For the second straight week, the Penn State Lady Lions (22-8, 11-5 Big Ten) were left out of the AP Top 25 Poll. They actually received only 25 votes this week – 38 less than last week – after losing at home to Purdue on Feb. 24 and then finishing the regular season with a home win against Northwestern on Feb. 27.
Last week, the Lady Lions were the first team left out of the poll – essentially No. 26 – but this week were the sixth team left out.
Though Penn State finished the regular season in second place in the Big Ten, third-place Iowa (22-7, 10-6) jumped the Lady Lions in this week’s poll and is No. 24. Fourth-place Ohio State (19-9, 10-6), which split with Penn State this season, also passed the Lady Lions as the Buckeyes received 43 votes and are essentially No. 28.
Aside from the Hawkeyes, the only Big Ten team ranked is No. 11 Michigan State (25-4, 13-3).
The nation’s top-six teams – Connecticut, Stanford, Baylor, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Xavier – all stayed the same this week.
The second-seeded Lady Lions have a first-round bye in the Big Ten Tournament and will play the winner of seventh-seeded Purdue and 10th-seeded Indiana at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.Comments
Sophomore Sharaya Musser won her second consecutive Big Ten Gymnast of the Week award this week and third overall award this season with her winning all-around score of 39.500 at home against Ohio State on Saturday.
The Penn State women's gymnastics team fell to No. 11 in this week's rankings, as a result of Utah's entry into the top 10 this week.
Utah fell out of the national rankings last week as the rankings switched over from the teams being ranked by season average to the Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) method.
The RQS is determined by taking each team's top three away scores, then the team's remaining three highest scores, dropping the highest score of that group and averaging the scores.
That process leaves Penn State with an RQS score of 195.575.
In the individual rankings, Musser moved up to No. 2 in the all-around rankings with an RQS of 39.455.
Musser stayed at No. 1 nationally on balance beam with a score of 9.890 but fell to No. 5 on vault despite keeping the same RQS score of 9.895.
Junior Natalie Ettl fell to No. 2 on uneven bars with the RQS debut of Florida's Mackenzie Caquatto, who tabled enough scores on bars to enter the rankings at No. 1.Comments
Continuing every Monday for the rest of the season, the Collegian will be introducing a “Pondering with Pav” segment on the Above the Net blog. Each week the Collegian will ask head coach Mark Pavlik to dispense some of his non-volleyball knowledge or give some insight into the life that is “Pav.”
With the conversation taking place less than three hours from the NHL trade deadline, Pav offered some opinion into the rest of the 2011 Pittsburgh Penguins’ season. Pav’s comments below came as he was checking Twitter (@MarkPavlik) for any Pens trade updates he could find.
“I’m pondering the trade deadline. SportsNet reporting that Rotislav Klesla has been traded to Phoenix for Scottie Upshall and Sami Lepisto. Klesla had been a member of the Blue Jackets since Day One.
“[Penguins general manager Ray Shero] just pulled off a trade with Vince McMahon for the Undertaker and Kane. He must be preparing for the next Isles game.”
Regarding whether or not Sidney Crosby will return to the Penguins this season and how the Pens are going to play as the playoffs creep closer:
“I don’t even want to ponder Sidney not coming back. I think the real key this year is going to be, OK, [Evgeni Malkin] is out, there’s no return in sight for Crosby now, I like the way [Penguins head coach Dan] Bylsma gets his guys to play. I think [goaltender Marc-Andre] Fleury’s been pretty good. They couldn’t put a puck in the net until the other night against Toronto.
“I think they’re going to hang on, and hang on and if they can buy into their system, the new guys [James] Neal and [Matt] Niskanen and [Alexei Kovalev], if they can buy into that system and they get opportunities, they can be a New Jersey Devils-type team. With a hot goalie and discipline to a defensive system. [Brooks] Orpik will be back for the playoffs, that’s good.
“I’d like to see them stay fourth [place in the Eastern Conference] and have the opening round matchup against the Capitals. But there’s a lot of hockey to be played yet.
“The good thing is they had that 12-game win streak that kind of gave them a buffer that they’re banking on right now. If they can keep pulling out one point here, one point there, two points on a shootout win, I’ll take it.”Comments
Four members of the Lady Lions received recognition from the Big Ten conference Monday afternoon.
Guard Maggie Lucas was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, the Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year, and was a Third Team All-Big Ten selection. Lucas also made the Big Ten Freshman Team.
Lucas led Penn State and all Big Ten freshmen with a 16.3 points per game scoring average while hitting 102 3-point shots, which is tied with former Lady Lion Kelly Mazzante for the second highest single-season total in conference history.
The guard is also the second Lady Lion, and first since Mazzante in 2001, to earn Freshman of the Year honors and the first Penn State player ever named Sixth Player.
Sophomore point guard Alex Bentley was named a First Team All-Big Ten selection one season after making the third team. Bentley had five 20-point games and her 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks third in the Big Ten.
Senior forward Julia Trogele was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten and was named as Penn State’s recipient of the Sportsmanship Award, given out to one player from each team in the conference.
Center Nikki Greene was one of five Big Ten players named to the All-Defensive team after leading Penn State with 66 blocks and a 7.7 rebounds per game average.
“I’m really happy for all of our players,” head coach Coquese Washington said in a statement. “They each have a tremendous impact on our program and it's always nice to be recognized for a job well done.”Comments
Leading all Big Ten teams, No. 4 Penn State will have five No. 1 seeds at the Big Ten championships this weekend in Evanston, Ill.
Along with those No. 1 seeds, three other Nittany Lions earned top-eight seeds in the conference tournament pre-seeds, voted on by the coaches.
The No. 1 seeds include 133-pounder Andrew Long, 149-pounder Frank Molinaro, 157-pounder David Taylor, 184-pounder Ed Ruth and heavyweight Cameron Wade.
At 125 pounds, redshirt senior Brad Pataky earned the No. 4 seed, true freshman Andrew Alton will the No. 5-seeded 141-pounder and redshirt sophomore Quentin Wright is seeded eighth at 184 pounds.
Here's a look at the complete list of the seedings:
1. Matt McDonough, IOWA
2. Brandon Precin, NU
3. Zach Sanders, MINN
4. Brad Pataky, PSU
5. Sean Boyle, MICH
6. Justin Brooks, IND
7. Camden Eppert, PUR
8. Tom Kelliher, WIS
1. Andrew Long, PSU
2. Tyler Graff, WIS
3. Tony Ramos, IOWA
4. B.J. Futrell, ILL
5. Levi Mele, NU
6. David Thorn, MINN
7. Zac Stevens, MICH
8. Ian Paddock, OSU
1. Kellen Russell, MICH
2. Montell Marion, IOWA
3. Mike Thorn, MINN
4. Jimmy Kennedy, ILL
5. Andrew Alton, PSU
6. Kaleb Friedly, NU
7. Jake Fleckenstein, PUR
8. Shane McQuade, WIS
1. Frank Molinaro, PSU
2. Andrew Nadhir, NU
3. Kurt Kinser, IND
4. Eric Terrazas, ILL
5. Cole Schmitt, WIS
6. Eric Grajales, MICH
7. Dan Osterman, MSU
8. Danny Zilverberg, MINN
1. David Taylor, PSU
2. Derek St. John, IOWA
3. Jason Welch, NU
4. Colton Salazar, PUR
5. Paul Young, IND
6. Brandon Zeerip, MICH
7. Sean McMurray, MSU
8. Matt Mincey, MINN
1. Andrew Howe, WIS
2. Colt Sponseller, OSU
3. Cody Yohn, MINN
4. Aaron Janssen, IOWA
5. Conrad Polz, ILL
6. Dan Yates, MICH
7. Ryan LeBlanc, IND
8. Kevin Bialka, NU
1. Ed Ruth, PSU
2. Nick Heflin, OSU
3. Scott Glasser, MINN
4. Luke Manuel, PUR
5. Ethen Lofthouse, IOWA
6. Ben Jordan, WIS
7. Justin Zeerip, MICH
8. Curran Jacobs, MSU
1. Travis Rutt, WIS
2. Kevin Steinhaus, MINN
3. Grant Gambrall, IOWA
4. Ian Hinton, MSU
5. Tony Dallago, ILL
6. A.J. Kissel, PUR
7. Cody Magrum, OSU
8. Quentin Wright, PSU
1. Trevor Brandvold, WIS
2. Luke Lofthouse, IOWA
3. Logan Brown, PUR
4. Matt Powless, IND
5. Sonny Yohn, MINN
6. Anthony Biondo, MICH
7. Joe Barczak, ILL
8. Peter Capone, OSU
1. Cameron Wade, PSU
2. Ricky Alcala, IND
3. Blake Rasing, IOWA
4. Tony Nelson, MINN
5. Ben Apland, MICH
6. Eric Bugenhagen, WIS
7. Joe Rizqallah, MSU
8. Ben Kuhar, NUComments
Senior captain Matt Albrecht competed for the last time at Rec Hall on Feb. 26 against Ohio State.
Albrecht is the lone senior on a young Penn State squad, and his leadership has been a valuable asset for the team all season long.
His customized cheers and consistent routines have been a mainstay on the team for the past four years, and he has become a favorite of the fans at Rec Hall. His presence will be missed next season on and off the mats.Comments
For the crowd at Rec Hall on Saturday afternoon at the Penn State women's gymnastics team's home double-dual against Ohio State, the atmosphere was quite different than it was just outside in a town engulfed in green for State Patty's Day.
The Lions competed wearing pink as part of “Flip for the Cure,” a promotion to raise awareness of breast cancer, and head coach Jeff Thompson said he felt the fight shown by his team in their second home win of the season was a way for the Lions to pay tribute to the more serious fight against breast cancer.
“We talked about it being the breast cancer meet, and how women with breast cancer or dealing with any cancer, how much they have to fight every day, how much their families fight, Thompson said. “Some win the fight and some don’t win the fight, but we were going to carry that fight for them today in the meet."
The gymnasts didn't let the chaos downtown affect their performance on meet day.
“Honestly, nothing changed, I think everyone was focused in on what we needed to do," senior Danielle Hover said. “Flipping for the cure is more important than State Patty’s Day.”
Thompson didn't know how many people would show up, with the festivitiesdowntown and the meet being televised live on the Big Ten Network.
“With all the craziness that’s going on downtown and how hard it is to park and what’s traffic is like, we really didn’t know what to expect from the crowd," Thompson said.
The meet was well attended however, with 2,111people in attendance, including many students, some wearing pink to support the breast cancer awareness initiative and some wearing green to support certain
other initiatives. The team gave out pink shirts and two flatscreen TVs to add to the excitement.
“That was a great crowd, not only size-wise a great crowd, but knowledge of the sport. They cheered at the right time, they ooh-ed at the right time,"Thompson said. "All the things that make it fun to go out and perform in front of a great crowd, this crowd was that."Comments
Jaeschke cut the Penn State lead to 59-51 with a free throw. Penn State had an opportunity to find Lucas, who was open for a 3 while a NW player was limping. The Lions didn't get Lucas the ball and there's now an official's timeout. A Gray 3-pointer pushes the lead back to 10 with 1:33 left.
Lucas hits a 3-pointer to tie Kelly Mazzante for Penn State single-season record. It was her 102nd of the season. Penn State leads, 54-46. A pair of Lucas free throws gives the Lions a 10-point lead. Wolfe is laying on the floor and not moving. The trainers are out to check on her. Wolfe is now sitting up and walking off on her own power. Gray hits a 3, and the Lions are up by 13.
Lucas gets a rare open look for 3. She hit it, and the Lions are up by nine. The Lions just got about four offensive rebounds, but they couldn't get a shot to fall amongst Northwestern's tall forwards. Greene is called for a charge after receiving the ball on a pick and roll. Bentley enters for Lucas. Northwestern is within five after two straight baskets. Greene missed a pair of free throws that could have extended the Penn State lead. Lucas hits a baseline jumper after Bentley pushed the ball up the floor.
Womack hits a shot while being fouled. Her free throw is no good, but the Lions lead 39-38. Bentley picks up a long offensive rebound and pulls up at the free throw line to hit a jumper. Bentley hits another from nearly the same spot to put the Lions up by five. Gray hits a 3-pointer and suddenly the Lions are up by eight. A Jaeschke bank shot ends the Lions' 14-0 run. Timeout Northwestern. Penn State leads 46-40, with 11:47 left.
Greene puts the Lions up with a quick basket to open the second half. NW's Brittany Orban puts the Wildcats back on top. After Bentley is called for an offensive foul, Washington calls a timeout. Penn State trails, 35-32. NW hit a 3, but Penn State ccame right back with a quick lay up by Womack. Lucas hits her first 3, the Lady Lions' first, to pull the Lions within one point. Northwestern leads, 38-37, with 15:49 left.
Diamant puts the Wildcats up by two with a bank shot from the block. Trogele had a nice pass to Wolfe after faking a shot. Wolfe laid it in for a two. Lucas put the LIons back up with an open lay up after a scramble for the ball. Two Jaeschke free throws tie the game at 28. Lucas gets to the line and hits both shots. Jaeschke gets a basket while drawing the foul on Wolfe. She has an opportunity to put the Wildcats up with the free throw, and she hits it. There are 5.3 seconds left. Lucas' 35-footer is short and Penn State heads into half trailing by one. Penn State 30, Northwestern 31.
Nickson hits one of two free throws. Northwestern responds with a 3-pointer to tie the game. Trogele puts back a Lucas miss to put the Lions back up. Penn State is tied at 24 with Northwestern. There's 3:55 left in the half.
With the shot clock near zero, Bentley gets a friendly roll on a long 2-pointer to put the Lions up by three. A 3-pointer by NW ties the game at 19. Nickson makes a quick move to the baseline and draws a shooting foul. She makes both free throws. Nickson is heading to the line again after grabbing an offensive rebound and getting hit on the putback attempt. She'll shoot after the media timeout. Penn State leads, 21-19, with 7:48 left in the first half.
Bentley and East are in for Gray and Greene. Nickson hits two free throws out of the timeout. Lucas comes up with a steal on the inbounds pass, and Nickson hits a short jumper to put the Lions up by one. Lucas then converts an uncontested fastbreak layup after a wild pass by NW. Lucas hits East on the block with a nice pass and the freshman forward lays it in. Jaeschke hits two free throws to pull NW within three points. Nickson follows her own miss and adds to her point total with a layup. Jaeschke continues to have success in the paint, as she hit another shot over East. Penn State leads, 17-14, with 11:19 remaining.
Both teams have two shots on their first possessions, but neither can get anything to fall. After the 6-foot-7 Jaeschke hits a jumper, Trogele drives and ties the game at 2 with a layup. Northwestern responds with a 3-pointer, but Trogele answers again with a pull-up jumper. Gray is fouled on a long 2-point attempt, so she'll head to the line to shoot two. First shot is short and hits off the front rim. Second is good and the game is tied at 5 after three minutes of play. Lucas puts the Lions ahead with a bucket. Jaeschke ties it back up with a one-handed turn around hook over Greene. Northwestern goes up by three after a 3-pointer from Marshall. Northwestern leads, 10-7 with 15:22 left in the first half.
An early surprise here at the Bryce Jordan Center. Maggie Lucas is getting her first start of the season. She's replacing Alex Bentley.Comments
The Penn State women's gymnastics team put on a good showing in its weekly pre-meet intrasquad meet Thursday afternoon in practice, scoring just over the team's usual goal of 196 points with a score of 196.05.
"This was typical of what we thought we were going to do," Rachelle Thompson said. "We're prepared, we come into the gym and hit our routines every day."
Thompson said it wasn't a surprise to see how the gymnasts would do in the intrasquad, as the work put in by the team in practice has had a lot to do with the outcome.
"We always say our performance is a byproduct of our preparation and our expectations, and the girls have high expectations," Thompson said.
One interesting moment came after the team had finished on balance beam. Sophomore Madison Merriam fell during her intrasquad routine, so Thompson had her do another routine, this time with the entire team yelling and cheering her on loudly from right next to the beam.
"We added some more pressure to it by circling the beam and getting right up in there so she feels like you do at a meet," Thompson said. "Making her focus in and use her disciplined thoughts to really control what she wants to do."
It was surely an intimidating distraction, and volunteer assistant coach Jillian Monahan, a former gymnast at Bowling Green State University, commented on how nerve-wracking it was.
Despite the conditions, Merriam excelled under the pressure and hit a good routine.
Merriam and the rest of the team will look to use that same coolness under pressure in Saturday afternoon's home double-dual meet against Ohio State.Comments
Nittany Lions (2-1) will travel to Kentucky for a three-game series with Eastern Kentucky (0-3). The Colonels will host Penn State for a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, and will play again at 12 p.m. on Sunday. Let's take a look at what Eastern Kentucky will bring to the table this weekend.
What they've done so far: The Colonels are winless in three games this year, losing each game of a three-game series on the road at Pepperdine. After losing big by a score of 9-2 on in the first, Eastern Kentucky dropped a 9-8 slugfest on in the second and a tight 3-1 loss in the third and final game.
At the plate: As a team, Eastern Kentucky is hitting .270 on the season, .030 higher than Penn State. The guy to keep an eye on in the Colonels' line up is shortstop Richie Rodriguez (pictured at right). The junior is hitting an absurd .692 through three games with two doubles and a triple. The Miami, Fla. native leads the team in total bases and on-base percentage and is 2-for-2 stealing bases as well. Junior Jacob Daniel has a team-high six RBI in just nine at-bats and has the Colonels' only homerun. However, the designated hitter's five strikeouts tied for the team-lead. Making a name for himself early is freshman Bryan Soloman. The 2010 Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year is second on the team with a .357 average and seven total bases.
On the mound: The Colonel's pitching staff has struggled so far this season, with a team ERA of 6.41. However, in his only outing, 6-foot-6 right-hander Stephen Hefler was dominant. In six innings against Pepperdine, the senior gave up just one hit, one run and one walk while striking out five. Macon Smith, another big, powerful righty, has provided production out of the bullpen. The 6-foot-5 senior has held hitters to a .182 average and has surrendered just one walk in 3.1 innings of work.
Keys to the series:
- Pitching - Penn State has the clear advantage in the pitching match-up. With a team ERA of 2.77 and holding opposing hitters to a .224 average, the Lions should have no problem keeping the Colonels contained. Coach Robbie Wine will look to juniors Ryan Ignas and Heath Johnson for strong starts, and will rely on any one of the freshmen relievers he's been speaking very highly of this season, including TJ Jann and Scott Dixon.
- Strikeouts - If there was one issue Wine had with the Lions performance at the BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge last week, it was strikeouts. The Lions struck out 31 times compared to just 19 times by opponents. Fortunately for Penn State, Eastern Kentucky has has struggles of their own putting the ball in play, striking out 30 times in three games. Which ever team can manage to put the ball in play more often will give itself a huge advantage.
Penn State doesn't even get a decent shot off. Bentley's desperation jumper falls 5 feet short. Purdue wins 51-49.
Both teams are stuck, offensively. Neither side has scored in nearly three minutes. There are 62 seconds left. A jump ball after a scramble gives Purdue the ball with 39.9 second left. The Lions wait 20 seconds before Trogele fouls Rayburn. That's the senior's fifth foul. Rayburn makes the first but misses the second. However, Purdue got the rebound. The Boilermakers missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and Penn State has the ball with 10.6 seconds left. Timeout, with the Lions down by two.
Greene misses a left-hander, but Purdue is called for traveling on the other end. Lucas misses a jumper and Trogele is called for a foul, her fourth. That puts Purdue in the bonus, but Mingo misses the front end. After another miss, the Lions force a jump ball on defense, with the possession arrow in their favor. They'll have the ball following a timeout, still with a chance to take their first lead of the game. 1:48 left in the game.
Greene hits a basket to pull the Lions within five. Two free throws by Trogele has the Lions within three. Lucas dribbles around two defenders, takes some contact, and hits a jumper. She then draws an offensive foul and the Lions will have the ball with a chance to take the lead after a timeout. Penn State is down, 50-49, with 3:29 remaining.
The teams exchange baskets out of the timeout before Purdue's Howard gets a putback layup while drawing a foul. She missed the free throw. Trogele finds Greene with a nice pass and the center lays it in. PSU trails 48-40. Bentley looks hurt, she's limping while trying to play defense. She looked OK while driving to the net, but she's back to limping on defense. The score is 48-40 with 7:10 left.
Lucas tries a deep 3 out of the timeout and can only draw iron. Nickson picks up her third foul, but she remains in the game. Bentley takes it coast-to-coast for a layup. A Purdue turnover right after has Bentley showing a lot of emotion. East looked liked she couldn't decide whether to use the glass and missed a layup. It doesn't matter, as Lucas drives off a screen and hits a layup while drawing a foul. She hit the free throw and Penn State is within one point at 37-36. Purdue answers with a 3. Purdue scores four more to push its lead back to eight.
Purdue players were unaware of the shot clock and failed to get a shot off out of the timeout. The players will have another break as we've hit the first media timeout of the second half. Penn State trails Purdue, 15:58.
Lucas and Womack enter the game just 1:18 into the half. Bentley didn't look too happy to be taken out. Trogele is called for a foul on Rayburn. The BJC crowd was calling for a travel prior to the foul. Greene hits a left-handed hook shot and Trogele finds Nickson, who completes a 3-point play. Womack then comes up with another steal in the front court and converts the layup to pull the Lions within nine at 37-28. Lucas excites the crowd with her first 3 of the game. Penn State is down by just six now, 37-31.
It's halftime here at the BJC with Purdue leading Penn State 33-21. The Boilermakers shot 50 a blistering percent from the field while the Lady Lions struggled, shooting just 26.5 percent, including 0-for-6 from 3-point range.
Nickson leads Penn State with nine points and seven rebounds, while Brittany Rayburn and Courtney Moses have nine and eight points for Purdue, respectively.
Lucas and Bentley are struggling for Penn State. The two guards and the Lady Lions' leading scorers combined for just four points in the first half on 2-of-14 shooting.
Lucas hits a jumper out for her first bucket of the game. After a Purdue miss, Trogele nails a jumper to bring her team's deficit to 12. Versyp takes another timeout.
Purdue gets five straight points out of the timeout, but Penn State counters with four consecutive points of its own. Purdue's Sharon Versyp takes a 30-second timeout.
Poston puts in a layup to give the Boilermakers a 14-point lead.
Lucas has a nice look down low to a cutting Trogele, who hits a layup.
Rayburn drives the lane and throws up a layup that goes in as a blocking foul is called on Trogele. Rayburn completes the 3-point play.
