This one was different.
In 101 straight matches, the Penn State women's volleyball team was the better squad on the court. The Nittany Lions weren't on Saturday.
In 101 straight matches they had the best player on the court. They didn't on Saturday.
In 101 straight matches they were in control from start to finish. They weren't on Saturday.
But trailing two sets to none and going up against one of the greatest single-match performances of all-time by Texas' Destinee Hooker, the Nittany Lions wanted one thing by the end of the night: to be national champions.
On Saturday they were, one more time.
In one of the greatest comebacks in the history of collegiate athletics, the Penn State women's volleyball team rallied from two sets to none down to earn its 102nd straight win and a third consecutive national title - the first team to do so in the history of NCAA women's volleyball.
Mark it up as 101 straight wins on talent. One-straight win on desire, emotion and maybe even a bit of fortune. Head coach Russ Rose wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
"When it gets to a fifth game anything can happen," Rose said in his post-match press conference. "This is one of those examples where you don't win the statistics war, but we found a way to win at critical times."
For 37 matches this season the Lions had won the statistics war and had proven to be simply the better team, in the early stages of the first set.
But heading into Saturday's title bout, they knew No. 38 wouldn't come so easily.
Which is why the match wasn't about AVCA player of the year Megan Hodge procuring a powerful kill to clinch the win, or three-time All-American Alisha Glass providing the near-perfect set to Hodge to even the match at two sets apiece. Destinee Hooker and Ashley Engle could have done that for Texas.
It was about freshman Darcy Dorton scoring and then screaming at the top of her lungs in the second set despite trailing by seven. The point meant nothing. The pure passion and the message sent - everything.
It was about junior libero Alyssa D'Errico diving to the floor three times in one forgotten point in the fourth set. The Lions would lose it when her third diving attempt at a pancake fell short.
But in the point D'Errico let the Horns know Penn State wasn't going to lose the match. Texas would have to win it.
It was about Blair Brown, who struggled to stop Hooker early in the match and had trouble serving, being able to compose herself after each error and respond --13 times. The junior middle blocker finished with 13 kills - on an off night.
Had it been best-of-seven sets, it would have gone seven. Best of nine? Well, you get the picture.
Maybe the Lions weren't the better team on Saturday. There was no better team.
Just a deserving champion and a valiant, yet unfulfilled runner-up.
Because of effort like D'Errico's, emotion like Dorton's and, yes, also the talent of a team with four first-team All-Americans - on Saturday night Penn State was that deserving champion.