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Volleyball: Plant's Martin ready to see blue -- Nittany Lion blue

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Thu. December 10, 2009 | Eduardo A. Encina

Plant All-American volleyball player Maddie Martin -- who has signed with the top college volleyball program in the nation, Penn State -- hasn't had the opportunity to see her future team play much considering the 1,200-mile distance between Tampa and State College.

But that will make the next few weekends euphoric for Martin. As Penn State (34-0) chases its third consecutive national championship, Martin hopes to watch the Nittany Lions play four times.

On Friday, the Nittany Lions face Florida (25-5) in the NCAA regional semifinal in Gainesville, then play the winner of Baylor and Cal for a final four berth. Then next week, the NCAA championships will be at the St. Pete Times Forum. The day after the championship match, Martin will play in the Under Armour All-American Match on the same court.

"I'm definitely looking forward to seeing them play Florida this week, especially with them being one of the colleges I considered," Martin said. "Being from Florida, I hope (the Nittany Lions) beat them."

Florida was Martin's first visit, but she chose Penn State.

If Penn State's success is any indication, Martin will see a lot of the Nittany Lions. Penn State has won 98 consecutive matches dating back to Sept. 2007, the longest streak in NCAA women's team sports history and second all time to Miami's men's tennis team, which won 137 straight matches in a streak that culminated 4 1/2 decades ago.

"I just talked to (Penn State coach Russ Rose)," Martin said. "I know they're excited. I hope I can see them win here."

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