Penn State's shooting woes continue as Lucas misses an open 12-footer in the paint. The ball goes out on Purdue, though, and the Lady Lions get the ball back before losing it again on a moving screen by Nickson.
On the last possession before the 4-minute media timeout, a Trogele triple is negated by a moving screen on Bentley.
With 3:39 left in the first half, Purdue leads Penn State 28-13. The Lady Lions are shooting a mere 20.7 percent from the field.
Nickson uncharacteristically misses both free throws, but Julia Trogele gets the rebound and is fouled. Trogele misses a tough layup on the next possession. Howard makes another layup on the other end.
Nickson bounces back with a layup of her own. Nickson leads all players early on. The redshirt sophomore has nine points and six rebounds.
Moses drills another triple to make it 23-11.
There's another timeout on the floor with the Boilermakers leading 23-11. They are shooting almost 53 percent, while the Lady Lions are shooting a lowly 22.7 percent.
Right out of the timeout, Penn State works the ball inside to Nickson who gets fouled on another shot attempt.
Media timeout with 11:38 left in the first half. It's still Purdue 18 - Penn State 9.
Penn State's freshman center Talia East is in the game for Greene. This is probably East's earliest entrance into a game this season. Lucas misses her first 3-point attempt, but Nickson gathers the rebound. Bentley follows by missing a triple of her own.
Drey Mingo hits a wide open three for Purdue to extend its lead to seven.
Gray checks in for Bentley and Greene comes in for East. Purdue subs in guard Dee Dee Williams, who was a high school teammate of Alex Bentley at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis.
Edwards subs in for Greene, as well.
Rayburn hits a 3-pointer, but then Nickson completes a 3-point and-one play on the other end of the court. Antoinette Howard drives the lane and hits a layup.
Coquese Washington takes a timeout with Purdue leading 18-9.
Purdue's talented freshman guard Courtney Moses is off to a fast start, scoring the first five points of the game. Penn State forward Mia Nickson came back with a nice post-up bank shot to put the Lady Lions on the board before Rayburn made it 8-2 with a 3-pointer for Purdue. Bentley hit a jump shot just inside the arc to make it a 4-point game. Nickson netted another field goal inside before Poston came down the court and hit a mid-range jumper.
With 16:11 left in the first half, Lucas checks in for Gray. 14 seconds later and we're at the first media timeout. Purdue leads Penn State 10-6.
Jake Kaplan here to bring you up-to-date updates from tonight's game between Penn State and Purdue. We're minutes until tip off here at the Bryce Jordan Center in the penultimate regular season game for the Lady Lions.
Here are tonight's starting lineups:
G: Zhaque Gray
G: Alex Bentley
F: Julia Trogele
F: Mia Nickson
C: Nikki Greene
G: Courtney Moses
G: Brittany Rayburn
G: Chantel Poston
F: Drey Mingo
F: Alex GuytonComments
Wednesday afternoon was "stick-the-vault day" in practice for the Penn State women's gymnastics team, and it resulted in some friendly competition and an interesting first for head coach Jeff Thompson.
Thompson told the gymnasts the objective was to stick their vaults with no steps or hops, and it was business as usual in the gym until freshman Lindsay Musgrove did something interesting.
“In the last 26 years, I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone stick three [vaults] in a row when we were trying to stick," Thompson said. "And Musgrove did it.”
That was impressive enough, but then sophomore Sharaya Musser decided to get in on the action when her turn came on vault.
“So then about an hour later, Sharaya comes over and is like, ‘how many?’ " Thompson said
Musser stuck her first vault, took a step on her second and then nailed her next three in a row.
On the fourth, the stick that would have beaten Musgrove for consecutive sticks, Thompson said Musser made the same mistake she has made in meets, implying she was feeling pressure, replicating a meet environment.
That was a good thing, Thompson said, because if gymnasts feel pressure in practice, a meet is just like a usual practice.
“Any time you can have little friendly, in-the-gym rivalries like that, it makes everyone better,” Thompson said.
And seeing two gymnasts stick three in a row wasn't something to forget either.
“26 years, I’ve never had someone stick three in a row, and had two kids do it today,” Thompson said.Comments
Members of the Penn State men's lacrosse team know Austin Kaut has a big mouth.
The freshman goalie is willing to shout orders to help teammates out while on the field, an attribute necessary for goalkeepers.
But there's one thing about the freshman that stands out more than his shouting — Kaut features long, curly hair that overflows out of his helmet.
The long locks are a dedication to a family member.
"It kind of goes back to my grandma, who passed away when I was going into the ninth grade," Kaut said. "I used to have long hair when I was younger. She always liked my long hair. Senior year, I started to grow it out and dedicated it to her. I've kept it ever since."
For his teammates and coaches, Kaut's hair has become a way to identify the young goalie. Assistant coach Chris Doctor said the long hair is symbolic of Kaut's personality.
"He's definitely an outgoing kid. People can pick him out by his hair. It's big and floppy," Doctor said. "That's kind of the attitude the best goalies have. I think it helps in the cage, where he doesn't really seem to get rattled."
With the regular season in the books, the Nittany Lions sit at No. 4 in the final USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll, Penn State's highest final ranking in the poll since it was created and its highest final dual ranking in more than two decades.
In addition, Cael Sanderson and company are ranked No. 2 in both the Intermat.com and TheOpenMat.com tournament strength polls. WIN Magazine has the Lions ranked No. 3 in the tournament.
Here's a look at the rest of the top 25:
Penn State also has eight wrestlers ranked individually by Intermat, including four in the top-10.
- 125 pounds - Brad Pataky - No. 10 - The redshirt senior has missed much of the season with with a left-knee sprain, but is now 8-3 on the year.
- 133 pounds - Andrew Long - No. 3 - After dominating then-No. 3 Tyler Graff of Wisconsin 12-5 this past weekend, Long jumped five spots to No. 3. The Iowa State-transfer is 11-1 on the year and has seven majors.
- 141 pounds - Andrew Alton - No. 7 - Competing in one of the toughest weight classes in the Big Ten, the true freshman has gone 26-6 this season, all six losses coming to wrestlers ranked ahead of him. Alton's 17 pins have him fourth on the Penn State all-time single season pin list.
- 149 pounds - Frank Molinaro - No. 3 - The two-time All-American is 25-2 and undefeated in dual meets at 15-0. Against Wisconsin, the redshirt junior posted a convincing 9-1 major over then-No. 10 Cole Schmitt
- 157 pounds - David Taylor - No. 3 - The redshirt freshman finished the regular season as Penn State's only undefeated wrestler. At 31-0, Taylor has scored bonus bonus points in 30 of his matches this season, putting just two shy of the single season school record.
- 174 pounds - Ed Ruth - No. 2 - Ruth is the Lions' highest ranked wrestler and has gone 29-1 this season. The redshirt freshman has picked up 11 pins, five technical falls and three majors.
- 184 pounds - Quentin Wright - No. 17 - An All-American as a true freshman two years ago, Wright has struggled a bit as of late. The redshirt sophomore is 12-6 and has lost three straight matches.
- Heavyweight - Cameron Wade - No. 6 - Wade is 26-4 on the year with nine pins and three technical falls. Against the Badgers, Wade then-No. 10 Eric Bugenhagen in a 5-2 victory.
Through the games of Feb. 22
|2.San Diego State|
|16.Texas Southern/McNeese State|
|Southeast: New Orleans|
|16.Long Beach State/Oakland|
|Southwest: San Antonio|
-The most intriguing non-bubble seeding question in this week's bracketology is the debate for the final 2-seed. Notre Dame vs. Purdue. The Irish have a better resume and better wins, but Purdue is hotter and coming off wins against Ohio State and WIsconsin, I had to give the final spot to them.
-Somehow, Pitt is ranked 6th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. What a joke. I have the Panthers as my No. 2 overall seed. Ahead of both Duke and Kansas. They lost to St. John's at the buzzer, while Duke lost by 15. Kansas doesn't have nearly the quality wins Pitt does. Ohio State is my overall No. 1.
-The more I watch St. John's, the more I wonder, "How the heck did this team lose to Fordham?" But the committee tends to look past a bad loss or two when you have quality wins. Duke, Pitt, Notre Dame and Georgetown -- how's that for quality wins? I have the Johnnies hovering around the 5/6 line.
-For Minnesota, 8-10 in the Big Ten should be good enough to go dancing. For now though, 6-9 is not. Other teams on the wrong side of the bubble: Wichita State (Bad home loss to VCU given how few opportunities they have at a quality win), Boston College (not many chances at a head-turning win in the ACC, BC doesn't have that. 6-6 in that league won't cut it), Baylor (losing to Texas is fine, but losing at home to Texas Tech is inexcusable for a bubble team), VCU (nonconference schedule is tougher than you'd think, but they've lost three of five in the CAA.
-Michigan State and Kansas State are moving closer and closer to becoming locks. The three extra bids are certainly helping them.
-My Final Four picks, given this bracket: Louisville, Texas, Georgetown, Kansas. Texas over Kansas for the title.
-As always, thanks for reading.
Andrew J. CassavellComments
A rivalry. 0-27 doesn't usually constitute one. But St. Francis is out for blood, and the Red Flash are eager to get the Nittany Lions at home this time around.
Penn State outsider hitter Joe Sunder is expected to be back after sitting out the weekend due to a team academic violation.
Players to watch: OH Joe Sunder
Sunder led the Lions with 18 kills on .429 hitting on Jan. 21 against St. Francis, and will need a strong game coming off his leave of absence. The Lions missed their go-to outside last weekend, despite strong performances from Tom Comfort and Ryan Wolf.
OH Colin Sherwin
The freshman opposite put up a strong game against the Lions last time around, registering 14 kills hitting at .357. This young team has matured since January, and should pose a threat to the Lions' unblemished EIVA record.
What to watch for
History will point to a Lion win. But history is something this young St. Francis team doesn't know. Penn State head coach Mark Pavlik said this young team doesn't know any better, referring to the history, and want to beat the Lions more than anything- so bad they can taste it.Comments
Leading Penn State to a 2-1 record in the BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge in St. Petersburg, Fla. this past weekend, sophomores Ryan Clark (pictured at right) and Steven Hill earned spots on the All-Tournament Team. Clark earned First-Team Honors, while Hill was named honorable mention.
In three games, Clark led the Nittany Lions with a .444 batting average and also posted an .889 slugging per
centage with two doubles and a triple. Clark also led the team in runs, scoring three times.
On the mound, Hill turned in one of the best performances of his young career. Earning the start against West Virginia on Saturday, Hill went 7.2 innings and posted a career-high eight strikeouts. The sophomore went on to earn a no-decision, but gave up just five hits and two runs and surrendered no walks.
Sophomore Sharaya Musser earned her second Big Ten Gymnast of the Week award Monday after winning the all-around for the second straight week at Maryland.
Musser tied her season-high all-around score from last week's meet at North Carolina with a 39.575. She finished first on floor with a career-high 9.950 and first on beam with a season-high 9.925. Musser rounded out her exceptional performance with a 9.875 on vault and a 9.825 on uneven bars.
Her season-high on balance beam contributed to her No. 1 in the event's nation ranking. Musser is also ranked No. 3 in the all-around and No. 25 on uneven bars.Comments
Sophomore Parker Raque and redshirt freshman Francisco Vazquez were awarded Big Ten Gymnasts of the Week honors for their part in Penn State's win over Illinois on Saturday.
Raque was named the Big Ten Co-Gymnast of Week, sharing the title with Illinois junior Tyler Mizoguchi. Raque's weekend was highlighted by his performance in floor exercise and vault. His 15.100 on floor exercise contributed to the Nittany Lions' season-high score in the event (59.500), and it was only one-tenth of point under his career high. His routine earned him second place.
But Raque really shined Saturday on vault. His 16.000 was a career high, and tied him with sophomore Mackenzie Dow for the Lions' highest overall score all year. He placed first on the evening, leading the Lions to a season best score on vault (60.500).
As of Monday, Raque ranks fifth in the country on floor exercise and sixth on vault. He is the second Penn State gymnast to earn Big Ten Gymnast of the Week this season. Sophomore Scott Rosenthal was honored after his 15.400 on the still rings in Penn State's first week of the season against Army.
Vazquez is the first Lion this season to earn Big Ten Freshman of the Week. Despite the team's subpar 2010 campaign, Felix Aronovich won the award twice last year and Nick Grant won three times.
Vazquez really came into his own on pommel horse Saturday. He placed second on the apparatus with a career-high 14.800.
He has also been one of the Lions' most consistent vaulters, and he continued that trend by posting 15.800 in the event Saturday. He took third for the evening behind Dow (15.900) and Raque (16.000), finalizing the team sweep.
Coach Randy Jepson said that Vazquez is one of the team's most improved gymnasts thus far into the season. He currently ranks 10th overall in the country on vault and 16th on pommel horse, and his performances have only gotten better as the season has progressed.
"I'm happy for Frankie [Vazquez]," Jepson said. "He's still not rock solid, but he's come light years. I think he's going to be a really good gymnast one day."
Top 10 Teams in the Country (as of Feb. 21)
4. Penn State (Last week: 3)
10. Ohio State
Notable individual Penn State rankings (as of Feb. 21):
Floor Exercise (Team Ranking: 3)
5. Parker Raque
8. Warren Yang
15. Matt Chelberg
Pommel Horse (Team Ranking: 2)
5. Felix Aronovich
12. Miguel Pineda
16. Francisco Vazquez
16. Adrian Evans
19. Preston Gall
Still Rings (Team Ranking: 1)
2. Scott Rosenthal
3. Miguel Pineda
12. Felix Aronovich
12. Parker Raque
14. Nihir Kothari
18. Matt Chelberg
Vault (Team Ranking: 3)
6. Parker Raque
10. Francisco Vazquez
11. Mackenzie Dow
16. Matt Chelberg
Parallel Bars (Team Ranking: 4)
3. Felix Aronovich
9. Mackenzie Dow
17. Miguel Pineda
High Bar (Team Ranking: 5)
5. Matt Albrecht
9. Felix Aronovich
17. Warren Yang
17. Wasef BurbarComments
Not much change in the rankings this week after their release today.
Penn State stays put at No. 11, while Ohio State moved up to No. 5 after Long Beach State dropped from No. 3 to No. 6 after splitting the weekend with a loss to No. 7 UC Irvine and a win against No. 13 UC San Diego.
USC remains at No. 1 after sweeping Stanford and Pacific. BYU stays at No. 2 despite a home split with UC Santa Barbara.
Ohio State played just one match this past weekend and swept Ball State, while Lewis stayed at No. 14 with wins over IPFW and Quincy this past week. OSU received a first place vote for the second week in a row.
The Nittany Lions will travel to St. Francis (Pa.) Wednesday and George Mason on Saturday, who received five votes but didn't crack the top 15. Here's how the poll looks.
3. UC Santa Barbara
5. Ohio State
6. Long Beach State
7. UC Irvine
11. Penn State
13. UC San Diego
Continuing every Monday for the rest of the season, the Collegian will be introducing a “Pondering with Pav” segment on the Above the Net blog. Each week the Collegian will ask head coach Mark Pavlik to dispense some of his non-volleyball knowledge or give some insight into the life that is “Pav.”
For this week’s installment, coach Pavlik wanted to remark on the efforts of all who were involved in THON and what it means that not only his players, but many student athletes at Penn State are involved in the fantastic event.
“Just how proud I am of the efforts that the THON people put together, $9.5 million for the kids. I said it earlier, that’s one of the things I think as Penn Staters we’ve got to be very proud of. Not only this year, but over the years of growing THON to where it’s come from. It’s just amazing. It just gives you the great feeling that you put good people together that do the right things for the right reasons, things like this can happen and can have so many people affected by a group of people. That’s amazing. I’m so proud of those guys.
“Not just our guys but all the athletes that take the time to support it. I think it really gives them a sense that the world does not revolve around them and any time their name is up in lights it really is just a fleeting thing.
“You know, down the road when they have families, I think this experience hopefully makes them better fathers where they realize that their kids are just as precious as they are. And everything that goes along with being a big, bad volleyball player or student athlete here at Penn State really pales when you see that family is so important as is helping others.”
Members of the men’s volleyball team such as Edgardo Goas, Tom Comfort, Ryan Wolf and Ian Hendries took part in THON only hours before their match against Lees-McRae College. And even as their match with the Badgers was set to begin, the Lions took the court with Four Diamonds children during the playing of the national anthem and pregame handshakes.
It was a weekend that Goas said he’ll never forget.
For more coverage of the Lions’ involvement with THON, check out Steven Petrella’s “THON, competition await Lions” and “Lions come out sluggish, battle back” articles in the Daily Collegian.Comments
Despite losing their only game last week, the Penn State Lady Lions (21-7, 10-4 Big Ten) jumped from a No. 6 seed to a No. 5 seed in Monday’s ESPN Bracketology. Bracketologist Charlie Creme has the Lady Lions playing 12th-seeded LSU at the Bryce Jordan Center in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.
“The Lady Lions were given a week to think about perhaps their most disappointing loss of the season, when they fell by 22 at Ohio State,” Creme wrote on ESPN.com. “Yet to be in second place with two games to go in the Big Ten season already exceeds all expectations in Happy Valley.”
Creme also had fourth-seeded Georgetown and 13th-seeded Texas playing in University Park. Creme’s bracket has the four teams as part of the Spokane regional, which he has Stanford as the No. 1 seed. His other No. 1 seeds are Connecticut, Tennessee and Baylor.
Penn State is one of six Big Ten teams in Creme’s bracket. He has Michigan State slotted as a No. 3 seed, Iowa and Michigan as No. 6 seeds, Ohio State as a No. 7 and Purdue as a No. 9 seed.
Click here for Creme's latest bracket.Comments
After holding down the No. 23 spot for two weeks, the Penn State Lady Lions (21-7, 10-4 Big Ten) dropped out of the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. The Lady Lions are the first team out of the poll – essentially they are No. 26 – with 63 votes. They are only 13 votes behind No. 25 Iowa State (18-8, 6-6 Big 12).
Penn State drops from the rankings after losing its lone game last week. Ohio State beat the Lady Lions, 89-67, Thursday night at the Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
With the Lady Lions falling from the top 25, Michigan State (24-3, 12-2 Big Ten) is the only Big Ten team ranked in the AP Poll. Iowa (20-7, 8-6) is right behind Penn State, garnering 60 votes, and the Buckeyes (17-9, 8-6) got nine votes.
Connecticut (26-1, 13-0 Big East) regained its No. 1 ranking after Baylor, which had been No. 1 ever since the Huskies lost on Dec. 30, lost to Texas Tech on Saturday (Penn State beat Texas Tech 76-68 on Dec. 5 at the Bryce Jordan Center). Connecticut got 37 first-place votes, while Stanford (24-2, 15-0 Pac 10), which is now No. 2, received the other three. Baylor (24-2, 11-1 Big 12) dropped to No. 3.
Penn State hosts Purdue (18-10, 8-7 Big Ten) at 7 p.m. Thursday before closing out its season against Northwestern (17-11, 6-9) on Sunday, also at the BJC.Comments
With one weekend of play in the books, let's examine who led the Penn State men’s baseball team (2-1) in the major hitting categories in the Big East/Big Ten Challenge. With such a small sample size of pitching stats, we will analyze them at a later date.
Batting Average: Sophomore left fielder Ryan Clark leads the Nittany Lions with a .444 batting average. Though he only started the latter two games of the weekend, Clark did get two at-bats off the bench against Seton Hall on Friday. Overall, Clark went 4-for-9 with three runs scored and an RBI. Three of his four hits went for extra bases. His best game was in Sunday’s 8-5 loss against Notre Dame. Batting ninth, Clark went 2-for-4 with a run scored and his lone RBI.
Hits: First baseman Joey DeBernardis, who is second on Penn State with a .385 batting average, led the Lions with five hits in the opening weekend. The junior started and batted fourth behind third baseman Jordan Steranka in all three games, and went 5-for-13 with two runs scored and two RBI. DeBernardis did strike out five times, however, and didn’t walk once. His best game was in the opener — when Penn State beat Seton Hall 8-6 — as he went 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored.
RBI: Though he only played in two of the three games, junior centerfielder Sean Deegan led the Lions with three RBI. Deegan led off and played center field in the win against Seton Hall and in the loss against Notre Dame. Overall, he went 3-for-8 with a run scored.
Make sure to check tomorrow's Collegian for a recap of Penn State's exhibition game on Monday against the Nexen Heroes, a professional team from South Korea.Comments
Turko the kill to win the match. Lions escape 3-2 over Lees McRae.
Goas second ball over, Wolf to serve for the match, Lions up 14-8.
Nevermind, four hits called on PSU, Lions lead 13-7 now.
Wolf gets the kill off an assist from Olsen after a great dig, 13-6.
Turko and Comfort get the block after a nice rally, Goas and Wolf with some nice digs. 12-6.
Turko and Hendries get the block, 11-6, timeout LM.
Tor Covello gets a huge dig followed by a hitting error by LM, 10-6 Lions.
Comfort gets the kill to put PSU up 9-6. Timeout LM.
Covello on to serve, Lions lead 8-6 as the teams switch ends.
Olsen with the ace, he's fired up. Lions go up 6-5.
Olsen gets his tenth kill, 4-4.
Wolf the kill then back to serve. 2-2
Comfort the kill to open it up. 1-0 Lions.
LM fired up after taking the fourth set, we're going to five.
Huge block by Lucas gives LM a 23-19 lead.
Pavlik calls timeout with his Lions trailing 22-18.
Wolf blocked on the overpass by, 20-17 LM.
Block by LM, timeout PSU down 18-15.
Olsen with a strong kill, hitting a LM player in the chest. Olsen stares him down walking back to the huddle.
Alan Mars comes on for Hendries, first action he's seen in a few matches. Lions trail 16-14.
LM up 13-11, Lions with 11 blocks in the first three sets today.
Lions come back after a good start by LM, lead 9-6.
Turko gets the kill off a nice reaching set by GOas, 3-1 LM early in the fourth.
Comfort the kill to give the Lions the third set 25-23.
Unbelievable rally as PSU takes the lead 23-21. Great blocks by Olsen then a falling dig by Del Valle, then a soft lob kill onto the back line gets the point for the Lions.
Turko a nice kill after a Wolf dig and Goas set, Lions lead 22-20 as LM calls timeout.
Covello on to serve with PSU up 20-18. This is his spot. Service error by Covello (oops)
Olsen tips it at the net then gets the kill, Lions up 18-16.
Timeout Lions as the Lees McRae faithful, all 20 of them, get louder than Rec Hall has been all day.
Error by Comfort and Lees McRae cuts the decifit to 16-14.
