. 

Elon (17-11), which made its first-ever CAA Championship match appearance, was led by 15 kills from Krzeminski while Kellyn Trowse landed 13 kills. Natalie Cummins put down 10 kills as well. Clark put up a double-double with 46 assists and 13 digs while Jordan Gower had 16 digs.

Towson is the first team to threepeat since George Mason in the mid-1990s. The Tigers are the first-ever CAA volleyball team to win two Championship tournaments in the same calendar year after winning the 2020 title in April 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic-shortened season.