Even after another big win, Penn State is still not on cloud nine.
Following the 3-1 win over Nebraska on Wednesday night, the No. 4 Nittany Lions (11-1, 1-0 Big Ten) are not caught up in their third win against a top 10 opponent this season. The Lions got a taste of Big Ten competition and are hungry for more, much more.
The next course features poultry, and the squad is craving some Hawkeye.
The good news for the Lions is the Hawkeyes come to town this weekend with the primetime clash slated for 8 p.m. on Saturday at Rec Hall. Of the 42 times the two programs have faced off, the Lions have never lost. Even more impressive is the 126-8 set edge that the Lions hold.
With conference play just heating up, the Lions are ready for the long haul that will be the next 19 games all versus Big Ten opponents.
“I look at is as you have 11 siblings, and you want to be the first one at the table to get something to eat, because if you hesitate, there’s going to be nothing left,” coach Russ Rose said.
Rose has been first to that said table 14 times, and he wants to make it 15 this season. Along with his 14 conference titles, Rose also collected five national championships — two more than all of the rest of Big Ten combined.
His success has come in part to not taking any time off, not even to celebrate his team’s win over the No. 3 Huskers. He’s looking ahead and was even ready to teach class on Thursday.
“I’m not taking any time off. I got work to do,” Rose said after the win Wednesday. “I got an 8 o’clock in the morning class [Thursday] that I have to teach, and we got practice.”
The tidbit about teaching class brought a few chuckles from Maddie Martin, Ariel Scott and Katie Slay — the three players that accompanied him to the press conference — but the man was serious. He was already thinking ahead and how to improve his team.
“I’m going to get after some people that I didn’t think played too well [Wednesday] because that’s what I get paid to do,” Rose said. “I don’t get paid to celebrate. We got things to do, you got to get better.”
Like many matches this season, Rose was not happy with how the Lions served against the Huskers. The Lions committed 12 services errors, double that of Big Red. In all but one match this season, the Lions have had more serving errors than their opponents.
The squad will look to improve on its serving over the next few matches but are still pleased with the win they earned over the Huskers.
“It’s always good to come away with a win, but we know that it’s just a very beginning,” junior middle hitter Slay said. “There’s a long road ahead. Every team in the Big Ten’s good, so it’s a good start, but we have to keep being consistent.”