Lucas gets the kill for LM, Flood serving for the Bobcats with PSU up 15-11.
Ball off the antenna by LM after a Hendries kill, Lions lead 12-8 with Hendries serving.
Hendries the kill off the overpass then a nice block by Olsen puts the Lions up 9-5 before a Lees McRae timeout.
Ace by LM ties the score at 5-5.
Kill by Wolf on a ball that looked way out, Lions lead 2-1.
Change at libero for LM to open the third.
Block good by Hendries and the Lions take the set 25-12. 1-1 after two games we go to the break.
Block by Turko and Goas, PSU up 23-10.
Long rally ends in a Wolf kill, then another kill by the junior outside.
Turko and Wolf get the block and Comfort with the service error, 20-10 Lions.
Comfort another kill and an attack error by LM puts the Lions up 19-9.
17-8 Lions lead after a great diving dig by Goas and a kill by Comfort.
Comfort another kill, 14-6 Lions.
Block by Comfort and Hendries, PSU goes up 12-4. Lions came to play in the second.
Olsen having a strong start to the second set with two kills.
Timeout LM with the Lions up 9-4 in the second game.
Illegal attack on LM, Penn State gets the point, 7-3 Lions. Still little noise and life in Rec Hall's main gym.
Two great digs by Del Valle but LM gets the point, 3-2 PSU.
Lions go up 3-0 after a kill by Wolf.
Ball off the antenna by Wolf, LM takes the first set 26-24.
LM leads 24-23 after a kill. Serving for the set.
23-22 here in the first game, Wolf blocked by Lucas and Mercado. Pavlik calls his second timeout.
Turko then blocked by Lucas of LM and PSU goes down 21-20.
Turko gets his first kill and PSU goes up 20-19.
Tor Covello comes on to serve, gets one and loses the next.
Kill by LM then a miss communication on a free ball sent over by LM, 18-16 PSU trails.
Wolf another block and Penn State takes the lead 14-13.
Goas wins the jump ball at the net the LM hits at long.
Big block by Goas, Hendries and Wolf and PSU seems to have a little life now.
Ace by LM and a hitting error by the Lions, Pavlik doesn't like what he sees and calls timeout with his team down 13-10.
Block by Turko and Goas ties the score at 9-9, LM seems to have a little more energy earlier than the Lions.
Great dig by Del Valle but LR gets the point off the tip at the net, score tied at 6-6.
An error and an ace by Peter Russell, then a block by LM and its 4-3 PSU.
Wolf the emphatic kill off the overpass and the Lions lead 2-1 early on.
Sunder did not play yesterday and will not today for a violation of team academic rules.
Lions go with Wolf, Comfort, Hendries, Turko, Russell, Goas and Del Valle at libero.
Players being walked out by THON families instead of the t-shirt toss tonight.
Steve Petrella here with you again this afternoon bringing you updates from Penn State-Lees McRae in men's volleyball action.Comments
That will do it for our coverage here tonight. Come back tomorrow at 3 p.m. as the Lions take on Lees McRae College.
8:18 Goas second ball over ends it, Lions take the game and the match.
8:18 Covello comes on to serve, Kegerreis in as well.
8:16 Service error by the Lions, now lead 22-18.
8:14 Wolf the kill and the Lions go up 20-13. Substitution for MO.
8:12 Turko block then service error makes it 16-12 Lions.
8:10 Lions get four straight points, lead 14-10. Timeout MO.
8:08 Comfort the soft kill ties the score at 10-10.
8:04 Lions tie it up at 6-6, timeout MO.
8:02 Great save by Goas then he gets the block, 6-3 MO.
8:00 5-2 lead for MO in the third set, timeout PSU.
7:47 Service error by MO gives Penn State a 2-0 lead.
7:46 Kegerreis back in for Russell with the Lions up 24-17.
7:43 Penn State goes up 21-15, MO calls timeout.
7:40 Kill then service error for MO, Penn State leads 16-12.
7:36 Comfort with the ace, Lions go up 12-11. MO calls timeout after an attack error. 13-11 PSU.
7:34 Block by Goas and Hendries, kill by MO. Lions lead 8-7.
7:32 7-5 Lions lead in the second set.
7:29 Goas and Turko get kills to make it 3-1 Lions to open the set.
7:24 Comfort the kill to end the set. Lions win the set 25-20 and go up 1-0.
7:23 Two more kills by Wolf and the Lions are up 23-20. Kegerreis in for Russell
7:20 Two kills by Wolf and the Lions are on top 20-18. Timeout MO
7:18 Service error by MO, Russell ace ties it at 17-17.
7:15 Lions tie it at 14-14, timeout MO.
7:14 Wolf in for Olsen, gets a kill to make it 13-11 MO.
7:12 Ball hit out by Mount Olive and a kill by Olsen gets Penn State back to within one. 11-10 MO.
7:10 Service error by Comfort and hitting error by Turko, 9-5 MO, Penn State calls timeout.
7:09 Team's trade service errors and its now 7-5 Mount Olive.
7:07 2-2 early on, block by Goas and two kills for Mount Olive.
Mount Olive with four foreign players on the roster, one from Korea, one from Cuba, and two from Germany.
Big story is Sunder is not dressed tonight, no word on why. He is on the sidelines but is wearing dress clothes.
Lions go with Russell, Turko, Comfort, Goas, Hendries, Olsen and Del Valle at libero.
Collegian men's volleyball Steven Petrella here giving you up to the several-minute updates for Penn State vs. Mount Olive College in South Gym.
With last night’s close win against Minnesota, the Penn State men’s basketball team still has a pulse when it comes to the NCAA Tournament, and it’s beating a little harder today.
Penn State is back on the NCAAT bubble, but is still looking up at fellow Big Ten teams Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota, which are all in the bracket as of now. Michigan State is on the border but still ahead of the Nittany Lions according to most projections.
It’s never easy (or smart) to try and predict how teams would finish, but I tried to do that among all the teams currently in the Big Ten standings logjam. Illinois, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State and Minnesota are all within one win of each other. Michigan State and Illinois still have five games left while the rest have four.
Here’s how I see the rest of their seasons playing out.
* = a predicted win
Illinois: @MSU, @OSU, Iowa*, @PUR, IND* = 2-3 à 9-9, Big Ten
PSU: @WIS, @NW*, OSU, @MIN* = 2-2 à 9-9
MSU: ILL*, @MIN, PUR, Iowa*, @MICH* = 3-2 à 9-9
MIN: MSU*, MICH*, @NW*, PSU = 3-1 à 9-9
MICH: @Iowa*, WIS, @MIN, MSU = 1-3 à 7-9
The way I have it, that’s a four-team tie for fourth place in the Big Ten. Here are the Big Ten’s tie-breaking procedures for a multiple team tie, according to the Big Ten website:
1. Results of head-to-head competition during the regular season.
- A. When comparing records against a single team or a group of teams, the higher winning percentage shall prevail, even if the number of games played against the team or group are unequal (i.e., 2-0 is better than 3-1); in the case of tied percentages vs. the team or group of 1.000 or .000 the following shall apply: 2-0 is better than 1-0; 0-1 is better than 0-2.
- B. After the top team among the tied teams is determined, the second team is ranked by its record among the original tied teams, not the head-to-head record vs. the remaining team(s).
2. If the remaining teams are still tied, then each tied team's record shall be compared to the team occupying the highest position in the final regular-season standings, continuing down through the standings until one team gains an advantage.
- A. When arriving at another pair of tied teams while comparing records, use each team's record against the collective tied teams as a group (prior to their own tie-breaking procedures), rather than the performance against the individual tied teams.
- B. When comparing records against a single team or a group of teams, the higher winning percentage shall prevail, even if the number of games played against the team or group are unequal (i.e., 2-0 is better than 3-1); in the case of tied percentages vs. the team or group of 1.000 or .000 the following shall apply: 2-0 is better than 1-0; 0-1 is better than 0-2.
3. Won-loss percentage of all Division I opponents.
4. Coin toss conducted by the Commissioner or designee.
** = assuming predicted win in season-series record
Illinois: 1-1 PSU, 1-1** MSU, 1-0 MINN = 3-2
PSU: 1-1 ILL, 1-1 MSU, 2-0** MINN = 4-2
MSU: 1-1** ILL, 1-1 PSU, 0-1** MINN = 2-3
MIN: 0-2** PSU, 0-1 ILL, 1-0** MSU = 1-3
That would put Penn State into fourth because of a better percentage. Illinois would be fifth, Michigan State sixth and Minnesota seventh. As a result, Penn State would play Illinois in the quarterfinals after both teams received a bye.
I think a win against Illinois and a berth in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament would be enough to get Penn State into the new field of 68 teams.
The only game I’m not confident in is picking Penn State over Minnesota again, this time in Minneapolis. So if the Nittany Lions lose that game:
- Minnesota would be the No. 4 seed at 10-8 in the conference
- Illinois, Michigan State and Penn State would all be tied for fifth and all 2-2 against each other.
- In that case, it will be who has the best record against the first-place team, which would be Ohio State. Illinois, Michigan State and Penn State are all 0-1, but Illinois and Penn State have another game against Ohio State; Illinois on the road (Feb. 22) and Penn State at home (Mar. 1).
If Penn State can upset the Buckeyes, not only would they take the fifth seed in the above scenario, but they would have the best win out among those teams and would probably find themselves in tournament at the end of the regular season. (This is all assuming a win over Northwestern still).
However, to truly secure a spot in the tournament, the Lions will still need to win a game in the Big Ten Tournament. They would have to beat No. 4 Minnesota and advance to the semifinals to play Ohio State. Win or lose, the Lions should be in at that point.
Getting to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament is crucial, because a number of mid-major teams that dominated the league in the regular season but didn’t win their conference tournament could steal one of the final bids come Selection Sunday. For example, fringe tourney team Colorado State could win the MWC, meaning the MWC would likely get four bids: San Diego St., BYU, UNLV and Colorado State.
So, got all of that? Me neither. Why don’t we just wait until the end of the regular season before we start playing the what-if game, eh?Comments
Every year at THON, the Penn State men's gymnastics team performs a dance in which the gymnasts can show off their acrobatic skills for the kids.
It takes place during the athlete hour, and coach Randy Jepson says their performance is among the best.
But this year, the Lions will be at an away meet in Illinois, and will not make it back in time to dance.
"I hear some of the other teams are excited we're not going to be there," Jepson said. "We're usually pretty good at it."
Some of the gymnasts are disappointed because it's something they look forward to doing every year.
"We love being at THON," senior captain Matt Albrecht said. "But them's the breaks."
"Hopefully we'll be able to finish the meet in time so we can watch some of the pep rally on the live feed," sophomore Matt Chelberg said.Comments
FINAL Penn State 66, Minnesota 63
The Lions don't foul but Minnesota doesn't make the basket. Lions get a giant victory.
Penn State 66, Minnesota 63 with 5.9 seconds remaining in second half
Penn State 65, Minnesota 63 with 5.9 seconds remaining in second half
Penn State 65, Minnesota 60 with 13.2 seconds remaining in second half
Minnesota turns the ball over and throws it out of bounds to give the Lions back the ball. Woodyard at the Lions. He hits both.
Penn State 63, Minnesota 60 with 17.3 seconds remaining in second half
Battle and Frazier find a way to take 15 seconds off the clock before Battle is fouled. The senior hits the first free throw and their is a dispute on the court as the ref calls Penn State for some sort of foul or violation. Penn State wasn't called for a foul so it must be a lane violation. Regardless, that could change the game as Minnesota now has the ball in a one possession game. The Lions could have made it a two point game but that's the way things go. DeChellis was NOT happy.
Penn State 62, Minnesota 60 with 37.8 seconds remaining in second half
The Lions play tight defense and get the Gophers called for a travel to regain possession. There is a 2.8 second differential between the game clock and shot clock and the Lions have the ball. If they can maintain possessions and hit their free throws, they might just pull off the big win. But that's always a big IF in these types of games.
Penn State 62, Minnesota 60 with 50 seconds remaining in second half
The place is going nuts here after Battle just hit a wide open and LONG 3-point attempt. After forcing an airball on Minnesota's possession, Tim Frazier raced up court and looked flustered. Eventually, Penn State found Battle open. The senior squared up, took his time and it was nothing but net. We are under a minute and Penn State is leading as Minnesota has the ball.
Minnesota 60, Penn State 59 with 1:41 remaining in second half
After a big dunk by Minnesota's Iverson, the Lions respond with a basket off of a Drew Jones put back. Time is winding down and the Lions are trailing. They are going to need a few defensive stops and a clutch basket to get back in the driver's seat.
Minnesota 58, Penn State 57 with 3:07 remaining in second half
Both coaches electing to let their players play and not call timeouts until DeChellis finally changes that with about three minutes to play. Each team continues to exchange baskets as the two are now both over the foul limit. The Gophers lead by one as the Lions have the ball. Battle has been the difference maker today with 23 points and he'll probably take most of the shots until the end.
Penn State 47, Minnesota 45 with 7:34 remaining in second half
Minnesota hits a wide open 3-pointer to make it a one possession game. The Lions had a double-digit lead minutes ago and now it's anyone's game. This could be another gigantic collapse like the Michigan game. Let's see how the Lions respond and how badly they really want to win. It looks like they did not too long ago. Lions will have the ball after the timeout.
Penn State 47, Minnesota 42 with 8:25 remaining in second half
Jeff Brooks gets a big offensive rebound off of his own miss and converts the put back. On the other end, Jackson draws the charge down low. It looks like the seniors want this victory badly. On the other end, Jackson hits a 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down. On the ensuing possession, Billy Oliver draws another offensive foul on Minnesota. Penn State is playing smart right now. A pair of Minnesota baskets cut Penn State's lead down to five points while it was once at 10 a minute ago.
Penn State 42, Minnesota 37 with 11:53 remaining in second half
Each teams exchange a free throw but more importantly, Drew Jones picked up his fourth foul. He is out of the game until the end likely now. Luckily for Penn State, Billy Oliver has held his own defensively as the Lions haven't let Minnesota take control without their starting center on the court. The Lions will have the ball after the timeout after D.J. Jackson made a heads up play and threw the ball off of a Minnesota defender on a tussle near the baseline.
Penn State 41, Minnesota 36 with 13:10 remaining in second half
Battle hits a 3-point basket and then hits a transition layup where he gets tackled by Minnesota's defender. After hitting the shot, the guard laid on the ground motioning with his hands for the fans to get loud. He now has 19 points and he is feeling it right now with the Lions leading in a BIG home game they must win against the Gophers.
Penn State 36, Minnesota 35 with 13:50 remaining in second half
Hey there Hardwood Hits readers, Alex Angert here to take you through the rest of the game.
As was the case in the first half, it looks like 3-point shooting will play a huge role in the final 20 minutes as the Lions haven't found an answer to Minnesota's size in the paint while on offense. On the first play of the half, Tim Frazier throws up a desperation 3-point shot with the shot clock expiring and somehow the shot dropped. A good sign for Penn State.
Less than two minutes into the half, all three of Penn State's frontcourt players have three fouls a piece. This will be big in the second half to see if they can stay in the game and out of trouble.
Over three minutes into the half, the Lions are firing shots from all over beyond the arc. For the most part they aren't falling but Penn State but the Lions aren't letting MInnesota capitalize.
Drew Jones just picked up his third foul and Tim Frazier now has two. Minnesota hits two 3-pointers to keep pace with Penn State.
Sorry it has taken so long to update, there has yet to be a timeout or stoppage in play through the entire first half until now.
HALFTIME: Penn State 29, Minnesota 28.
The Lions finish the half an impressive 7-for-17 from 3-point range, however have been out-rebounded by Minnesota by a 2-1 margin, 22-11.
Battle shines with 14 points, including a 4-for-6 performance from behind the arc. Mbakwe already has a double-double -- he has 10 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Gophers.
Penn State 29, Minnesota 28. 1:14 remaining in the first half
With the shot clock expiring, and the BJC crowd counting down out loud, Jackson effortlessly scores a 3 from the side of the arc, putting Penn State back ahead. Mbakwe was guarding Jackson closely, but it didn't seem to faze the senior, as he drilled Penn State's seventh 3 of the half. Of Penn State's 29 points, now 21 of them have come from 3-point range. Pretty impressive.
Penn State 26, Minnesota 26. 3:26 remaining in the first half
The Gophers are on a mini 5-0 run to tie things back up. The star of the first half so far has been Battle, who has already recorded 14 points including a 4-for-6 performance from 3-point range. He only has one assist, though, so the 2,000-500-500 accomplishment might not be happening tonight.
Penn State 26, Minnesota 24. 4:03 remaining in the first half
Minnesota calls a 30 second timeout as Penn State built as large as a six-point lead in that last stretch.
The Lions are trying a few different things as Jones is riding the bench for a while with two early fouls. Right now, it's Woodyard and former walk-on Steve Kirkpatrick getting some decent time. Jermaine Marshall and Oliver have been on the court, too.
The biggest cheer of the night so far, in fact, goes to Kirkpatrick. The senior scored a layup off an assist from Marshall -- his first points in two years.
Penn State 17, Minnesota 13. 7:56 remaining in the half
The Lions are heating up offensively, and have built a four-point lead, thanks to a 3 from junior Cammeron Woodyard. Penn State, as a team, is now shooting 6-for-13 from the field. But the Lions' real success is coming from behind the arc. Of the Lions' 17 points, 15 have come from 3's.
Penn State 11, Minnesota 11. 9:56 remaining in the first half
Neither team is shooting too well right now. The Lions are 4-for-11 from the field while the Gophers are 5-for-13. Penn State is going to need to get hot, because they are getting killed on the boards. Minnesota is out-rebounding Penn State 12-4.
Penn State 11, Minnesota 7. 12:59 remaining in the first half
So maybe the Gophers' height is going to be a problem. The Lions are being out-rebounded 9-2 right now. Battle's off to a hot start, accounting for six of the Lions' 11 points. He's 2-for-3 from the field and 2-for-3 from 3-point range.
Penn State 8, Minnesota 7. 14:59 remaining in the first half
Media timeout, and the Lions have a slight one point lead thanks to a rare 3-pointer from Frazier. The sophomore hasn't been a true scoring threat for Penn State this season, averaging only under five points game. Yet he's coming off a season-high 12 points against Northwestern, so we'll see if he can build off that.
Penn State 5, Minnesota 3. 16:21 remaining in the first half
And we're underway. Ed DeChellis goes with his normal five: Battle, Jackson, Jones, Frazier and Brooks. However doesn't look like we'll be seeing Jones back on the court anytime soon. The senior picked up two fouls within the first two minutes of the game, and is benched in favor of redshirt freshman Billy Oliver.
Hey folks. Emily Kaplan here at the Bryce Jordan Center and I'll be live blogging the first half of tonight's game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Minnesota Gophers.
We're just about five minutes away from tip, and the BJC crowd looks pretty thin. Could fill up though, you never know.
Tonight's definitely an interesting matchup. It's absolutely a must-win for Penn State (13-11, 6-7 Big Ten) if the Lions have any hopes for an NCAA tournament berth -- their first since 2001.
The Gophers (17-8, 6-7) enter tonight's game on a slide. They've won just one of their last five games, and will be without point guard Al Nolen who is out for the season with an injury. The Lions will need to contain junior college tranfer Trevor Mbakwe, who has been a spark for Minnesota all season long. The 6-foot-8 Mbakwe is averaging 14 points and 10.8 rebounds per game in Big Ten play this season. The Gophers are the tallest team Penn State has faced this season, with each of its starters standing taller than 6-foot-4.
There are a few storylines you'll want to follow for Penn State. The biggest has to be Talor Battle potentially reaching another milestone. In the Lions' last game, a 65-41 win against Northwestern, the senior captain became just the 22nd player in Big Ten history -- and second in Penn State history -- to reach 2,000 career points. Tonight, he's one step closer to cementing himself as perhaps the best player ever to don a Penn State uniform. With just 11 more points, Battle will become the first Lion ever to post three 500-point seasons. In addition, if he tallies seven more assists, he will become the first player in Big Ten history to record 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists. Only nine players in NCAA history have accomplished that feat.Comments
It's hard to believe, but the No. 4 Penn State wrestling team will compete in its last dual of the regular season this weekend, a meeting with No. 16 Wisconsin at 7 p.m. in Rec Hall on Friday.
The Nittany Lions are 15-1-1 overall and 4-1-1 in the Big Ten. The Badgers sit at 10-5-1 and just 1-4-1 in the conference. Penn State will be looking to close out the season on a high note, and Back Points is here to preview the match in this week's edition of Off the Mat.
Former Penn State women’s volleyball player Blair Brown is 6-foot-5. Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson is 4-foot-10.
Brown could follow in the small footsteps of Johnson and other standout amateur athletes.
The former Nittany Lion is one of 12 semifinalists for the 2010 AAU Sullivan Award, which is given to the nation’s top amateur athlete based on leadership, character and sportsmanship.
The winner will be announced at a March 14 ceremony in New York City. Previous winners include Johnson, Michael Phelps and Tim Tebow.
Should Brown win, it would add to her postseason accolades, which already includes the Honda Award for volleyball.
Other notable semifinalists for the Sullivan Award include 2010 Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, the quarterback of Auburn’s national champion football team, and gold-medalist Evan Lysacek.
Here’s a list of the 12 semifinalists:
Blair Brown- Penn State women’s volleyball
Jimmer Fredette- BYU men’s basketball
Robert Hoadley- UNC-Greensboro men’s golf
Regina Jaquess- water skiing
Alix Klineman- Stanford women’s volleyball
Evan Lysacek- USA gold-medalist in men’s figure skating
Maya Moore- Connecticut women’s basketball
Cam Newton- Auburn football
Elena Pirozhkova- Women’s wrestling
Tahnee Robinson- Nevada women’s basketball
Karrissa Wimberley- Baton twirling
D.J. Williams- Arkansas football
The Lions switched up their practice routine a bit today, as they replaced the weekly intrasquad, which is usually held the day before a meet, with a partner exercise.
Associate head coach Rachelle Thompson paired up the gymnasts and made each pair a card with their assignments for the day. The gymnasts had to combine to hit a certain number of routines in a row before they could move on to the next event.
"Their assignments are completely based on one another's routines," Thompson said. "So on bars, they might have three in a row together."
Thompson said the exercise would help the gymnasts build confidence in each other, speed up practice, and also mix it up a little to keep the gymnasts' mind sharp.
"Part of our job as coaches is to find different and unique ways to make it still fun and keep the energy moving and the mood light," Thompson said.
