Three wins on the road: Penn State got back to its dominant winning ways against Miami (Ohio), Pitt and New Hampshire over the weekend. The Lions won each match and did not drop a set. Though it was not the toughest competition, Penn State traveled to Pittsburgh and did what they needed to do — collect three wins and come home. The win against Pitt came in front of a pretty rowdy Panther crowd. Playing in this kind of environment will benefit the Lions down the road once Big Ten play starts.
Experience: 16 Penn State players got playing time over the weekend. Obviously this builds confidence in a young team, especially for some players who don't see the court a lot. Freshman hitter Aiyana Whitney made her collegiate debut against New Hampshire and racked up six kills. Redshirt sophomore Darcy Dorton, who is still trying to work her way back into the lineup, also got some playing time and had three kills in three attacks in the New Hampshire match.
Slow start: It's tough to find bad news when you win three matches without dropping a set, but coach Russ Rose says that he was unhappy with the way his team started its Friday morning match against Miami (Ohio). The Lions came back and won the set 25-20, but after getting behind USC two sets to nothing last Saturday, slow starts could be an issue for the Lions down the road.
Nike Big Four Volleyball Classic: This Friday and Saturday, Penn State's No. 2 ranking will really be put to the test. With a meeting with No. 3 Stanford on Friday and then either a match against No. 7 Florida or No. 10 Texas on Saturday, Rose will find out a lot about his young team. The Big Four tournament will provide the Lions some good experience against good teams and season them for Big Ten play.