In Brief: Penn State stops Stanford for title

SACRAMENTO -- Penn State played near-perfect volleyball in its amazing NCAA run, winning its second national title while dropping only two games in six tournament matches.

The scrappy Nittany Lions even found a way to stun top-seeded Stanford on Saturday night, getting 26 kills from Megan Hodge and 19 from Nicole Fawcett against the very same school they beat for their first title in 1999.

Fawcett served on match point and Penn State capped its 26th consecutive victory on another powerful kill by MVP Hodge, winning 30-25, 30-26, 23-30, 19-30, 15-8 exactly three months to the day after losing a five-game thriller to the Cardinal -- the last defeat for the Nittany Lions.

Trailing 4-3 in the decisive game, Penn State (34-2) scored six consecutive points and got two kills each from Christa Harmotto and Alisha Glass for a 10-4 lead and Stanford called timeout.

National and Pac-10 player of the year Faluke Akinradewo and Pac-10 freshman of the year Alix Klineman each had 18 kills for the Cardinal (32-3).


Olympic slalom champion Anja Paerson won her first downhill in almost two years and American Lindsey Vonn finished second Saturday in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

The Swede completed the Corviglia course in 1 minute, 39.32 seconds in sunny conditions for her first victory this season. Vonn, who leads the downhill point standings, was 0.08 behind despite nearly falling in the middle section when her skis hooked up. ...

Scott Macartney of the U.S. finished third in the Saslong men's downhill in Val Gardena, Italy, for his first top-three finish in nearly two years. Austria's Michael Walchhofer won, covering the 2.14-mile course in 1 minute, 56.70 seconds. Switzerland's Didier Cuche was second, 0.18 behind, and Macartney was 0.56 back.

Figure Skating

South Korea's Kim Yu-na successfully defended her Grand Prix final women's figure skating title Saturday in Turin, Italy, keeping her nerves after a fall. Two-time world champion Stephane Lambiel edged Japan's Daisuke Takahashi for the men's title.

Among the women, only silver medalist Mao Asada of Japan and bronze winner Carolina Kostner of Italy skated without falls. American Caroline Zhang, second entering the final free skate, fell on a triple lutz and finished fourth in her first major international competition. U.S. champ Kimmie Meissner fell three times and ended up last in sixth place.

Motor Sports

NASCAR has approved Penske Racing's request to transfer the owner points from Kurt Busch to Sam Hornish Jr., a move that locks the three-time IndyCar Series champ into the first five races of next season.


Sanja Jovanovic of Croatia set a world record of 26.50 seconds in the women's 50-meter backstroke at the European Short Course Swimming Championships in Debrecen, Hungary. Germany set a world record of 1:45.67 in the women's 4x50 medley relay.

College Football

Michael Terry scored on a 1-yard run with 22 seconds left and Valdosta State beat Northwest Missouri State 25-20 Saturday in Florence, Ala., for the Division II championship. ... Justin Beaver led Wisconsin-Whitewater over Mount Union 31-21 in the NCAA Division III championship game in Salem, Va. Beaver ran for 249 yards, including a backbreaking 66-yard run in the final minutes. Mount Union had won 37 consecutive games. ...

Gabe Le carried 34 times for 116 yards and touchdowns of 20 and 1 yards to help Carroll College beat defending champion Sioux Falls 17-9 in Savannah, Tenn, for the Montana school's fifth NAIA title in the last six years.