The team got through its workout quickly, and Thompson said quick workouts are better, as they more closely replicate the meet environment.
"It's working really well," Thompson said.Comments
Nebraska won’t be the only high-profile addition to Big Ten women’s volleyball in 2011.
Current U.S. Women’s Volleyball head coach Hugh McCutcheon was named the new head coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Feb. 10.
He’ll be taking over for the retired Mike Hebert, who led the Gophers to a 26-9 record in 2010.
Prior to guiding the women’s team, McCutcheon was the head coach of the gold medal-winning U.S. men’s team at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He was involved with the U.S. men’s team since 2001, when he was a volunteer assistant.
As the coach of the women’s national team, McCutcheon works with former Penn State players Nicole Fawcett, Christa Harmotto, Alisha Glass and Megan Hodge.
*Through the games of Feb. 15
|East -- Newark|
|Southeast -- New Orleans|
|3.San Diego State|
|16.Texas Southern/McNeese State|
|Southwest -- San Antonio|
|West -- Anaheim|
|16.Long Beach State|
-I ranked my teams 1-68 before Kansas' loss to Kansas State. I had the Jayhawks as a No. 1 seed, but the loss dropped them to a 2-seed. Two reasons: Duke's nonconference wins and the manor in which Jacob Pullen and the Wildcats dismantled Kansas. Duke plays in a weaker conference, so the Jayhawks will have ample opportunity to get back above the 1-line.
-Michigan State was in, until its loss to Ohio State Tuesday. I don't care how good the Spartans' nonconference was or how well they typically play in the tournament. Right now, Michigan State is about as deserving as in-state rival Michigan, BUT...
-The Wolverines don't get a look unless they can knock off Illinois when the two squads meet tonight in Champaign. Other bubble teams who just missed the cut: Clemson (would've been in with a win over UNC), Butler (The Bulldogs are getting there, but can't afford any slip-ups after their late-January swoon), Washington State (The Cougs are struggling in the Pac-10... enough said), Maryland (a loss to Virginia Tech, coupled with me realizing I forgot Long Beach State in my rough draft, knocked the Terps off my Excel document on Tuesday night) and Colorado State (Need a win over one of the conference's top-dogs).
-A note about Utah State: The Aggies have quietly been one of the country's most consistent teams this season, but if they drop another regular season game, they may be putting themselves in a must-win conference tournament situation. If you want to be considered a tournament lock, a late-season loss to Idaho is inexcusable. That said, there's still a little wiggle room, if they lose in the conference tourney as long as they can close out a solid regular season without another loss.
-Syracuse is a No. 5 seed. I had them as such in my rankings. But because of the plethora of Big East teams in the tournament, I couldn't fit them in on the 5-line without almost assuring an all-Big East matchup. The committee likes to avoid those matchups so I moved them to a No. 6 and placed them up against a relatively easy 3-seed in Purdue. Last year, the committee ignored that rule for the first time, but spokespeople said it was because of some late breaking changes on Championship Sunday. No late-breaking changes here. The Orange are a 5 that fell because of a technicality.
-For what it's worth, here's my final four given these brackets: Pitt, Georgetown, Texas, Duke. I'll take Texas as my national champion. (But I'll take Pitt as my No. 1 overall seed. The Panthers beat Texas on a neutral floor, which no one seems to remember)
-In 12 years, this was the first time I completed a Bracketology without using any paper. Pretty eco-friendly of me, huh? As always, thanks for reading.
Andrew J. CassavellComments
The NCAA men's gymnastics rankings have altered dramatically.
For the past three weeks, the top-10 teams have been an unmoving force of consistency. Stanford and Cal have led the way, maintaining the first and second spots respectively.
But this week, the rankings are hardly recognizable.
The Mountain Pacific Sports Federation still holds the top spot, but the Big Ten has inched a little closer.
Oklahoma has jumped from No. 4 to No. 1, raising their average five points, while Stanford and Cal lost five points. They are now No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.
This leaves No. 2 to Illinois, and No. 3 to Penn State, and fate would have the two Big Ten schools duke it out this Saturday.
The Nittany Lions jumped two spots after beating Springfield last Saturday, a meet in which they posted their highest team overall score of the season (352.300).
Illinois is coming off a loss to Michigan, but still performed well enough to stay above the Lions in the rankings. However, their score last week (340.400) was 12 points less than the Lions'.
Furthermore, the Illini found out last Friday their star senior Paul Ruggeri (left ankle) is out for the season.
If the Lions continue to build upon their performance last weekend, they could give a shorthanded, but slightly favored Illini squad a run for their money on Saturday.
It's that time of year in NCAA men's gymnastics when every point counts, and even the top teams have to fight until the very end.
Top-10 Teams of This Week
3. Penn State
6. Ohio State
Top-10 Teams of Previous Three Weeks
5. Penn State
8. Ohio State
Tom Comfort was named EIVA Player of the Week on Monday.
This past weekend, Comfort helped the Nittany Lions in two wins over conference opponents Rutgers-Newark and Princeton. The sophomore opposite tallied six kills and one block on Friday against Rutgers-Newark, then followed up the performance with a 12 kill effort, hitting at .500, on Saturday.
Comfort is the third Nittany Lion to earn the honor this season, as redshirt juniors Joe Sunder and Edgardo Goas took the honor the opening two weeks of the year.Comments
Aside from talking about Maggie Lucas’ early success for the Lady Lions and how it relates to the success she had her freshman year, former Penn State star Kelly Mazzante took the time to answer a few more questions via email.
Here is what Mazzante, whose 2,919 points from 2001-04 are more than any other Big Ten basketball player (male or female) can claim, had to say:
On what she is doing now: “I am currently playing in Pozzouli Italy, and I have been here about a month, and it is just a blessing to be back on the court. Being away from basketball that long and rehabbing my ACL was a tough and very long process, but well worth it being able to play again. Penn State definitely prepared me as a basketball player and as a person to play professionally in the WNBA, and in Europe as well.”
On the Lady Lions’ success this season: “It makes me extremely happy to see them back in the top 25, and competing for a Big Ten championship. That is what it is all about, and I wish them the best of luck in doing that. I don't think people realize how hard it is to win a conference championship and stay at the top season in and season out. They deserve it, though, because I know they have been working hard and trusting in the coaches. So it is much deserved.”
On if she is in contact with the current Lady Lions: “I have spoken to Julia [Trogele] and Maggie a little, and I just tried to give them some insight about what to expect and little things that can make a big difference when trying to win a Big Ten title. As [former coach] Rene Portland always emphasized ‘Once a Lady Lion, always a Lady Lion,’ and I am just glad I can be there to talk to the girls. I have been in their position, and any words of wisdom I am really happy to share.”Comments
The Penn State men's gymnastics team has jumped from No. 5 to No. 3 this week in the NCAA rankings.
The Nittany Lions are coming off of a home 352.300- 316.300 win against then- No. 16 Springfield College last Saturday.
Though none of the Lions received a personal best during the meet, Penn State won all six events and recorded a team-high score for the sixth consecutive week — topping its previous season high of 351.800 win against Temple and Army.
As a team, the Lions established season best scores in floor exercise (58.800), still rings (60.400), and vault (63.000).
The Lions hit the road this weekend, matching up against No. 2 Illinois in Champaign, Ill. The meet begins at 6 p.m. ET Saturday Feb. 19.
The Penn State Ice Campaign received another boost in building its future state-of-the-art hockey arena when Paul and Nancy Silvis pledged to donate $1 million as a gift. The contribution comes after alumnus Terry Pegula and his wife, Kim, donated $88 million -- the largest act of philanthropy in school history -- to help build Division I men's and women's hockey programs.
The main lobby of the Pegula Ice Arena will be named after the Silvis' for their donation, just as the arena was named to honor the Pegulas.Paul and Nancy Silvis will also co-chair the Penn State Ice Campaign Committee helping fundraise an additional $10 million to help complement the plans of the new arena, scheduled to be built by 2013.Comments
The No. 4 Nittany Lions have just one dual match remaining before the Big Ten tournament begins on Mar. 5. On Friday night, Penn State (16-1-1, 5-1-1) will welcome No. 16 Wisconsin (10-5-1, 1-4-1) to Rec Hall for a 7 p.m. start.
As of this afternoon, the match is quickly approaching a sellout, this according to gopsusports.com. Less than 800 tickets remain for Friday's match, and a limited number of free student tickets will be made available. These student tickets will be available from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Rec Hall ticket office on Thursday. Tickets will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis and students will be given only one ticket with presentation of a valid Penn State student ID.
All season long, Penn State has been drawing huge crowds to Rec Hall, including a sellout for a match against No. 2 Iowa on Jan. 30.
Here to comment on the Lions' support from the fans and what they hope to accomplish on Friday is No. 3-ranked 157-pounder, David Taylor.
In this week's Tuesday Timeout, we introduce true freshman Nate Morgan. In the Nittany Lions' match last Friday night against No. 18 Illinois, the 125-pounder earned his first collegiate victory in a 6-5 victory over the Illini's Logan Arlis. The McCook, Neb. native was a three-time state qualifier in high school and will look to make an impact for the Lions in the future. But first, let's get to know Nate a little better.
The Penn State women's gymnastics team held steady in the rankings at No. 18, despite scoring a season-high score of 195.925 last weekend at North Carolina.
The team is averaging 194.875 points per meet, up from its average of 194.665 last week. The Lions will look to continually increase their average as they hope to keep up their run of improving scores.
Penn State's gymnasts are ranked No. 23 on vault with a 48.717 average, making their debut in the top 25 on the event.
The team is No. 15 on uneven bars with a 48.900 average, down three spots from No. 12 from last week and No. 11 on balance beam with a 48.642 average, holding steady at the spot from last week.
Other Big Ten teams in the top 25 are Michigan at No. 8, Ohio State at No. 14, Minnesota at No. 15, Illinois at No. 17 and Iowa at No. 20.Comments
After beating No. 18 Ilinois 23-13 and tying No. 5 Minnesota 18-18 in dual matches this past weekend, Penn State has dropped one spot from No. 3 to No. 4 in the latest USA Today/NWCA Coaches poll. The Nittany Lions own a 16-1-1 record and are 5-1-1 in the Big Ten, which features eight top-25 teams. Here's a look at the top-10:
- Oklahoma State
- Penn State
- Virginia Tech
- Boise State
In addition, Penn State has eight wrestlers individually ranked by Intermat:
125 pounds - No. 11 - Brad Pataky - 7-3
133 pounds - No. 8 - Andrew Long - 10-1
141 pounds - No. 7 - Andrew Alton - 25-6
149 pounds - No. 3 - Frank Molinaro - 24-2
157 pounds - No. 3 - David Taylor - 30-0
174 pounds - No. 2 - Ed Ruth - 28-1
184 pounds - No. 17 - Quentin Wright - 12-5
Heavyweight - No. 6 - Cameron Wade - 25-4
Mark Pavlik described what happened on Friday night as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. The top five teams in the country all lost, but the rankings remained mostly unchanged.
Southern California still stands at No. 1, but one first place vote was given to No. 6 Ohio State. Despite losing this weekend, BYU broke the tie at No. 2 with Long Beach State, who also lost and moved into third. Loyola Chicago, who lost to Penn State in four sets earlier in the year, knocked off BYU in five sets after going up 2-0.
Penn State won twice this weekend, but the quality of wins from Pepperdine, who knocked off No. 1 USC in five sets, was not enough to keep the Nittany Lions in the top 10. UC Santa Barbara knocked off former No.5 UCLA twice this past weekend, and moved from No. 7 to No. 4. Lot's of parody this weekend and on the season.
1. Southern California
3. Long Beach State
4. UC Santa Barbara
6. Ohio State
8. UC Irvine
11. Penn State
12. UC San Diego
Continuing every Monday for the rest of the season, the Collegian will be introducing a “Pondering with Pav” segment on the Above the Net blog. Each week the Collegian will ask head coach Mark Pavlik to dispense some of his non-volleyball knowledge or give some insight into the life that is “Pav.”
For this week’s Pondering segment, Pav decided to stray away from sports talk. The coach wanted to remind the students that spring break is close enough to smell and things are looking up. And especially with THON upon the campus, there’s reason to be happy.
“This is kind of the time of year where the dog days of the season start to roll in. I’m sure for the student population in general too. You’re not quite to spring break, you’re looking at the calendar saying, ‘God, we got three more Mondays before we can get off to better weather or home to Mom’s cooking. And how are we going to survive this gray outside?’ And Lord knows, we’ll probably get another snow at some point here.
“But I think one of the best things about this campus is we have Valentine’s Day, then we’ve got THON. With THON coming up it just always seems to me that campus, on that Monday after THON, it’s so much more vibrant. It’s like after all the hard work that everybody does for this, it feels good about itself. And I think that’s one of the things that kind of helps everybody get through February.
“Next thing you know, we’re on spring break. You guys, probably some beach somewhere. And then you come back and the weather starts to break. If you have a 4:30 class or 4:45 class, you get out and you say, ‘You know, it’s still light out. I can still do something.'
“So I guess the pondering is, the general message to everybody, is to hang in there. Spring break’s not too far away, the weather’s going to be changing. For me, spring time on a college campus is one of the best times to be here, because everybody kind of starts to perk up and we get through this week, we’re going to be in good shape.”
So as Pav says, stay warm and be cool. Spring break is right up the stairs and THON will be there to greet you on the first step.Comments
With Sunday's 18-18 tie, Minnesota improved its unbeaten streak against Penn State to 10 matches. In addition, the Nittany Lions have yet to win a dual match in Minneapolis.
Coach J Robinson is a major reason for the Golden Gophers' success.
In 25 years at the helm, the two-time national coach of the year has led Minnesota to three national championships, six Big Ten titles and has coached 46 All-Americans.
In an interview with The Daily Collegian on Monday, Robinson commented on Sunday's match, as well as the upcoming Big Ten tournament and the Nittany Lions' chances for a conference title.
"I they’re good. They wrestle hard. They came to compete. I was disappointed in the coaching staff. They let one of their kids, Molinaro, take a timeout when he wasn’t hurt. It’s not okay to break the rules. The kid wasn’t hurt. He knows he wasn’t hurt and the coaches know he wasn’t hurt and they allowed it anyway. It’s outside the integrity of the sport. He just got tired. He wasn’t hurt. He just wound his clock, took a timeout and the coaches just went along with it instead of keeping him out there and letting him deal with it."
On how Minnesota will react to the tie:
"It affects different people different ways, just as different people handle pressure differently. With some people pressure’s a good thing, and with others, pressure’s bad. You don’t know."
On Penn State's young talent and the challenges they face:
"I think everybody’s talking about their two freshmen. David Taylor is obviously having a great year and Ed Ruth is having a great year. They’re both wrestling very well. [Andrew] Alton, for a true freshmen is doing really well. He’s had some tough breaks lately, but that weight class in the Big Ten is really tough. He’s seen some good people. Jimmy Kennedy is good. [Kellen] Russell is good. There’s just good kids out there. Mike Thorn’s good. [Montell] Marion from Iowa is good. Those guys can be the top-5 in the country in any combination.
On the Big Ten tournament:
"I think it’s gonna be a dog fight and it’s gonna depend a lot on seedings, and what teams are healthy. If guys are healthy when they get to the Big Ten tournament, that’s always important and which teams are ready to wrestle when they get there. There’s a lot of factors that come in when getting ready for the Big Ten tournament. I think Penn State’s in a situation where they’re doing really well this year and have to win. I think there’s a lot of pressure on them. The expectation is a big deal. I think everyone’s expecting Penn State to go in there and win it so that’s what they have to do. They have to step up and do well. The Big Ten tournament, there’s a lot things involved. Seedings play a part in it, injuries play a part, where your wrestlers are plays a part of it, there’s a lot of pieces to the puzzle in order to get all the pieces together and all the pistons firing at once. A lot of it just has to do with what team’s ready at the end. Up until that point, nothing else matters."
Despite an 11-point home loss to No. 11 Michigan State (22-3, 10-2 Big Ten) and only beating Indiana (9-16, 3-10) by three points Sunday, the Penn State Lady Lions (21-6, 10-3) remained No. 23 in Monday's AP Top 25 Poll. Penn State received 138 points in the poll, which is actually 17 more points than it garnered last week.
The Lady Lions were 16 points behind No. 22 Marquette (19-5, 7-4 Big East). The Spartans are the only other Big Ten in the rankings, though Iowa is the first team out of the poll, receiving 40 votes. Baylor, Connecticut and Stanford remained the top three teams, respectively.
Penn State will have a chance to further improve its resume when it plays Ohio State (15-9, 6-6) on Thursday night in Columbus, Ohio.Comments
Many women's gymnasts came out to support the men's gymnastics team Saturday at Rec Hall as they took on Springfield College.
Last Sunday, the men did the same thing for the women's home meet, except they bore the phrase "14 Strong."
The boy on the right of each picture playing the role of an exclamation point is women's coaches Jeff and Rachelle Thompson's 12-year-old son Grffin.
Throughout the meet, the women shouted cheers from the stands, and the men responded with cheers from the sideline. It was a great gesture of support from the women's team, and just another example showing how closely intertwined both squads are.Comments
The No. 3 Nittany Lions went 1-0-1 this weekend with a 23-13 victory over No. 20 Illinois on Friday, and an 18-18 tie at No. 5 Minnesota on Sunday. Penn State is now 16-1-1 on the season and 5-1-1 in the Big Ten. Off the Mat is here to bring you a full recap this weekend's action and a first look at Brandt Gelman's fantastic new mustache.
It Was Over When...: Penn State went on a 12-2 run to close out the first half. The game was close in the opening minutes, with teams trading leads until about the 13-minute mark. Yet once the Nittany Lions started creating some separation, they also created momentum -- and the Wildcats just couldn't keep up. It also helped that Northwestern went scoreless for a nine-minute stretch toward the end of the half, which allowed Penn State to really pull away, entering halftime up by nine.
Player of the Game: Talor Battle. The senior guard's stats in the game weren't especially impressive -- 19 points, three rebounds, two assists. Yet the milestones he achieved in Sunday's game definitely warrant praise. Against Northwestern, Battle recorded his 2,000th-career point, becoming just the second Big Ten player this decade and 22nd player in conference history to accomplish that feat. In addition, Battle started in his 121st career game, setting a new school record. By playing 33 minutes, Battle passed Illinois' Bruce Douglas for fourth place all time in Big Ten history in minutes played. If that's not jaw-dropping enough, consider this: With his 19 points on Sunday, Battle now needs only 124 points to become the program's all-time leading scorer. That's definitely feasible with five games remaining in the regular season (plus a potential postseason run).
Stat of the Game: 34.6 percent -- Northwestern's field-goal percentage in the game. That marks the lowest field-goal percentage in a game for the Wildcats in the 11-year Bill Carmody era. The previous low was 37 percent, which occurred three times, most recently in 2008 at Assembly Hall.
Surprise of the Game: Northwestern shot 9.5 percent from 3-point range. The Wildcats entered Sunday ranked fifth nationally with an average of 9.3 made 3-pointers per game. Yet they began Sunday 0-for-14 from behind the arc before finally hitting a 3.
Quotable: "They were spirited, we knew we needed to win some games." -- Battle on what practices were like in the days leading up to Sunday's game. Entering Sunday, the Lions had dropped three-straight games, their longest losing streak of the season.
What's next: The Lions continue their two-game home stand when they host No. 18 Minnesota at the Bryce Jordan Center on Thursday.Comments
With the final ACHA rankings coming out this week, the Penn State Icers are set to find out their national playoff fates.
Coach Scott Balboni said the team could hear the results by Tuesday, and that he feels his team has done enough to deserve a spot in the national tournament. Over their last eight games, the Icers are sporting a 6-2-1 record, with two wins over teams currently ranked ahead of them.
16 teams make the tournament, and if you subtract the four automatic bids for league winners, the top 12 in the rankings make the tourney. The Icers are currently ranked No. 11, and since the last rankings have gone 2-1-1.
Even with the upset loss to Robert Morris (Pa.) this weekend, the Icers have a great chance of staying at their No. 11 spot if not moving up. Iowa State, currently ranked No. 12, lost two this weekend to No. 1 Lindenwood. While the losses may not have an effect on the Cyclones stock, it will definitely prevent them from moving ahead of Penn State.
Check this week's Collegian for updates on the Icers playoff situation.Comments
The Nittany Lions are reeling.
Penn State's blowout loss to Michigan State last Thursday — a 75-57 Spartans' win where the Lions feel behind at the very beginning and never seemed a threat to win — wasn't just detrimental to the Lions' NCAA tournament hopes.
The loss also meant Penn State is in its worst slump of the season.
The Lions have dropped three straight games, their longest losing streak of the year, and are in danger of falling into irrelevancy if they can't pull it back together soon. They'll have a chance to get back on track when they host Northwestern (14-9, 4-8 Big Ten) at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday at the Bryce Jordan Center. The Wildcats are only one game behind Penn State in the eight spot in the Big Ten standings, meaning they'll be just as hungry for a win.
Here's a little preview of what to expect:
1 v 1: The game features two of the most durable players not only in the conference, but also the country. Northwestern's Michael Thompson has started 118 consecutive games, the fourth-longest active streak in the nation. Meanwhile, with a start on Sunday, Battle will record his 121st career start — setting a new school record. Battle leads the conference with an average of 37.5 minutes played per game. Thompson is second at 35.9 minutes per contest.
Battle goes for 2,000: Penn State senior captain Talor Battle enters Sunday's game with 1,996 career points. Should the guard score at least four points against the Wildcats, he'll become just the second Big Ten player in the last decade and 22nd in the history of the conference to reach 2,000 points. Wisconsin's Alando Tucker (2007) is the only Big Ten player to accomplish that feat in the last 10 years.
Setting a standard: When the Wildcats beat Illinois on Feb. 5, they rewrote school history. The victory marked the 59th career win for this year's senior class, surpassing last year's class as the winningest in Northwestern history..
Triple threat: Northwestern ranks fifth nationally with an average of 9.3 made 3-pointers per game. The Wildcats are paced by John Shurna, who is shooting 50 percent from 3-point range this season, good for third in the country.Comments
The No. 23 Penn State Lady Lions (20-6, 9-3 Big Ten) will have a great opportunity to bounce back from Thursday’s home loss to No. 11 Michigan State (21-3, 9-2).
At 12:30 Sunday in Bloomington, Ind., the Lady Lions play the Hoosiers (9-15, 3-9), who are in 10th place in the Big Ten. The game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.
Indiana has won merely one game in its last 10, which was a seven-point win on the road against last-place Illinois on Thursday. The Hoosiers average just 62 points, opposed to Penn State’s 79.2 points per game. Indiana is last in the conference in scoring defense, scoring margin, field goal percentage, defensive rebounding, blocks and assists.
The last time these two teams met was on Jan. 23 at the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State didn’t play its best game as it shot just 35.1 percent from the field, but a BJC-record 61 rebounds helped the Lady Lions win 82-69.
Expect the Lady Lions to come out hungry after falling to second place with the loss to the Spartans. They have won their last three road games and simply have more talent then the Hoosiers. A convincing win, though, might be enough to keep the Lady Lions in the rankings this week.Comments
Final note: Mike Anderson PoM is Tom Comfort
5:15 Penn State survives a late scare from the Tigers and pull away with the win 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-23). Ryan Wolf gets the last kill of the match.
5:14 Timeout Penn State as Princeton comes within two at 23-21. Subs galore in for the Lions and Pav doesn't want to see a fourth set this afternoon.
5:12 Goas shows off his "Block Dance" as Kegerreis and Yasalonis deny the Tigers. 23-18 PSU
5:09 Another suggested headline for today's match: Penn State wins battle of feline supremacy (c/o Bill Landis). Joe Yasalonis enters the game for PSU, 22-16 Lions.
5:06 Timeout Princeton following the third service ace from Tom Comfort. 18-11 Lions
5:04 The Lions making the Tigers look like domesticated kittens, 16-10 Penn State as Kyle Mars joins his brother Alan on the court.
4:59 Not much to say for this match. The Lions are doing what they're supposed to be doing. Taking care of business without allowing Princeton much air to breathe. 11-7 Penn State, Timeout Tigers.
4:54 Lineup changes for the Lions: Ryan Wolf and Jace Olsen join Comfort, Mars, Covello, Del Valle and Turko. 4-3 Princeton early in the third set.
4:41 Penn State wins the second set in quick fashion 25-16 off a kill from Comfort
4:36 Timeout Princeton after hitting an error out of bounds. 20-12 Lions (Current lineup: Covello (S), Russell, Turko, Mars, Comfort, Sunder, Del Valle)
4:34 Another fairly new starter, Tom Comfort, also playing well today. The sophomore hit .750 in the first set and just registered a kill to put the Lions up 17-10.
4:31 Full house in the South Gym today, “standing room only” available. Lions are up 12-8
4:25 Timeout Princeton after a kill from, once again, Russell puts Penn State up 6-3. Lions playing nearly error-free volleyball thus far. They had only two errors in the first set and look shark so far in the second.
4:23 Second set begins the same way the first did, tied at two.
4:18 Penn State takes the first set by a score of 25-17 on a kill from Peter Russell
4:15 Russell playing well, notches another kill, 21-14 PSU. Now 22-15 Penn State.
4:07 Penn State cruising early. They’ve been limiting their errors while taking advantage of the Tigers’. 14-7 Penn State
4:04 Timeout Princeton as the Lions have their largest lead of the match at 9-5
4:02 Peter Russell with the kill in the first start of his collegiate career. The teams now trade service errors as the Lions hold the lead at 6-4
4:00 Through the first four points of the match the set is tied
Penn State starters: Turko, Goas, Comfort, Russell, Sunder, Del Valle, Hendries
Princeton starters: Liljestrom, McCarthy, Stapelton, Howard, Waddell, Dye and Tuminelli
Penn State is 38-2 all time against the Tigers and swept them all three times they faced each other last year.Comments
Something is rotten in the state of NCAA men’s volleyball.
Well, at least for the top five teams in the country.
In what was either a truly remarkable case of coincidence, or the result of the planets aligning perfectly, the top five teams in the AVCA Coaches Poll lost Friday night.
No. 1 USC was handed its first loss of the season by No. 11 Pepperdine in five sets in Malibu, Calif. The Wave took the first set from the previously undefeated Trojans and then bounced back from losses in sets two and three to take the final two frames.
No. 2 BYU dropped the first two sets to unranked Loyola Chicago on Friday night before taking sets three and four to set up a decisive fifth set in Chicago. Loyola’s Joseph Smelzer notched eight kills in the fifth set to lead the Ramblers to a 15-9 win over BYU.
BYU was tied for second place in the AVCA poll with Long Beach State, but the No. 2 49ers dropped a five-set heartbreaker to unranked Cal State Northridge in Northridge’s home gym, The Matadome. Long Beach won the first two sets in overwhelming fashion, taking them 25-11 and 25-16, respectively. But the young Northridge team battled back, taking the third and fourth sets and then outlasting Long Beach in the fifth set, 16-14.
No. 4 Stanford, last year’s national champion, was swept on the road by No. 12 UC San Diego.
No. 5 UCLA dropped its second straight match to No. 7 UC Santa Barbara, both by a score of 3-1.
So, what does this all say about the state of men’s volleyball? Well, not much considering all the teams, with the exception of Loyola Chicago, play in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.
What it does say is that the MPFC is very competitive. But there is also something for the Lions (8-3, 3-0 EIVA) to take away from these upsets as they defeated two of the teams that pulled off upsets last night. Penn State defeated Northridge, 3-0, and topped Loyola, 3-1 earlier this year.
And the upsets are great news for No. 6 Ohio State, which has won nine consecutive matches, including wins over Northridge, the No. 9 Lions and No. 8 UC Irvine. The Buckeyes look primed to move up at least one spot with UCLA’s record now sitting at 7-7 (2-6 MPFC).
This should also serve as a wakeup call for the Lions. Penn State has struggled of late, but this could be the kind of trend that opens the Lions’ eyes to the fact that they can’t play sluggish against teams that may appear to be sub-par.
Even the Princeton Tigers, the team that brings its 1-5 (0-2 EIVA) record to Rec Hall this afternoon for a 4 p.m. match with the Lions.Comments
Comfort gets a kill off the Rutgers block and Turko will serve match point for the Lions.
Comfort nearly makes the play of the match as he took a ball nearly off the scorer's table to keep it in play. Russell gets blocked on the kill attempt.
Hendries picks up the final kill for the Lions and they take the match, 3-1.
The Lions will be back in action tomorrow at 4 p.m. inthe South Gym as EIVA foe Princeton comes to Happy Valley.
It wasn't the prettiest match, but Penn State improves its conference record to 3-0 and hands Rutgers-Newark its first loss of the season.
Check the Collegian Online for more coverage of tonight's match.
Final Score: Penn State 3, Rutgers-Newark 1 (25-19, 28-26, 31-29, 25-19)
Goas sets to Turko to take the overpass opportunity away from Rutgers. The Lions take a 18-16 lead on Turko's kill. Rutgers' kill attempt goes out of bounds and the Lions lead 19-16.
Russell notches another solo block and the Lions lead 20-16.
Turko gets another emphatic kill to make the Lions' lead 22-17. Sunder and Turko go up to get the block point and the lead is 22-19.
Penn State gets another point and is now two points away from putting this match away.
Fourth Set: Penn State 23, Rutgers-Newark 17 (PSU leads match 2-1)
Rutgers' kill goes off the block of Goas and Hendries and down. Rutgers brings it back to 14-11, but then Austin Pappas commits a foot fault and the Lions lead 15-11.
Hendries hits his swing into a solo block from Brett Pickens and it's 15-13 Lions. Russell notches a kill and the Lions are back out in front by three. Double contact is called on the Raiders with Covello serving for the Lions, Penn State leads 17-13.
Block from Russell goes off the antennae and the Raiders bring it back to within one.
Pavlik takes his first timeout of the set.
Fourth Set: Penn State 17, Rutgers-Newark 16 (PSU leads match 2-1)
Rutgers opens up an early 5-3 lead as the Lions appear to have a hangover from that tough third set.
Penn State appeared to have won a point after the line judge ruled a Rutgers' kill out of bounds. But the referee rules that ball goes out off the Penn State block.
Pete Russell earns a solo block to give the Lions an 8-6 lead. A hitting error from Rutgers makes it 9-6. Comfort serves the ball into the net and it's 9-7, Lions.
Comfort picks up a kill from the back row and then Goas and Hendries pick up a block point to give the Lions a 12-9 lead. Goas and Hendries go up for the block again, but the ball hits the net before it gets to them.
Rutgers takes a timeout.
Fourth Set: Penn State 13, Rutgers-Newark 9 (PSU leads match 2-1)
Comfort has trouble handling the set from Goas, but his half-miss swing attempt finds the floor to tie the set at 25.
Covello comes in to serve for the Lions. The Rutgers kill goes off the Penn State block and out and gives another set point to Rutgers.
Russell gets a good swing off the block and out of bounds. 26-26.
Comfort serves and Del Valle can't handle the dig attempt, 27-26 Rutgers. Russell goes off the block again and ties the set at 27.
Sunder notches a kill and Russell will serve match point for the Lions. Kill from Rutgers ties the set at 28. Rutgers coach Karl France hasn't taken his hands off of his head in the last five minutes.
Rutgers gets a kill, but then hits one out and the set sits tied at 29.
Turko serves for the Lions and Kenneth de Groh nothces the kill for Rutgers. Set point once again for Rutgers. The double block is good for the Raiders on Sunder and the Raiders take the third set by a score of 31-29.
End of the Third Set: Penn State 2, Rutgers-Newark 1
Sunder serves the ball into the net and Rutgers still has life. The Raiders serve, trailing 24-23.
The Rutgers's serve is picked up by Del Valle, who passes to Goas who sets to Sunder, but the kill goes out of bounds and it's 24-24.
The next rally goes to Rutgers after Russell's kills attempt goes out of bounds.
Pav takes a timeout.
Third Set: Rutgers-Newark 25, Penn State 24 (PSU leads match 2-0)
The Raiders earn a kill to take a 19-18 lead. Almost a bad mistake from the Raiders as they thought they had blocked Sunder, but the ball was kept up. The Raiders regroup and earn the point.
A Penn State kill makes it 19-19 and a solo block from Sunder on Austin Pappas gives the Lions a 20-19 lead. A Rutgers kill evens the set at 20.
Sunder sends one over the back line and it's 21-20 Rutgers.
Hitting error from Raiders brings the score back to 21. Hendries blocks the initial attack from Rutgers and then Comfort picks up a kill to give the Lions a 22-21 lead. Nice hustle from the Lions as three players went to floor to keep the ball up. Rutgers gets the kill on the overpass, however and it's 22-22.
Sunder kill makes it 23-22. A net violation gives match point to the Lions. Sunder back to serve. Rutgers takes a timeout.
Third Set: Penn State 24, Rutgers-Newark 22 (PSU leads match 2-0)
Sunder gets another service ace out of the timeout and it's 5-1 Lions. The outside hitter's next serve goes just out, but the damage was done by Sunder's serve as it won the Lions three consecutive points.
Pete Russell stays hot as he gets a kill from the weak side to give the Lions a 6-3 lead.
A service error from Kegerreis makes the score 7-5 Lions. A net violation makes 8-5 and Russell serves for the Lions. His serve is dug up by Chambers and the kill is registered by Rutgers.
A Rutgers' kill goes off of Goas and out of bounds, the Penn State lead is cut to 10-10. An error from Kegerreis goes out and the set is tied at 10. Pav takes Kegerreis out and goes with the sophomore Tom Comfort.
A Turko kill gives the Lions a 13-11 lead.
Turko goes off the block again and the Lions' lead is 15-13. Comfort serves for the first time this match, then comes up with a nice dig as he goes full-extension to keep the ball up. Another dig from Sunder keeps the ball up and Russell picks up a kill off the block for 16-13 lead.
Rutgers shooting itself in the foot as the Raiders keep making errors to fall behind by two points after they get within one. Russell earns an ace for the Lions and the Penn State lead is 18-15.
Sunder hits the ball into the net to cut the lead to 18-17. A net violation from Penn State gives the point to Rutgers and ties the set at 18 apiece. Pavlik takes a timeout as the Raiders have appeared to swing momentum their way.
Third Set: Penn State 18, Rutgers-Newark 18 (PSU leads match 2-0)
Goas starts the set with a kill, his third of the match, and it's 1-0 Lions. Goas gives it back as he tries to rip off a jump serve and the ball goes into the net.
Ian Hendries and his mustache pick up a kill. Sunder notches back-to-back aces and the Lions lead 4-1. The Penn State bench is the most vocal it has been all season and the Rutgers takes a timeout.
Third Set: Penn State 4, Rutgers-Newark 1 (PSU leads match 2-0)
Some thoughts at the break:
Nice job of the Lions to battle back at the end of set two to take it from Rutgers. The Scarlet Raiders seemed to have the wind taken out of their sail a bit after Hendries' float serve found the floor.
The second set was not a strong one at all for the Lions as the Rutgers' block kept them in check for much of the set. The Scarlet Raiders had four blocks in that set, but Sunder's arm kept the Lions in the game. The redshirt junior went 6-for-7 on his swing attempts in the second set and is hittitng .750 for the match.
Pete Russell has once again provided a nice spark in place of the struggling Jace Olsen. Russell has accumulated four kills on six swings and made a key play in the second set to win a point for the Lions when it looked certain that Rutgers was going to win the rally.
Penn State once again having trouble blocking as the Lions have just one block through two sets. The Lions do have 16 digs, but with the height the Lions have at the net, Penn State shouldn't be being out-blocked by this Rutgers team.
Momentum is certainly in the Lions' favor. Putting teams away has been a problem for this young Penn State team, but this is the opportune time for the Lions to put their foot down and take this match in straight sets.
The teams are back out on the floor, we'll have third set action in a bit.
Start of Third Set: Penn State 2, Rutgers-Newark 0
Turko picks up the kill out of the timeout to bring the Lions back to within one. A hitting error from the Raiders and the set is tied at 22.
Turko back to serve for the Lions and his serve starts a rally that ends in a kill. Error from the Lions sets up set point for the Lions. The Rutgers serve goes into the net and it's 24-23 Rutgers with Goas serving for the Lions.
Sunder's kill goes off the back row and over the Rutgers' bench and we'll have bonus volleyball, The score sits at 24-24.
Raiders kill sets up the second set point for Rutgers, but Sunder notches another kill to even the set at 25. Sunder will serve for the Lions.
Raiders kill off Sunder gives them their third set point,. The serve goes just out as the Raiders started to celebrate set point. Hendries serving for the Lions. He earns a free ball that is put away by Russell on the overpass and the Lions have their first set point of the the set at 27-26.
Hendries floats one over and it falls to the floor to give the second set to Penn State by a score of 28-26.
End of Second Set: Penn State 2, Rutgers-Newark 0
Rutgers gets the first point out fo the timeout. Kegerreis answers with a kill of the block and it's 11-11. Pavlik has a laugh with Kegerreis after the kill.
Goas' float serve falls to the floor. Penn State leads 13-12.
A hiting error on Hendires gives the lead back to Rutgers at 14-13. A kill attempt from Kegerreis is met by a double block from Rutgers and it's 15-13 in favor of the Raiders.
A kill from Sunder and a hitting error from the Raiders evens the set at 15. Sunder serving for Penn State.
Kegerreis blocks a ball the lands just past the scorer's table and out of the reach of a Rutgers' player. Lions back in front at 16-15. Sunder's next serve goes just out and we're back even. A solo block from Rutgers' Marcin Midura makes it 16-16.
Nice hustle from Goas and Kegerreis ends in a dumb net violation from Rutgers. The ball looked to be heading to the floor after Russell was the last make contact with it, but the Rutgers' blocker went up and hit the net with his hand.
Rutgers libero Zack Chambers makes a nice play coming off the court and through the the Raiders bench to keep a ball up. The free ball goes the Lions and Sunder's kill is timely as hits the floor right in front of Chambers as he came back on. 21-20 in favor of Rutgers.
A Raiders' kill gives them a 22-20 lead and Pav takes his final timeout of the set.
Second Set: Rutgers-Newark 22, Penn State 20 (PSU leads match 1-0)
Back-to-back kills from Russell and Sunder bring the Lions back within two at 10-8. A net violation from Rutgers on the overpass attempt makes it a one-point set with Russell serving for the Lions.
The freshman starts a rally that ends with a kill from Turko.
Four straight points from the Lions and Rutgers takes a timeout.
Pav and the Lions bench getting a little more animated now.
Second Set: Penn State 10, Rutgers-Newark 10 (PSU leads match 1-0)
Turko starts the second set with a service ace. Rutgers answers with a kill and it's 1-1.
Pavlik is seated at the start of the second set.
Olsen moves out of the way of a ball that he thought was going out, the ball lands just in and Rutgers has an early 3-2 lead. A service error from Rutgers and a kill from Olsen on the overpass gives the Lions a 4-3 lead.
A rare service error from Sunder ties the set at 4-4. Olsen hits the ball into a double block and Rutgers leads 5-4. That play gets Pavlik out of his seat. Another block point for the Raiders, this one off a swing from Hendries, and it's 6-4 Raiders. Pavlik takes out Olsen and puts in Russell.
A kill from Turko after a nice rally brings the Lions back to within one at 7-6. A Rutgers kill off the block attempt by Goas and it's back to 8-6.
Sunder lets a serve fall next to him. He appeared to think the ball was headed out, but it fell in and Rutgers has a 10-6 lead.
Pavlik takes his first timeout with the Lions trailing by six.
Second Set: Rutgers-Newark 10, Penn State 6 (PSU leads match 1-0)
Covello earns a service ace after hitting off the Rutgers' back row and off the net setting up set point for the Lions.
Covello sets again and this one is picked up by the Raiders, but the kill attempt lands just out of bounds and the first set belongs to the Lions.
End of First Set: Penn State 1, Rutgers-Newark 0
Kegerreis hits one of the antennae and Pavlik seems a little upset with the way his team is playing right now, up 22-19. Tor Covello comes in to serve for the Lions and starts a rally that ends in a kill for Nick Turko.
Rutgers takes their final timeout and the Lions come off the court as Turko gets a nod of approval from Coach Pavlik.
First Set: Penn State 23, Rutgers-Newark 19
Ian Hendries takes the set from Goas and he hits it off the Rutgers' block and down to give Penn State the first point of the match. A block from Rutgers and a kill from Sunder make the score 2-1 early.
A Rutgers' serve gets Penn State out of rotation and Goas is forced to set a ball with a lot of spin on it that Olsen can't handle and he hits it into the net. Another error, this one out of bounds from Olsen gives the Scarlet Raiders a 4-2 lead. Olsen gets the ball a third time and puts it away to bring the Lions back to within one.
Goas sets Sunder across the net. The big outside hitter buries it from the weak side and ties the set at 6-6. Sunder and Turko then make a good block to give the Lions a 7-6 lead. Third straight point for Sunder as he tips one over the block after Olsen's sevre earned the Lions a free ball.
Olsen goes up for what looks like a big swing from the back row, but then chops it off and drops one in in front of the Rutgers' back row. The Lions lead 11-7.
Hendries goes off the block, Rutgers' Austin Pappas dives nearly under the scorers table to keep the ball up, but the table keeps him from reaching the ball. The kill gives Penn Stat a 13-10 lead. Back-to-back block points from Rutgers bring the Scarlet Raiders back to within one.
After a long rally, Olsen gets the set from Goas and hits the ball well out of bounds prompting Rutgers' coach Karl France to jump out of his seat as the Scarlet Raiders have tied the set at 13.
The Lions go 2-for-1, including a kill from Olsen, and the score sets at 15-14. A Raiders' service error makes the lead 16-14 for Penn State. Olsen gives the point back as the freshman continues his struggles of late. It will be interesting to see if coach Mark Pavlik brings in freshman Pete Russell who has provided some strong play when put in for Olsen.
Goas picks up his first kill to give the Lions an 18-16 lead.
Lions coach Mark Pavlik standing now with the Lions leading 21-17. Rutgers takes a timeout. Interesting to note that Pavlik is normally found sitting on the Lions' sideline even when the team is down. Out of character for the coach to be standing and shouting instructions with his team up 3 this late in the first set.
First Set: Penn State 21, Rutgers-Newark 17
Penn State starters: S Edgardo Goas, OH Joe Sunder, OH Jace Olsen, OH Scott Kegerreis, MH Nick Turko, MH Ian Hendries, L Dennis Del Valle
Rutgers-Newark starters:RS Kenneth de Groh, RS Austin Pappas, OH Grant Metheny, MH Brett Pickens, OH Marcin Midura, S Jeff Zornig, L Zack Chambers
Hey there Penn State men's volleyball fans, this is Collegian men's volleyball writer Bill Landis coming to you live from Rec Hall's South Gym where tonight the No. 9 Penn State Nittany Lions take on the Scarlet Raiders of Rutgers-Newark in EIVA action.
Penn State is coming off a 3-0 sweep at the hands of No. 6 Ohios State. Rutgers, meanwhile, has yet to lose this season bringing a perfect 8-0 (1-0 EIVA) record into tonight's match.
The Lions record sits at 7-3 (2-0 EIVA) after the loss to the Buckeyes Wednesday night.
We're about 10 minutes from first serve.
I'll be back with starting lineups and game action in a few.Comments
The Penn State women's gymnastics team faces North Carolina tonight in its first away meet against an unranked team.
The Tar Heels aren't ranked in the top 25 on any event, so Penn State will be the favorite to win.
The Nittany Lions are No. 18 overall with an average score of 194.665, three spots higher than last week. The team will look to bring that score closer to 196 as the season progresses.
The Lions are No. 12 on uneven bars with an average of 48.875 and No. 11 on balance beam with an average of 48.610, moving up two spots in the rankings on each of those events.
The team is not ranked in the top 25 on floor exercise or vault.Comments
Coming off a 3-0 sweep at the hands of Ohio State, Penn State will return home this weekend for EIVA action in South Gym of Rec Hall.
Here are some things to look for.
Rutgers Newark on a roll
Although they haven't really been tested so far this season, Rutgers-Newark has started 2011 8-0. Last year, the Scarlet Raiders knocked off the Nittany Lions in a non-EIVA matchup on March 27. Coming off a road loss to Ohio State on Wednesday, the young Lions will have to respond in order to keep pace with George Mason in conference play, who has also started 2-0.
The Lions responding
Mentioned above, Penn State has had some tough losses in the past week. The Lions fell to UC Irvine, who was downed by Ohio State the next day, then fell to the Buckeyes last night in Columbus. With freshmen Jace Olsen, Scott Kegerreis, and now Peter Russell seeing time, it will be interesting to see how this time bounces back and takes care of business in the EIVA this weekend.
Players to watch
Penn State: Freshman Peter Russell
Russell has seen his workload increase over the past week, and had the best match of his career on Wednesday. He was second on the team with seven kills and hit at a team-best .385 hitting percentage. Look for his time to be increased as he keeps progressing.
Rutgers Newark: Marcin Midura
Madura was a major factor in last years win over the Lions. He put down 22 kills and hit at .474, a strong percentage for an outside hitter. Look for him to have a strong game, he must have the confidence he can pull it off again.
Princeton Vincent Tuminelli
Princeton is off to a rocky 2011, but Tuminelli has been the Tigers' most consistent offense weapon, averaging more than three kills per set in five matches so far.Comments
After two convincing wins against Michigan State and No. 10 Michigan, No. 3 Penn State (14-1, 5-1) is preparing for another challenging weekend of Big Ten wrestling with a home match against No. 20 Illinois (4-4-1, 2-3-1) at 7 p.m. on Friday and an away dual with No. 5 Minnesota (14-3, 5-0) at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Backpoints is here to give you a preview of what the Nittany Lions can expect heading into this weekend.
41.8 2nd half MSU 58-PSU 46
Keane is on Lucas, and at 6-1, it doesn't give Lucas a lot of space to shoot.
Lykendra Johnson gets a rebound and putback to put MSU up 10 and that is likely the dagger with 1:25 left. The crowd is filing out of the BJC rapidly.
Lucas tries a 3 to spark something but it's blocked. She didn't have much room to shoot that one.
Keane is fouled immediately, goes to the line and hits 1-of-2.
jasmine Thomas picks off Trogele and lays it in uncontested. That's 13 points for Michigan State's lead so we're going to call it a night.
Thanks for following and check the Collegian tomorrow for a recap and sidebar.
3:45 2nd half. MSU 53 - PSU 45
Nickson at the line, again. She gets both shots to fall and the Spartans lead by 11.
A Lucas 3 flies out, but Greene gets the rebound and finds Bentley.
Lucas gets into the lane and works around her defender to cut the lead down to 9.
Bentley does well to poke the ball away from Alton, but the ref gives it back to MSU. Brittany Thomas walks and with 6:06 left, there is a ton of life in the BJC.
Penn State employs the roll-the-ball to preserve clock technique and Alex Bentley restarts the fervor with a layup. Lykendra Johnson finally misses a shot and Penn State fouls Cetera Washington.
Washington hits her first, which brings on Trogele, then misses the second, which Trogele rebounds.
Lucas runs off a screen from Greene and gets hit on a layup attempt. The ball falls short, but Lucas gets two. She misses both, rather surprisingly, but Greene gets the board. However, Greene can't get a putback try to go, but MSU knocks it out.
Bentley finds an open Greene on the wing, who misses everything with a jumper. Bentley is playing inspired basketball right now, she is trying to take this game over. With 10 team fouls on MSU, PSU will go to the line the rest of the game.
Bentley hits her first FT and her second, and the Spartans lead by six.
Jasmine Thomas gets into the lane and draws the fourth foul on Greene with a bit of an embellished fall. But she misses her free throw, though Bentley makes a bad kick-out pass.
7:55 2nd half MSU 50 - PSU 37
Nickson keeps working and gets to the line, hitting both shots. Greene replaces East.
Gray takes a deflected pass from Lucas and gets a layup. This place just got real loud real fast. And Lykendra Johnson quiets it with a rebound and way off balance putback.
9:50 1st half MSU 48 - PSU 33
Talia East gets her first basket of the year on a shot in the lane. But Lykendra Johnson answers right back.
Nickson with a strong move inside to hold onto the ball, get it up and finish it. But again, it's Lykendra Johnson.
Bentley goes in the lane and gets one off the glass. Alton misses for MSU, but Johnson comes up with the board and gets fouled on the putback.
At the line, Johnson goes 2-of-2 while Brittany Thomas comes back for Jasmine Thomas.
Lucas injects some life into the crowd with a 3, but Penn State is still down 15.
11:50 2nd half MSU 41- PSU 24
Trogele makes her return to the court to a round of applause.
Nickson drives the lane and gets fouled. The co-captain goes just 1-of-2 at the line.
Lykendra Johnson with another bucket and freshman Talia East makes her first appearance for Penn State.
A very determined looking Lucas finds Nickson who fires and hits a jumper in the lane.
Pickrel gets a friendly roll. Trogele looks out of it, she's not moving at full speed and seems to be favoring her injured foot.
Studevent gets a couple of good looks but can't hit anything, while Lucas isn't getting much help getting open.
15:42 2nd half. MSU 35 - PSU 21
Wolfe comes in for Greene.
Another quick timeout.
16:16 2nd half MSU 35 - PSu 21
Not a good start at all for Penn State. Julia Trogele turned her ankle after the first possession and is being helped off the floor. She is going behind the stands, likely to the locker room.
Alton hits a 3 for Penn State. Just 3-of-8, all of her makes have been 3s.
Brittany Thomas called for a foul and Greene goes to the foul line. She clanks the first and the second hits backrim and flies out to MSU. Thomas turns the board into a basket on the other end.
Keane called for her thrid foul, which brings Pickrel on for Keane.
Mia Nickson. And-1. The redshirt sophomore reaches double figures and hits her foul shot to give her 11.
Lucas, who replaced the injured Trogele, is on Alton, who has two inches on Lucas. Jasmine for Brittany Thomas.
Alton is free for a 3, but misses it an Gray gets the rebound. Lucas misses a 3, but Gray again gets the board.
Trogele is back on the bench.
Green picks up her third foul.
Alton is doing work, at least running. The forward has continually gotten open, but has missed her last two tries from outside the arc.
Studevent came in for Gray who went to the end of the bench.
Alton hits another three and it prompts a timeout from PSU
Here's some numbers, but they aren't pretty at all.
MSU 9-29 (31 percent) PSU 7-27 (25.9 percent). From 3, MSU is 4-15 and PSU is 2-4.
Penn State has not scored since 6:20 remained in the first half.
Nickson and Lucas lead Penn State with 8 each while Lykendra Johnson leads all scorers with 11.
HALFTIME MSU 27-PSU 18
Gizelle Studevent is in for Penn State.
Back to back travels by each team pretty much sum this game up. Sluggish.
Timeout, MSU 24 - PSU 18.
Studevent, Gray, Nickson, Lucas and Trogele for PSU. Lot of changes through the half.
Keane hits a three just before the half and a heave by Penn State falls short at the horn. Coquese Washington did not look at all happy as she left the floor.
1:12 1st half MSU 24 - PSU 18
Penn State's five is Lucas, Womack, Gray, Bentley and Nickson. Four guards and an undersized forward.
Womack and Nickson go to the floor to tie up a loose ball. It goes back to MSU, but next one goes to PSU.
A basket! Lykendra Johnson ends a four-minute drought.
Alton finds Johnson for a 3.
timeout on the floor
2:56 1st half MSU 19-PSU 18
Out of the timeout, Penn State has two lobbed passes picked off or deflected and Lucas misses a 3.
Trogele sets a good screen for Lucas who takes a dribble and nails the open 3.
Nickson draws an offensive foul on Keane, while Wolfe and Gray come in for Nickson and Lucas.
Trogele called for a blocking foul. Penn State has six fouls.
Michigan State forces Trogele into an awful shot and the clock runs out on that Penn State possession. Lucas returns for Ariel Edwards, Courtney Schiffauer is in for Cetera Washington. I hope she doesn't score, that's a really hard name to type.
Bentley drives into Thomas and gets a foul and an inbounds for Penn State out of it. Jasmine Thomas replaces Brittany Thomas.
Bentley overthrows Wolfe on a pass, though the ball was certainly in reach and Nickson comes on to replace Wolfe.
Penn State's offense is out of whack tonight. Bentley has the ball knocked out of bounds on a drive and it's a timeout.
7:46 1st half MSU 17 - PSU 15
So far, Michigan State's defense is trumping Penn State's offense.
Porsche Poole is in for Brittany Thomas. Penn State's lineup is Gray, Womack, Lucas, Wolfe and Trogele.
Wolfe gets the pass inside from Trogele and promptly walks. Bentley is back for Wolfe and the Lady Lions have gone zone.
Greene and Nickson back in as well and Trogele and Gray sit. Nikki Greene draws her second foul and it puts Kalisha Keane at the foul line. Trogele back in for Greene, who has not had a good start.
Lucas bails out Bentley with a fallaway jumper from the wing after Bentley picked up her dribble. Keane fouls Bentley on a break and Brittany Thomas is back for MSU.
Mia Nickson with another turnaround jumper in the lane. She's got that shot down to an art form.
Lykendra Johnson is a beast on the glass. She just stole a rebound from Nickson and managed to get a foul call out of it, earning her two foul shots. Ariel Edwards in for Renee Womack. Johnson hits both FTs to break a 15-15 deadlock.
Penn State back in their zone with Nickson playing center.
11:56 1st half. MSU 13 - PSU 11
Yeah, that foul wasn't on Bentley, it was on Brittany Thomas, who is No. 20 on MSU. PA guy is trippin' tonight.
Nickson goes to the line, hits her first and finishes the trip with two points. Penn State within one as Michigan State front-irons a rim.
Maggie Lucas is on the board with what else, a 3 and the Lions have their first lead. It doesn't last long as Alton ties the game back up.
On the wing, Alton is left open and sinks an open 3.
Lucas goes baseline and fades away, but the ball rims out.
For a point guard, Brittany Thomas is big and she beats Bentley into the lane, but misses and Trogele fights the rebound down and into Bentley's hands, who goes coast to coast.
Lucas whistled for a foul, putting Annalise Pickrel at the line. Marisa Wofle in for Penn State. Trogele has a cut on her left leg and is having that tended to on the sideline. A quick bandage and some tape, and Trogele is back.
The senior gets a rebound drives up the floor and pulls up at the foul line, but her shot attempt is short. Renee Womack in for Bentley. and Jasmine Thomas in for the Spartans.
Trogele called for a foul, but on the inbounds, Thomas' foot slips out of bounds and Penn State gets it back.
Timeout on the floor.
15:32 1st half. MSU 7 - PSU 4
Greene gets the opening tip to Bentley and we're off.
Trogele called for a walk on PSU's first possession, Michigan State responds with a miss, but Nickson touches it out of bounds and Penn State comes up with the board on the inbounds.
Bentley drives lane and gets called for a travel and MSU's Alton opens the scoring with a 3.
Greene travels, so that's three turnovers and a miss for Penn State so far.
Bentley pulls up and misses, Nickson gets the board and finds Greene, who gets blocked and retaliates with a foul that prompts Coquese Washington to bring Maggie Lucas on for Greene.
Trogele side-rims a shot which leads to a transition hoop for Thomas.
Nickson gets Penn State on the board with 16:44 left on a turnaround shot in the lane.
Michigan State has a lot of size at every position and it's giving Penn State a bit of trouble here early. Except for Nickson, who hits her second straight shot.
Lykendra Johnson fights for a board and puts up the shot, getting it to fall.
Bentley called for a foul and we have timeout on the floor.
So far, Maggie Lucas needed two tries to hit her customary corner 3 before the team breaks huddle and the PA guy messed up Zhaque Gray's introduction.
Foreshadowing or Bon Jovi hangover? Only time will tell.
Good news everyone! The scoreboard, which had been, let's say less than stellar the past few weeks, seems to be working perfectly.
We'll thank Bon Jovi for that one.
What's going on fans. After a bit of a lay-off, we are back with a live blog of tonight's game between No.11 Michigan State and No.23 Penn State.
The Lady Lions own a half-game lead over the Spartans in the Big Ten, so the winner of tonight's game will have the lead in conference. It's a matchup of the conference's top offense in Penn State against the top defense of Michigan State.
Your starters tonight
G Alex Bentley
G Zhaque Gray
F Julia Trogele
F Mia Nickson
C Nikki Greene
G Cetera Washington
G Brittany Thomas
F Taylor Alton
F Kalisha Keane
F Lykendra Johnson
We'll be back with game-type stuff in a few minutesComments
As coach of Blair Academy, the No. 2-ranked high school wrestling team in the country, Jeff Buxton (pictured at right talking to his team) has done his share of recruiting top scholastic wrestlers.
And when Buxton first saw Ed Ruth, he knew he had a special talent on his hands.
Having watched Ruth develop from a soft-spoken kid from Harrisburg to a national title contender at Penn State, Buxton looks back on the time Ruth spent at Blair.
On getting Ruth to Blair:
"Ed wrestles for a club in Carisle with Marat Tomaev. Marat was a former Penn State wrestler and a Blair wrestler. Marat had been talking to me over the past couple of years about a kid who he thought could really benefit from a year at Blair, or two years, and one that he thought needed a better year academically to get himself ready for college and certainly for wrestling would just be the gravy on top. And that's basically how I met Ed. He came into Blair his senior year. I think a lot of people kind of questioned Ed. He hadn't won a Pennsylvania state title. He'd always been in the hunt, the same at the national level whether it was going on to the duals or wrestling in folk style duals as well as out in some freestyle events, he was one of those guys that was on everybody's radar but nobody was ready to jump and make him one of those big time scholarship athletes."
On Ruth's development while at Blair:
"The one thing I think everybody felt about Ed was that he was one of those guys that was a tremendous athlete and that's the first thing that I really picked up about him. He's an uncanny athlete. He's got unbelievable grip strength. He's got huge hands and a long reach and he can roll around really well. But the best thing was that when he came to Blair he was like a sponge. There were times that we were almost throwing too much technique at him and he was like a kid in a candy shop trying to do everything at once. We kind of brought him back to, 'This is what you do really well. Let's keep working on this and these are the things you need to do to be successful in college.' The one thing that I do think that he really gained at Blair was a confidence in himself, one academically and also as a person. He's a really laid back kid with a great sense of humor. I think that he really got a chance to focus in on some certain things. I don't know if he had a real passion for wrestling, but he's developed one and I think even in his own mind, he didn't know how good he was. I think a lot of those questions got answered by coming to Blair. He really took off as an athlete and we really just pointed him in the right direction. It wasn't something special that we did. I think he was surrounded by great workout partners and he was surrounded by great competition. It made him jump to another level and some college coaches really missed the boat on Ed because they just didn't have a real good picture of how good he could be. The thing that always comes back to me about Ed is that he's a terrific athlete, he's got big lungs so he can wrestle all day, and he can ride on top. You put all of those factors together and you've got a good college wrestler."
On Blair's ability to produce top-notch wrestlers:
"I think I have some very committed kids and there's a great culture here. Our offseason is a time where we work on strength training and conditioning, and give them a big push to do well in freestyle. There's that emphasis on that area. And we have a schedule that, every weekend, we're wrestling somebody tough. It's almost like being in the Big Ten. You don't have those easy matches. It's every weekend that the team's being challenged. That part is crucial. And the other part is getting them ready for college wrestling and have guys be good on the bottom and be able to ride on top and being able to counter leg attacks and be able to hand fight. Those are the things that we really concentrate on because our goal is to do well, but my biggest goal as a coach is to prepare guys for college. Get them prepared academically for what they're gonna have in front of them and the other part is to prepare for them for the physical prowess that they're gonna have to have when they step into the college room and compete on high level in college."
On Ruth's laid back attitude:
"The first tournament we wrestled in, there were two guys that were ranked very high in the country. They might have been No. 1 and No. 2 at 171 pounds. One was Phillips from Ohio and they other was Lofthouse from Utah, and this is at the
(Photo courtesy of njmonthly.com)
Thursday’s 7 p.m. matchup between the Lady Lions and Michigan State at the Bryce Jordan Center features two very evenly matched teams. Penn State (20-5, 9-2 Big Ten) and the Spartans (20-3, 8-2) are 1-2 in several statistical categories among Big Ten teams. Here are some factors that could affect the outcome of the battle for first place in the conference:
Will the home-court advantage continue?
Penn State is 14-2 all-time at home against the Spartans. The two teams split their games last season, with each winning at home. This season, Michigan State is 5-3 on the road but just 3-2 in conference play. The Lions have won all but one of their 13 games at the Bryce Jordan Center. If there’s any sort of energy from the crowd, as there was against Ohio State, the Lions will have a good chance of pulling this game out. Advantage: Penn State
Will offense or defense prevail?
This game is a matchup of the Penn State’s Big Ten-best offense and the Spartans’ conference-best defense. Michigan State averages more than 10 steals per game and allows just 55.1 point per game. Meanwhile, the Lions average 80.4 points per game. It’s typically easier for a defense to slow down an offense. However, this Penn State team has so many potential scorers; it’s tough to stop everyone. Advantage: Even
Who will win the battle down low?
While the Lions are led by guards in the scoring column, Michigan State is guided by two veteran forwards. Senior Kalisha Keane and redshirt junior Lykendra Johnson are the top two scorers for the Spartans, averaging 16.1 and 10.8 points, respectively. Penn State does have an advantage in height over the two Spartans, who are each 6-foot-1. However, their experience and success on both offense and defense (each are in the Big Ten’s top five for steals) may prove to be too much for Penn State. Advantage: Michigan State
Who has more depth?
Each team has 10 players who have contributed in the majority of the teams’ games. The first few minutes could be key to see which team can grab a lead before having to go to the bench players. Freshman Maggie Lucas is a key factor for Penn State coming off the bench. It takes Michigan State’s first four bench players to equal Lucas’ scoring production. Should the Lions come out strong and grab a lead, the freshman could enter the game looking to extend the margin. Advantage: Penn StateComments
Though Wednesday’s article about Penn State freshman Maggie Lucas contained many stories of how she’s gotten to this point in her career, the people who know her best had some more things to say.
Here’s a look at what else Lucas and some of her friends and family had to say about the Lady Lion guard.
Maggie Lucas, on the last time she played without having a defender keying on her:
“I can’t remember. Part of the game for me is having my jersey held when I’m off the ball and not getting calls. It’s just something that you get accustomed to. I don’t know basketball any other way. I started playing AAU in second grade. I’ve always been targeted as a scorer and a shooter. People have always been in my jersey and pushing me off screens. I had little girls grabbing on to me.”
Lucas, on meeting Joe Paterno during a recruiting visit:
“It was pretty surprising. They took me to a summer workout. I didn’t think I was going to meet him. I thought they were just showing me some parts of the campus I hadn’t seen yet. He just walked out, and he was so cool and down to earth. He was like, ‘If you ever want a spaghetti dinner, you can come over to our house and Sue will cook for you.’ He hasn’t held up yet.”
Lucas didn’t get her ears pierced until this past summer. (You can see the humorous video of her getting them pierced here, courtesy of Talia East.) Here’s what she had to say about growing up and concentrating on basketball:
“I was a little baller. I was a little tomboy. I’d always have a Tennessee jersey on. Getting my ears pierced back then wasn’t my highest priority. It was just about, ‘Where can I shoot? And when?’ I wasn’t really into that back then. They’ve actually closed up. My teammates and I are going to get them pierced again at the end of the season. Everyone says it doesn’t hurt, I think otherwise.”
Lucas’ high school coach, Sherri Retif, on the lost congratulatory phone call from Caroline Doty:
“I remember when Maggie got accepted into our school, and Caroline Doty called to congratulate her. Her dad evidently erased the voicemail. I remember her Dad calling me and saying, ‘Sherri, Caroline called and I erased the voicemail. I don’t have the phone number. Can you give it to m?. Maggie just gave me a hard time. She said, ‘One of the best players in the country just called my house and you erased the voicemail?’ It’s interesting now because I think Maggie is also one of the best players in the country. It’s good to see her at the level she’s been able to perform at for Penn State.”
Lucas’ father, Albert, on how Maggie’s brothers handled her success:
“They didn’t love that at the time. They really are two of her biggest fans, now. Whenever there is a game on, if they can’t watch, they’re text messaging me and getting updates. The family is really close, and the boys are definitely two of Maggie’s biggest fans. She really relies on them. Getting that positive reinforcement, and even advice, because they both can play. It has really helped her get better.”
Albert, on Lucas’ current status:
“I talked to her [Satursday] morning. It’s way past the halfway point of the season. She’s said she’s still feeling fresh. She actually feels better than she did at the beginning of the season, physically. She’s a determined person. She’s expectant of herself. Her success is no accident. It’s a tremendous amount of work combined with a really good attitude.”
Lucas’ brother, Ben, talking about cheering for his sister:
“Me and my friends, her senior year, we had a little fan section. There were four of us. We all wore her jerseys. We were pretty hardcore fans. I wasn’t going to just watch. I was cheering her on. It was competitive before, but it’s all love now. I love seeing her being successful at Penn State. I got to see one of her games over break when I came home. I think everything is going great so far. I’m so proud of her.”
Current UConn junior and former teammate, Caroline Doty, on first seeing Lucas play:
“My first impression was like, ‘This girl can shoot. She’s going to be really good.’ We were always in the gym together. Always competing and doing shooting drills to see who’d win. As a freshman, she was showing up a few of the upperclassmen. You knew she had a special talent.”
Doty (who’s out for the year with an torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee) , talking about Lucas’ work ethic and discussing which of the two would win in a shooting contest:
“The way she’s been shooting this year, I don’t know. Under the circumstances now, I’d give Maggie the crown, but not for long. We’d have to do best of three or best of five. It would be back and forth down to the wire. We’re both two really competitive people. Maggie is one of the most competitive people I’ve ever played with. She’ll do anything to win. She’s always in the gym putting up extra shots to make sure she’s ready for any situation.”Comments
* Through games of Feb. 8
3.San Diego State
12.Old Dominion/Oklahoma State
Southeast: New Orleans
16.Long Beach State/Oakland
Southwest: San Antonio
12.Michigan State/Virginia Tech
13.Central Connecticut State
Boston College: Mediocrity in ACC just isn't enough this season.
Missouri State: Not buying the strength of the MVC -- at least for a six-loss team.
Clemson: With some big games looming, the Tigers will get their chance.
Butler: Bulldogs back on the right track, but have work to do.
Penn State: Loss to Michigan will cost Lions down stretch, unless they can win a big one on the road.
-Andrew J. CassavellComments
In this week's AVCA top 15 poll, Penn State dropped from No. 8 to a tie at No.9 with the University of Hawaii, who the Nittany Lions defeated in five sets in the Outrigger Invitational the first weekend of the season.
Ohio State moved up from No. 9 to No. 6 after sweeping Cal State Northridge and downing UC Irvine in five sets. Northridge fell out of the top 15, while MIVA contender Lewis got in at No. 14.
The Nittany Lions will match up with Ohio State tomorrow night in Columbus.
Here's how this week's rankings came out.
1. Southern California
T-2. Long Beach State
6. Ohio Stae
7. UC Santa Barbara
8. UC Irvine
T-9 Penn State
12. UC San Diego
13. Ball State
The latest edition of the USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll was released today and the Nittany Lions remain at No. 3 for the second straight week.
Cael Sanderson and co. went 2-0 this past weekend, with dual meet victories on the road over Michigan State and No. 10 Michigan.
Cornell and Iowa retained the No. 1 and No. 2 spots respectively, and Oklahoma State jumped one spot over No. 5 Minnesota to claim the No. 4 ranking.
Here's a look at this week's complete poll:
In addition, eight Lions are individually ranked in the top 25:
- 125 pounds - Redshirt senior Brad Pataky is ranked No. 11 and sits at 7-2 on the year.
- 133 pounds - With an 8-1 record, redshirt sophomore Andrew Long is No. 9.
- 141 pounds - True freshman Andrew Alton's 16 pins and 25-4 record have him at No. 7.
- 149 pounds - Redshirt junior Frank Molinaro is 22-2 on the year and is ranked No. 5.
- 157 pounds - The Lions' only remaining undefeated wrestler with a record of 28-0, redshirt freshman David Taylor is No. 3.
- 174 pounds - Redshirt freshman Ed Ruth is Penn State's highest ranked wrestler at No. 2.
- 184 pounds - Moving up one spot from last week, redshirt sophomore Quentin Wright is ranked No. 13.
- Heavyweight - Suffering a loss at Michigan State, redshirt junior Cameron Wade dropped one spot to No. 6.
Featured in this week's Tuesday Timeout is true freshman Nick Ruggear. The 197-pounder and Oxford, Pa. native is 14-9 this year competing as both an attached and unattached wrestler. Ruggear talked a little bit about economics and discussed his frustration over the lack of new Linkin Park material.
Continuing every Monday for the rest of the season, the Collegian will be introducing a “Pondering with Pav” segment on the Above the Net blog. Each week the Collegian will ask head coach Mark Pavlik to dispense some of his non-volleyball knowledge or give some insight into the life that is “Pav."
Last week Pav picked his Pittsburgh Steelers to beat the Green Bay Packers 26-17 in Super Bowl XLV. And although the final ended up 31-25 in favor of the Packers, Pav found the positive in it all.
“It’s a Meat Loaf Monday. Two out of three ain’t bad.
“Steeler Nation is in a black and gold shroud today. We tip our helmets to the Pack. If there’s two teams that kind of mirror each other with how they do things and why they do things, with the great fans, I think the Steelers and the Packers share that bond. So, such a history through the NFL for both of these. If my Steelers were going to lose to any other team, I can stomach losing to the Packers because they do things the right way too. It was such a refreshing two weeks prior to the Super Bowl. There was very little trash talking. You heard more respect being given for the right reasons and, you know, how can you hate a team that’s coached by a Pittsburgh guy [Packers coach Mike McCarthy]?
“Once you win once, you want to win again. I think at any level. People will tell Russ [Rose], “You won four times.” [He] wants to win five. People tell us, “Well, you’ve got two championships. Nobody in the East does.” Yea, well I want to win three. And I think if you’re a competitor that’s what you want to do. It’s so much fun watching those guys compete.
“So, it’s on to next year…if there is a next year.”
With the way meetings are going between the NFLPA and the NFL owners, there is a possibility there may not be an NFL season next year. Although his Steelers didn't win in 2011, if there is going to be a team who holds the title of Super Bowl Champion for two straight seasons while only winning one game, it seems like Pav wouldn't mind it being the Packers.Comments
The Penn State men's gymnastics team begins to filter into practice 20 minutes early.
Coach Randy Jepson can usually be found writing the day's workouts on the chalkboard. The gymnasts have a little time, so they begin practice... but not for gymnastics.
They head straight for the volleyball lying in the corner, and then they start playing soccer. There is no field, no goalposts, no positions, no teams, no organization whatsoever. But it doesn't matter. They're doing throw-ins, headers, corner kicks, even an occasional bicycle kick. They work well together, regardless of sport.Comments
Despite an earlier statement that they could be released as soon as today, the number or seats and suites of the Pegula Ice Arena will not be released until approved by the Penn State Board of Trustees, Associate Athletic Director for Ice Arena Operations and the Director of the Ice Arena and Hockey Campaign Joe Battista said in an e-mail Sunday night.
According to their website, the next scheduled meeting is March 17-18 in New York City.
The only way the hard numbers could be released sooner is through a press conference, and Battista said he didn't know of any plans for one currently.Comments
Pending approval from the NHL, Penn State alum Terry Pegula has reached an agreement to purchase the Buffalo Sabres from current majority owner Tom Golisano.
Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley said it continues to demonstrate his passion and love for the game of hockey.
"I think it is certainly an exciting thing that he has been able to follow his passion," Curley said. "I know because he worked in that area for so many years he became a Sabres fan. Anytime an alum can do well in the professional sports ranks, we’re excited."
Associate Athletic Director for Ice Arena Operations and the Director of the Ice Arena and Hockey Campaign Joe Battista said Pegula has been a fan of the Sabres even before he moved to the area. His love of the team goes back to the days of the French Connection Line, a trio of Sabres who starred for the team from 1972-79. A member of the line, Gilbert Perreault, is still Pegula's favorite player of all-time.
"It just validates everything," Battista said. "To anyone wondering why he is doing this, he just absolutely loves hockey. His kids love hockey. It is unbelievably exciting for us."
One drawback could be if Pegula is seen as a clear connection between the NHL and Penn State.
"We have to make sure from an NCAA perspective that we're mindful of all the rules," Battista said. "We can’t be having [Buffalo] players at games and things like that. We will have [Pegula] spend a lot of time with our people in compliance so that they all know what can and can't be done."
That said, Battista isn't worried.
"Terry is a smart guy," Battista said. "He knows what he's doing."
At the end of day, Battista said having the connection to the Penguins, the Flyers and now the Sabres will never hurt.
FINAL SCORE- MICHIGAN 65, PENN STATE 62
The teams exchange free throws for the final minute of the game and Michigan doesn't miss the big one for the Lions to have an opportunity for one final shot. Lions lose a BIG game they needed badly. That could mean the end to their tournament hopes unless they win some real big games down the stretch. Tough loss.
Michigan leads 61-58 with 38.9 seconds left in the game
Battle attempts a long 3-pointer that falls well short and skims down the front of the rim into a Michigan players hands. While Battle rushed the shot, Tim Frazier was down on the ground under Penn State's basket. It appeared as if it was his head he was holding and he is being helped by the trainers on the bench.
Michigan leads 61-58 with 1:18 left in the game
Penn State needs to win this game. The Lions are going to have to fight hard for this one in the final minute. Michigan has the ball and a three point lead. It may fittingly come down to one final 3-point attempt for Penn State.
Michigan leads 57-55 with 2:34 left in the game
Instead of opting for a 3-point shot as they did on the past two possessions, Talor Battle attempts to get three points another way. This time, he drives to the basket and hits a layup while getting fouled. He'll go to the line for one free-throw and attempt to get his 25th point of the game.
Michigan leads 57-53 with 3:02 left in the game
Penn State is starting to rely on the 3-point shot too much right now. After Michigan tied the game on a shot from downtown, the Lions come out and miss their next two shots -- both 3's. On the other side, the Wolverines make a pair of lay-ups and take the lead the simple way.
Game tied at 53 with 4:20 left in the game.
The story continues to center around 3-point shooting and I wouldn't be surprised if the game comes down to a long range shot. The Lions came into the game the Big Ten's worst team in 3-point shooting and 3-point defense. Today, they have made 10-of-24 shots, and Jackson just got fouled on an attempt. On the other end, Michigan is shooting 9-of-18 from 3-point range. The hottest shooting team down the stretch could likely be the winner.
Penn State leads 48-41 with 7:24 left in the game
The Lions have held ground since since tapping into their bench. They lead by seven with Michigan going to the line to shoot one. Cammeron Woodyard continues to have a good game as he is setting career highs across the board. He currently has 10 points, six rebounds and two assists. He is showing today that he is not afraid to shoot the ball at will, and this may just be the game he needed to crack a consistent spot in the rotation.
Penn State leads 44-36 with 10:01 left in the game
Timeout on the floor and the fans are the loudest they've been all game -- except for an amazing halftime performance by a woman on a really tall unicycle throwing plates. That's because Battle just hit another 3-pointer, his fifth of the game. He is now 5-of-10 from downtown while the Lions have 10 3-pointers. Michigan has five so far. The Lions have taken a season-high 24 3-point attempts as Woodyard is 2-of-7 from long range. Could this have possibly been the strategy without Brooks down low? We'll find out after the game.
Penn State leads 40-36 with 11:03 in the game
Not much offense since the last update with a timeout on the floor as each team exchanges two points. Penn State's comes on a pair of Battle free throws while Michigan's comes on a tough basket by Morris in the paint. And that's how it has gone all game -- Battle vs. Morris. Battle has 19 and Morris has 15. And here comes Billy Oliver to replace Jackson. Let's see if the bench can fill in this half unlike in the first.
Penn State leads 38-34 with 14:05 in the game
Surprise, surprise. Penn State's starters open up the half and the Lions start out the second half playing pretty well. Thanks to a pair of quick Talor Battle 3-pointers, the Lions quickly erase the half time deficit and take back over. Frazier is back to playing aggressively on offense and defense, and Woodyard is meshing well with the other starters. However, aggressive isn't the best way for Frazier to be playing. He needs to play smart too and not get too excited on the floor. However, as I write that, he takes his defender to the hoop and lays it in. On the next play, he jumps up to go for a block and basically tackles his defender and gets called for the foul. Frazier -- who is good friends with Brooks -- is really trying hard to fill the void today. However, it's Battle who is the one taking over as he has 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
Michigan leads 27-24 at halftime
The first half couldn't have ended much worse for Penn State. The Lions fans and DeChellis aren't happy with the referees and they are letting them know. But it's not the refs fault that PSU blew a large lead to trail going into the locker room. Over the final minutes, Penn State didn't defend the glass or follow up their shots. While it appeared the Lions ran out of gas, the Wolverines kicked it up a notch. On defense, every Michigan player had a hand up as they swarmed to the ball to fluster the Lions on offense. Then, on the other end, the Wolverines were too fast dishing out the ball for Penn State to keep up. After Battle started the game on fire, he didn't do anything over the final minutes. He leads the game with 11 points however. D.J. Jackson added a pair of 3-pointers but he is going to need to do work inside in the second half. Morris leads the way with nine points for Michigan. As it has been all season though, the bench has been the difference. With the Lions starters in the game, they built a significant lead. As soon as DeChellis tapped into his bench, that lead evaporated. The Wolverines have 11 points off the bench. Penn State has zero. But with the way the season has gone, that's no surprise. If the Nittany Lions want to pick up the win -- which they need to have -- they better come out like they did over the first 13 minutes and not let up.
Penn State 24-22 with 2:30 in first half
Michigan's Darius Morris goes down clutching his head and gets up as soon as the offensive foul is called. The fans don't like it, and they are booing him very loudly every time he touches the ball. After Penn State builds a lead from beyond the arch, the Wolverines give the Lions a taste of their own medicine. Michigan hits three straight 3-pointers to turn an 11-point deficit into only two points. In the first half, Penn State has hit five 3-pointers while Michigan has four. It will be crucial for the Lions to close out the half strong.
Penn State leads 21-13 with 7:44 in first half
DeChellis makes his first pair of substitutions about 10 minutes into the first half. In comes Jermaine Marshall and Billy Oliver to replace Tim Frazier (two fouls) and Drew Jones (one foul). It will be important for the bench to step up at this point in the season. The reserves haven't really done much at all to this point, but the long season is taking its toll on the Lions' starters. Whether it is contributing on offense or just playing sound defense to fill in for a few minutes, someone on the Penn State bench needs to contribute. However, it won't matter too much if Talor Battle keeps shooting the ball like he is today. He already has 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting. So far, Penn State leads in shooting, rebounds and turnovers. Keep that up and the Lions should be able to take care of the Wolverines and move on to the next one. But there is still a lot of basketball to be played today.
Penn State leads 14-7 with 11:52 in first half
The Tim Frazier show continues after the timeout. He is handling the ball a lot in the early minutes and attacking the hoop. On the first play after the timeout, the sophomore guard drives and finds a wide open Drew Jones under the basket for an easy basket. He then stole the ball on defense and had a 2-on-1 with Woodyard on the fast break. The fast Frazier got a little too excited and traveled, however. A couple of possessions later, Woodyard picked the pocket of a Michigan player and gave the ball to Frazier to make something happen. The point guard drove to the hoop and flipped the ball behind his back to a trailing Talor Battle, who nailed the lay-up and got the foul. Every Lion starter has scored so far, and that is a very good sign early on without Brooks in the lineup.
Penn State leads 7-2 with 15:18 in first half
The Lions' offense looks much different without Brooks out there. Firstly, Penn State is taking their time on offense and taking the shot clock all the way down on multiple possessions. I don't know it it's because Brooks isn't there or because of MIchigan's defense, but Penn State is slowing things down offensively today so far. Also, Tim Frazier has already taken two 3-pointers, and Frazier is not known for his shot. He missed the first 3-pointer, but Woodyard was there for a strong offensive rebound and putback. Then, with the shot clock winding down, Frazier hit the second one from the corner. He even got a block. Everyone is going to need to play more aggressive without Brooks and it appears Frazier may be embracing that.
Good afternoon Penn State basketball fans. For those of you tired of watching the same old highlights of Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger leading up to tonight's Super Bowl, follow along with Hardwood Hits for full updates on today's game. Penn State will be taking on the Michigan Wolverines, who defeated the Lions 76-69 on Jan. 2 in Ann Arbor. A win Penn State probably should have came away with on the road, the Lions must take care of the Wolverines this time around. Every win is gigantic, especially coming off of this week's loss to Illinois. Senior Jeff Brooks will not be playing today, and that will be a big loss for the Lions. It will be important for the rest of Penn State's starters to fill the void because there are no certainties with the bench. Starting in Brooks' place today is junior Cammeron Woodyard, which means coach Ed DeChellis' will be going with a much smaller lineup today. Luckily for Penn State, Michigan runs a three guard starting lineup. Stay posted for full updates all game in this must-win for Penn State.Comments
Thanks for anyone who pain attention. Goodnight and good volleyball.
Final note: Ian Hendries wins Mike Anderson Player of the Match.
9:06 Mars enters to serve, hits it into the net. Turko gets the kill, Lions have another match point. Corvello comes in to serve and the Lions win the set and match 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 26-24)
9:03 Solo block for Sunder tied the match again, now at 21. Whoever can catch fire late will take this set. Now 22-22 and Sunder to serve. Block at the net for Ian Hendries, Lions now have the lead. Tied again 23-23. Miscommunication for Northridge, Lions with a match point...
9:01 Timeout for the Lions now after Northridge wins two straight points ans has a 21-19 lead. Pav looked a little exasperated after that block out of bounds from the Lions.
9:00 Timeout again for Northridge. Nick Turko with a superb dig and Peter Russell with a kill. Match is now tied at 19 a piece.
8:57 Penn State was down by three at one point and is now within one at 18-19 with two straight points. Timeout Northridge.
8:53 Timeout Penn State with Northridge leading 16-14 after a service ace. Pav's got to remind the Lions to finish this match strong and not give any life to the Matadors.
8:50 Amazing dig from Del Valle to keep the point alive there and a ball initially ruled out of bounds off the hand of Kegerreis overruled by the ref. It's now 13-12 Matadors, though, as Peter Russell comes in for Penn State.
8:49 Got caught up in the action a bit, the set is tied at 10 a piece. Lions not as much energy this set. Looks like their just trying to finish this off and get out of here.
8:43 3-2 Lions to begin the third set. A little miscommunication there between Turko and Olsen and the set is tied again.
Before the third set begins, I should point out that Penn State had SIX blocks in the second set. That's, well, six more than they had all of yesterday. A complete 180 from yesterday. If they continue to play that well at the net for the rest of the season, they're going to do some good things. It's just a matter of doing it consistently. Let's see what happens in the third set.
8:31 Penn State takes the second set in resounding fashion on a kill from Scott Kegerreis. 25-22. Penn State leads the match two sets to none.
8:30 And the blocks just keep on comin', 24-21 Penn State
8:25 Aaaand another timeout, again Northridge. Goas has five kills on the night and is playing well. 18-16 Lions of PSU
8:22 Timeout Northridge after Penn State kills two in a row to regain the lead, 16-15. And back and forth we go...
8:20 Timeout Penn State as the Matadors ace them twice in a rom to take a 15-14 lead.
8:18 Goas getting a little greedy here, trying to add to his four kills. He decides to spread it out a bot more, and the Lions get points. 13-12 Penn State
8:14 The Lions are having more fun tonight than they've had all season it seems. A solo block at the net for Olsen. Each block the Lions tally gets them more and more pumped up. 9-8 Penn State
8:11 Go crazy folks! Go crazy! Block at the net for the Lions. Their first official block of the match and Goas jumps into the arms of Sunder as if the Lions won the national championship. And then they go ahead and do it again the next point. 5-4 Penn State
8:09 First point of the second set goes to Northridge...did I speak too soon? 2-1 Matadors.
8:04 This is gonna be a short game and I gotta get home for lunch...Penn State wins the first set 25-19 on a kill from Kegerreis.
8:01 Tor Corvello comes in for the Lions, has a service error, comes right back out. Pavlik has said he has been impressed with the serving of the sophomore. He hasn't impressed in gameplay yet. 21-16 Penn State
8:00 Alan Mars in for Ian Hendries, 18-14 Penn State
7:58 Another timeout for Northridge following two straight service aces from Sunder. He has three during this, I believe, 6-0 run for the Lions. 17-12 Penn State
7:57 Timeout Northridge, following a...what is this? Do my eyes deceive me? A Penn State block. 15-12 Lions
7:53 Before we go any further into this live blog, I should point out that after every point Northridge wins, all of the players on the court give a loud "Woosh" in unison. 11-10 Lions.
7:48 Penn State called for a back court violation to tie the match at three a piece. But following the call, coach Mark Pavlik apparently disagreed with the call and preceded to tell the referees that it was a bad call loud enough for all of Rec Hall to hear. He received a yellow card.
After calling out the referee, Pavlik has not sat down (He usually only stands during a timeout).
7:45 First point of the match goes to Penn State on a thunderous kill from Sunder. All started by a nice dig from Del Valle and set from Goas. Lions show some excitement after the point, something they did little of yesterday.
Penn State starters: Goas, Sunder, Turko, Olsen, Hendries, Kegerreis, Del Valle
Cal State Northridge starters: Nua, Wagner, Lebrock, Stork, Staker, Faulkner, Wielebnicki
Welcome to the live blog of the No. 8 Penn State men's volleyball team's matchup with No. 13 Cal State Northridge. All updates this evening will be courtesy of Collegian men's volleyball reporter Joe McIntyre.
The Matadors are 2-8 on the season and 1-5 in the MPSF, including a three set loss last night to No. 9 Ohio State. Their only wins on the year have come against UC San Diego and then-No. 3 Pepperdine. Each loss on the Matadors schedule has come against an opponent ranked in the top-15. Northridge's leader in kills is freshman Brandon Lebrock with 80, not including last night.
And for the Lions...
Penn State suffered, in the words of coach Mark Pavlik, an embarrassing defeat at the hands of UC Irvine last night. For the first time in a longer time than Pavlik can remember, the Lions had zero blocks. Zip, nada, absolutely none. The final was a 3-1 win for the Anteaters (25-21, 25-14, 22-25, 25-17).
Redshirt junior Joe Sunder promised the Lions will be more prepared for the match this evening. So right now we will wait and see if the Lions can redeem themselves from their worst showing of the 2011 campaign.
What the Lions need to do to win: Show up. Last night the same Lions team who won two of three in Hawaii and had a six game winning streak coming in was not present. They need to be a presence at the net and show a lot more energy.Comments
The No. 21 Penn State women's gymnastics team faces Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Bridgeport 2 p.m. Sunday at Rec Hall in what will be only the Lions' second meet against competition outside of the top three teams in the country.
West Virginia is the strongest team of the three, with two events ranked in the top 25 in the country.
The Mountaineers are ranked No. 24 on vault with a 48.645 average and No. 16 on floor exercise with a 48.755 average.
Penn State is ranked No. 21 overall in the country, but also has only two events ranked in the top 25.
The Nittany Lions are ranked No. 14 on uneven bars with an average of 48.788 points and No. 13 on balance beam with an average of 48.550 points.
Along with rankings, history also suggests the Lions will continue their unblemished record at home so far this year.
Penn State is 42-2 all-time against Pittsburgh, 29-5 against West Virginia, and 2-0 against Bridgeport.Comments
Penn State is making the NCAA tournament — at least that's what ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi thinks.
In his Feb. 4 NCAA bracket prediction, Lunardi has pegged the Nittany Lions as one of the last four teams in the Big Dance — a No. 12 seed in the opening round. Penn State would play Missouri State for a berth in the first round, where it would face No. 5 Florida in Tampa.
It is the first time this season Lunardi has chosen Penn State for his bracket. The Lions are looking for their first trip to the Big Dance since 2001.
Penn State's game against Michigan is likely a must-win for the Lions, who stand at 5-5 in Big Ten play. Penn State fell to the Wolverines, 76-69, back on Jan. 2. Michigan is currently 3-7 in Big Ten play, coming off a loss to No. 1 Ohio State. The Wolverines held a three-point lead into halftime against the Buckeyes, but couldn't hold on for the upset, losing, 62-53.
The Penn State-Michigan game will tip off at noon on Sunday at the Bryce Jordan Center and air on the Big Ten Network.Comments
Penn State gets a hitting error from Kegerreis and then a kill from Olsen and Irvine leads 20-13. A Penn State serve then goes well out to make it 21-13.
Sunder's attempt goes way over the block and out. The Lions appear to pressing a little bit down by so much late in the fourth set. Goas goes for his fake set to kill move, the ball lands out and it's 23-14 Irvine. Sunder's kill makes it 23-15.
A net violation from Irvine as Goas takes a swing and its 23-16.
Match point for Irvine notched by Cory Yoder.
Irvine's first attempt at match point goes out and the Lions are still alive. 24-17.
Irvine setter Antony Spittle fakes his set and hits it over, almost the same move that Goas tried a few moments earlier. The Lions were not ready at all for Spittle's move. Irvine notches its 25 point of the set and take the match from Penn State on the road.
With the exception of the third set, Penn State never really appeared to be in the match. The showed some signs of hope early in set one and then again in the third set, but for the better part of tonight match the Lions were simply outplayed.
Irvine was much better in all aspects of the match and Penn State will need to get back to the level the team was at last weekend before its match tomorrow night against No. 13 Cal St. Northridge.
That's all from Rec Hall, we'll be back tomorrow for more coverage of Penn State men's volleyball as the Lions take on Cal St. Northridge at 7:30 p.m. in Rec Hall's Main Gym.
Check back to the Collegian online for more coverage of tonight's match and continued coverage of Penn State men's volleyball.
Final: UC Irvine 3, Penn State 1 (25-21, 25-14, 22-25, 25-17)
A kill Nick Turko brings the Lions back to within two as the Irvine lead sits at 10-8. Kevorken notches a kill for Irvine off of Olsen and into the 10th row of seats on our side of the court. An ace from Irvine gives the Anteaters a 12-8 lead. A mishandled block from Olsen after a free ball goes out and Irvine opens up a 13-8 lead. The runs ends with a service error, 13-9 Irvine.
A net violation from Penn State gives Irvine a 16-9 lead. The serve receive from the Lions has been atrocious here in the fourth set. They are giving far too many free balls to the Anteaters.
Sunder sends a serve well out and the lead is 17-11 for Irvine.
Yoder makes it 18-12 Irvine. The Lions seem to have reverted to their second set form. After the emotional upswing in the third set, the Lions are flat again. They are doing very little to thwart the Irvine attack at the net.
Pavlik takes his final timeout of the set.
Fourth Set: UC Irvine 19, Penn State 12 (Irvine leads match 2-1)
Kegerreis picks up the first kill of the set for Penn State and gives the Lions a 1-0 lead. The redshirt freshman gets another kill to give the Lions a 2-1 lead.
Both teams exchanging points here as its 2-2 early on.
Kegerries gets his third kill of the set to give the Lions a 4-3 lead. Sunder sends his serve just over the endline and its 4-4.
Carson Clark gives Irvine its first lead of the set at 7-6. Back-and-forth action right now as Penn State hasn't really done anything with the momentum they had coming into the fourth set. Kevin Carroll makes it 8-6 in favor of Irvine. An ace from Jordan DeFault makes it 9-6 and Pavlik takes his first timeout of the set.
Fourth Set: UC Irvine 9, Penn State 6 (Irvine leads match 2-1)
Both teams exchange service errors out of the timeout. Kegerreis then notches a kill from the back row and the Penn State lead sits at 23-21.
Sunder puts down his 13th kill of the match and gives the Lions set point. Two digs from Del Valle keep the ball in play for the Lions and Penn State takes the third set, 25-21.
The energy was much better for the Lions in that set as they battled even when they were down at the midway point. They key for Penn State in set four will be to keep the momentum in their favor.
End of Third Set: UC Irvine 2, Penn State 1
Irvine finally earns a kill after Olsen served three consecutive points for the Lions. Sunder hits a ball off the block, the ball was heading out but grazed Sunder's back on the way down and Irvine has clawed back to make it 21-20.
Pavlike takes his final timeout of the set. Both teams now out of timeouts.
Third Set: Penn State 21, UC Irvine 20 (Irvine leads match 2-0)
Sunder gets set three times, on the third he is successful has he hits the ball off the block and out. Penn State leads 20-18. Sunder again hits it off the block and out as the Lions open up a 21-18 lead.
Del Valle coming up with some huge digs this set and he is setting the pace emotionally for the Lions.
Irvine takes its final timeout of the set.
Third Set: Penn State 21, UC Irvine 18 (Irvine leads match 2-0)
Miscommunication between Olsen and Kegerreis leads to a kill for Irvine and gives the Anteaters a 12-9 lead midway through the third set.
Del Valle picks up a huge dig with the pancake and Sunder puts home the kill, cutting the Irvine lead to two at 13-11. More great hustle from Del Valle is negated by a miscue from Olsen. The freshman played what should have been a free ball into the net.
Sunder's dig attempt goes out of bounds and the Irvine lead is 16-12.
A nice rally ends in a kill for Olsen, just his third of the match. An illegal back row attack cuts the lead to 16-15 as the crowd at Rec Hall shows a little life.
Olsen gets another kill and its 17-16 Irvine. A serve from Covello earns a free ball for Penn State that is hammered down by Sunder. The set is tied at 17 apiece.
After exchanging points, the Lions keep the ball alive off a nice dig from Olsen. Sunder again puts down the kill and the Lions have taken the lead at 18-17. UC Irvine takes its first timeout of the set, its second of the match as the Lions are starting to show some energy.
Third Set: Penn State 18, UC Irvine 17 (Irvine leads match 2-0)
Kegerreis registers a kill for the Lions to start the set and shows a little swagger after the kill. Finally some life from Penn State, but it could be too little, too late.
Del Valle and Kegerreis go to the floor to keep a ball alive twice for the Lions. The point ends in Irvine's favor but again some new life being shown by the Lions.
A hitting error from Mars and a ball off the antennae from Penn State gives Irvine and early 5-2 lead in the second set.
An ace from Sunder brings the Lions back to within one as the Irvine lead sits a 6-5. Sunder pumps his fist as the Lions are trying to get each other pumped up for the comeback. Hendries picks up his first kill of the match for the Lions and then notches an ace to make it 7-7.
Miscommunication between Sunder and Olsen leads to an ace for Irvine. The Anteaters lead sits at 9-7.
Olsen gets a kill and is then blocked, 10-8 Irvine.
Irvine gets another service makes it 11-8 and Pavlik takes his first timeout of the third set.
Third Set: UC Irvine 11, Penn State 8 (Irvine leads match 2-0)
Some thoughts at the break:
This is by far the worst match the Lions have played this season. Penn State dropped its first match of the year to UCLA, but by all accounts the Lions played well against the Bruins.
The Lions are absolutely flat. Surprising, considering how excited they seemed leading up to this weekend. the energy that was present last week just isn't there tonight.
Penn State is hitting a paltry .280 while Irvine is attacking at a .500 clip. Irvine has been strong at the net, registering 8 total blocks. The blockers for Irvine seem to have Edgardo Goas down pat as the setter can't find anyone open. The only spot that seems to be open for Penn State is the middle, where Nick Turko currently sits at eight kills.
Let's see if Penn State tries to get the middles more involved in this pivotal third set.
Kegerreis picks up a kill from the back row, but the play doesn't spark a Penn State rally as he is blocked on his next attempt. Irvine has done a tremendous job of getting the block in place against the Lions hitters. Goas needs to mix some things up to give Irvine a different look.
Tom Comfort comes in for the Lions, he replaces Kegerreis. Kegerreis took the starting job from Comfort two weeks ago against Springfield. Comfort is seeing his first action since the Lions 3-1 win over St. Francis.
Kevin Carroll picks up his fourth kill of the match for the Anteaters and gives Irvine a 20-12 lead in the second set. A kill from Carson Clark makes it 21-13 and Rec Hall is completely dead. After feeding so much off the crowd in its wins last weekend, Penn State has done little to get the fans involved tonight.
Aside from a few applause for a Penn State point, the crowd has been silent.
Wolf is blocked to give the Anteaters set point.
Goas goes up and appears to notch a solo block. What could be a spark for the Lions turns into the send of the second set as Goas is called for a late net violation. The point is the 25th of the set for Irvine and they take the set 25-14.
End of Second Set: UC Irvine 2, Penn State 0
A free ball comes to Penn State, but Sunder hits the net on his kill attempt, giving Irvine a 13-9 lead. Irivine has made just a few mistakes here early, but Penn State has failed to capitalize on any of them.
Another huge block from Irvine, this time against Mars, gives the Anteaters a 15-10 lead. Another service ace from Irvine makes the lead 16-10 and Pavlik takes his final timeout of the second set.
Irvine doing everything right here at Rec Hall and Penn State still looking to find its rhythm late in set two.
Second Set: UC Irvine 16, Penn State 10 (Irvine leads match 1-0)
Wolf picks up his first kill of the season and his is followed by another kill from Turko. Penn State makes it 8-6 before a kill from Irvine brings the score back to 9-6 in favor of UC Irvine.
A block point from the Lions followed by a hitting error from Irvine cuts the Anteaters' lead to 2. The score sits at 11-9 Irvine as Anteaters' coach John Speraw takes his first timeout of the match.
Second Set: UC Irvine 11, Penn State 9 (Irvine leads match 1-0)
Penn State once again having trouble blocking as the Lions didn't register a block in the opening set. Irvine meanwhile had 3.5 blocks. The Anteaters hit .500 as a team while Penn State started hot with its hitting but fizzled late and finished with a .280 hitting percentage.
Olsen starts the second set by serving the ball out of bounds. Turko picks up his fifth kill on the next rally and evens the set at 1-1.
Sunder is the victim of the Irvine block for the second time this match as his kill attempt is sent to the floor by two Anteaters and Irvine opens up a 5-3 lead.
Ryan Wolf comes in to replace Jace Olsen. Olsen started in place of Wolf after an injury kept Wolf from competing in Hawaii. Olsen has held the starting spot since then and Wolf is seeing his first action of the season.
A kill from UC Irvine makes the score 8-4 in favor of the Anteaters and Pavlik is forced to take another timeout.
Second Set, UC Irvine 8, Penn State 4 (Irvine leads match 1-0)
Great start out of the timeout for Sunder as he picks up two digs and a monster kill from the back row to bring the Lions back within two.
Irvine avoids what probably should have a been a double contact call and on the set and the ensuing kill gives Irvine set point. Irvine serves and Olsen goes up for the kill, his attempt is blocked and Irvine takes the first set.
End of First Set: UC Irvine 1, Penn State 0
Turko picks up a kill for the Lions out of the timeout. He leads all players with four kills and evens the set at 18.
Irvine sets a ball out of bounds and once again we are even at 20. Back-to-back points from the Anteaters makes 22-20 in favor of UC Irvine. Kevin Carroll picks up his second ace in a row and gives Irvine its biggest lead of the set at 23-20. Pavlik takes his second timeout of the set and has a few words for the officials as that ball appeared to go out.
Nonetheless the point counts and Penn State finds itself in its biggest hole of the set.
First Set: UC Irvine 23, Penn State 20
UC Irvine serves to start the match. Goas sets to Olsen who puts away the first point of the match and gives the Lions a 1-0 lead. Olsen serves for the Lions and Sunder picks up his first kill in the ensuing rally after his swing went off the Irvine block and out.
Irvine gets on the board as Olsen finds himself in bad position for the dig and it's 2-1 Penn State.
Alan Mars half whiffs on a swing attempt, the ball somehow finds its way to the floor as the Irvine defense was surprised by Mars' partial mishap. Penn State with an early 5-3 lead.
Mars goes back and serves one into the net to even the set at 6-6. An error from Penn State gives Irvine its first lead of the night at 7-6, but a serving error from the Anteaters brings the set back to even.
Kegerreis and Olsen get mixed up on a dig attempt and the ball finds the floor. The first set sits at 9-9 after the two freshmen have some communication problems. Olsen served on that rally, his serve has been strong to this point. He hasn't registered an ace yet, but Irvine is having a little trouble handling Olsen's tough serve.
Goas notches his first ace on a floater that catches a piece of the net before finding the floor on the Irvine side. His ace gives Penn State a 12-10 lead in set one.
Sunder's dig attempt goes over the net and the ball is buried by Irvine's Yoder on the overpass. The Anteaters even the set at 13-13. A Penn State hit goes out, a controversial call the prompts coach Mark Pavlik to have some words with the referee. Irvine takes a 14-13 lead after the call.
Olsen picks up his first ace as two Irvine players run into each other on the receiving end. The freshman's ace gives Penn State a 17-16 lead in this back-and-forth first set.
An error from the Lions gives Irvine a 18-17 lead and Pavlik takes the Lions first timeout of the set.
First Set: Irvine 18, Penn State 17
Hey there Penn State volleyball fans. This is Collegian men's volleyball reporter Bill Landis coming to you live from Rec Hall's Main Gym where tonight the No. 8 Penn State Nittany Lions take on the No. 7 Anteaters of UC Irvine.
Penn State is coming of a two-win weekend after dispatching of Loyola Chicago and Lewis, while UC Irvine is looking to right the ship after being swept twice by BYU last weekend.
The all-time series between Penn State and UC Irvine is tied at four apiece after the Lions won a five-set thriller last year in California.
Penn State starters: S Edgardo Goas, MH Alan Mars, MH Nick Turko, OH, Jace Olsen, OH Scott Kegerreis, OH Joe Sunder, L Dennis Del Valle
UC Irvine starters: OH Kevin Carroll, S Anthony Spittle, OH Jordan DuFault, OPP Carson Clark, MB Scott Kevorken, OH Carl Yoder, L John CaroompasComments
Penn State will take on No. 7 UC Irvine tonight and No. 13 Cal State Northridge tomorrow night. Here are some things to look for.
Players to watch
Penn State OH Scott Kegerreis
Kegerreis had a breakout weekend at home last weekend against Loyola Chicago and Lewis. He had 15 kills and hit over .400 against Loyola, but hit below .200 against Lewis. A strong performance from him may be needed to take down Irvine tonight.
UC Irvine OH Corey Yoder
Yoder has put up solid numbers for a team off to a rocky start by its standards. The 6-foot-3 senior has hit at .472 with 120 kills in 35 games. Penn State will have to step up their blocking to try and control Yoder.
CS Northridge OH Tanner Nua
In its first match of the weekend against Ohio State here at Rec Hall, Nua was one of the lone bright spots for the Matadors. He had nine kills and hit at .400 in his team’s 3-0 loss to the Buckeyes.
Things to look for
Cal State Northridge is a different team
A season ago, Penn State entered the NCAA Final Four as underdogs against the heavily favored Matadors. This season, Northridge is a much different team. They’ve gone just 2-8 so far and fell to Ohio State a few hours ago 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-16).
The lights to stay on
The last time UC Irvine traveled to Rec Hall, the No.1 ranked Anteaters were down 14-13 in the fifth set of the national semifinal. With the Nittany Lions at match point, the lights went out. After a ten-minute delay, the Lions served an ace to win the match.
Hopefully the lights will stay on for the whole match today…Comments
Ed DeChellis didn’t come out and say it, but it sounds like Penn State will be without an integral piece on this weekend.
DeChellis called forward Jeff Brooks day-to-day, but throughout Friday’s conference call with reporters, DeChellis talked as if he didn’t expect Brooks to play when the Lions face off with Michigan at noon Sunday at the Bryce Jordan Center.
“We don’t have a guy who’s been giving us 12 to 14 points a night and eight rebounds,” DeChellis said previewing Sunday’s game. “So we’ve got pull this thing together a little tighter.”
In Tuesday’s loss to Illinois, Brooks dislocated his right shoulder in the latter stages of the first half. Brooks did not return to the game and sat on the bench with an ice pack on his shoulder and his arm in a sling. An X-ray taken Thursday showed no damage to Brooks’ shoulder or joint.
Brooks missed Thursday’s practice, instead receiving treatment from trainer John Salazer. A press release Thursday said Salazer is pleased with Brooks’ range of motion in the shoulder and that there isn’t much swelling or pain in the area.
“Jeff’s a great athlete and sometimes athletes can heal a little quicker than maybe some other guys,” DeChellis said. “And he’s in good shape, so we’re hoping for the best.”
Redshirt freshman Billy Oliver will be looked upon to help fill the major void left by Brooks, whose surge in production has been a major surprise this season. Oliver got off to a fast start against the Illini with a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock, but he airballed his next two shots and struggled defending the Illini’s frontcourt.
DeChellis and the staff are working to get Oliver’s confidence up. Averaging 16 minutes as the Lions’ sixth man, Oliver’s minutes have fluctuated from game to game, possibly a reason for any dip in confidence. So DeChellis wants Oliver to think less and just play when out on the court.
“Billy is such a perfectionist that he always wants to do everything the right way,” DeChellis said. “As we told him, you can’t aim to pitch. He’s thinking too much.”
The Lions will also go with a lot of three-guard rotations with small forward DJ Jackson moving into Brooks’ role. DeChellis doesn’t foresee that being an issue with Michigan’s penchant for mostly playing three-guard lineups with Tim Hardaway Jr., Darius Morris and Zack Novak.
“We’ll be playing three guard until we get Jeff back and see how that goes, because we got a few more bodies out there with (Jermaine) Marshall, Tre (Bowman) and Cam (Woodyard),” DeChellis said.
“Some guys have to do a good job coming off the bench and giving us some defense and giving us some rebounds and someone’s gotta make a couple more baskets for us. And if we don’t have offensive production off the bench then we better get great defensive production off the bench.”Comments
For Penn State, there’s no place like home.
OK, maybe that’s a little too cliché, but there’s no denying the Nittany Lions hoped they could have just clicked their Nike high tops together three times and transported back to State College instead of flying.
As if the 18-hour trip to Champaign, Ill., that took the Lions through Evansville, Ind., and the ensuing loss to the Fighting Illini on Tuesday wasn’t enough, the Lions had to bus back to Evansville on Wednesday for arough flight back.
In what Lions coach Ed DeChellis a “fitting ending” to the hectic trip, that flight home to State College was filled a lot of bumps, tense moments and maybe part of Jonathan Graham’s dinner. Apparently, the turbulent flight had the freshman redshirt a little uneasy.
“The winds and the sleet, rain and snow and I don’t know what else was up there that we came through, (the flight) was very challenging,” DeChellis said. “The pilot said to me ‘It was very, very challenging to get the plane on the ground.’
“My poor guy Jon Graham was a little green-eyed in front of me. He was a little sick.”
Senior Talor Battle tweeted the plane ride was “nutty” and joked “that is some serious team bonding.” Drew Jones tweeted the plane was “doing cartwheels in the sky.”Comments
Penn State moved up from T-9 to No. 8 in the national coaches poll this week. The Nittany Lions will take on No. 7 UC Irvine and No. 13 Cal State Northridge this weekend, who both remained the same in this week's poll. Irvine dropped two matches to BYU last weekend, while Northridge fell got swept by Stanford and Pacific, who moved into the poll at No. 15. Northridge is just 2-7 on the season.
George Mason and St. Francis, both of the EIVA, received votes for this week's poll. George Mason defeated Ball State, and St. Francis upset Loyola Chicago.
Here's this weeks rankings
1. Southern California
2. Long Beach State
6. UC Santa Barbara
7. UC Irvine
8. Penn State
9. Ohio State
12. UC San Diego
13. Cal State Northridge
14. Ball State
In this week's segment of Off the Mat, Back Points brings you a preview of the No. 3 Lions' weekend duals with Michigan State on Friday at 7 p.m. and against No. 13 Michigan on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Michigan State match will air live on on www.BigTenNetwork.com and the Lions' dual with the Wolverines will be streamed live for free on www.mgoblue.com.
Penn State forward Jeff Brooks is listed as day-to-day after underdoing an X-ray on Thursday morning with his status for Sunday's Michigan game uncertain, according to press release sent out this morning.
Brooks, the Lions' second leading scorer with 13.5 points per game, dislocated his right shoulder in the first half of the Nittany Lions' 68-51 loss to Illinois on Tuesday night.
The team ruled out any nerve or tissue damage in the arm, and team trainer Jon Salazer said in the press release that he was pleased with Brooks' range of motion.
The Lions take on Michigan at noon at the Bryce Jordan Center on Super Bowl Sunday. The athletic department announced today it will add more points of ticket sale to accommodate a large group of students. The Wolverines handed the Lions their first conference loss, 76-69, on Jan. 2 in Ann Arbor, Mich.Comments
*Through games of Feb. 1
Southeast: New Orleans
Southwest: San Antonio
3.SAN DIEGO STATE
14.CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE
16.LONG BEACH STATE
Boston College:Shellacking from UNC costs the Eagles a bid
Gonzaga: Too many losses in a weak conference
Clemson: No quality wins, but they'll get a chance with Duke and UNC looming
Butler: The Bulldogs' only hope is starting to look like a conference tournament victory
Nebraska: A win at K-State tonight puts them in for now, but the Huskers are heading into a brutal, brutal stretch
Penn State: Need, need, NEED a road win
This week's Tuesday Timeout features Justin Ortega. The redshirt sophomore is 4-9 this season and has wrestled at both 184 and 197 pounds. We found out Ortega is a big Kanye West fan and might be working with President Barack Obama in the future.
Here's what's happening this week in Penn State men's gymnastics:
Four Lions are set to compete in this Thursday's Winter Cup in Las Vegas: junior Miguel Pineda, sophomore Matt Chelberg, sophomore Parker Raque and freshman Wasef Burbar. Their flight is scheduled for early tomorrow morning, and could be affected by the ice storm expected to hit State College around that time. "We will do the best we can to get there," coach Randy Jepson said. "I'm not going to put anybody at risk. We'll see what happens." Check back for updates.
Sophomore Felix Aronovich only competed in two events (pommel horse and parallel bars) last weekend at Temple. Jepson had mentioned earlier in the week that he would rest Aronovich. The coach clarified this week that two events is classified as rest for Aronovich, who consistently competes in every event throughout the year for international teams. "To back off and do a couple of events for him is an easier day," Jepson said. "But it's tough for him to prepare mentally, because he's used to preparing for six events."
Junior Warren Yang was also rested last weekend, competing in only two events (floor exercise and high bar). Jepson said that Yang had struggled in practice last week, and he did not feel comfortable starting him in several events at the Temple meet, including parallel bars, on which he is ranked No. 3 in the nation. "He just hasn't been very solid on parallel bars," Jepson said. "That No. 3 ranking on parallel bars isn't correct." Turns out Jepson is right. Somewhere along the line, Yang was incorrectly credited with a 19.750 on p-bars, which subsequently skewed his ranking. That score is nearly impossible to score in NCAA men's gymnastics.
Also, here are this week's updated national rankings with team averages:
1. Stanford 356.550
2. California 354.225
3. Illinois 353.933
4. Oklahoma 349.833
5. Penn State 348.125
6. Michigan 346.000
7. Minnesota 340.517
8. Ohio State 340.075
9. Iowa 337.450
10. Nebraska 336.867
11. Temple 332.333
12. Air Force 330.567
13. UIC 328.300
14. Navy 321.950
15. Army 319.375Comments
Pennsylvania billionaire Terry Pegula reached an agreement at 1 p.m. Tuesday to purchase the NHL Buffalo Sabres from former owner Tom Golisano, according to the team's website.
In September, Pegula announced a donation of $88 million dollars to Penn State to establish Division I men's and women's hockey teams as well as build a new ice arena, which the University Board of Trustees announced will be named the Pegula Ice Arena.
For the agreement with the Sabres to become official, it will have to undergo an extensive review process that will take several weeks.
Golisano and minority owner Larry Quinn will hold a press conference Thursday to announce the agreement.Comments