With much occurring in the world of Pennsylvania sports this past weekend, men’s volleyball coach Mark Pavlik, a true sports fan at heart, had much to discuss with the Daily Collegian’s three volleyball reporters during our weekly meeting today.
First on tap was a discussion concerning the incredible finish of the Flyers/Penguins NHL game on Sunday that the Flyers won with a goal in overtime with .9 seconds remaining.
Pavlik, a die-hard Pens fan, texted the three of us, all Philly natives, about the great game as soon as it ended in an attempt to “wave the white flag,” he said. (We still gave him a hard time nonetheless.)
Although he was disappointed with the Penguins’ gut-wrenching loss, Pavlik said he would look forward to a first-round playoff matchup between the two teams: one that he sees as a definite possibility given the current standings.
Next, we asked Pavlik how he felt about the Penn State wrestling team earning the national championship this past weekend in St. Louis.
He was visibly overjoyed by the topic and looked forward to congratulating head coach Cael Sanderson upon his arrival back in his Rec Hall office.
Here are some of his thoughts:
“Our Rec Hall mates are doing great. I think the world of that wrestling staff and all the guys that I’ve met on our way down South gym when they’re heading down to practice. Just great guys. I’m really impressed with what they’ve done back-to-back. It’s what Penn State is all about.”
“I’m thrilled. I was trying to have my Twitter on for [Wrestling SID] Pat Donghia’s tweets.”
“I’m so happy for those guys. It’s so cool.”
Elsewhere, the topic of March Madness naturally came up and we discussed how Scoop Jardine has been carrying Syracuse so far. Pavlik has a personal attachment to this player for one main reason.
“Is there a better name than Scoop?” Pavlik said, quite seriously.
“That’s the nickname that can be used in any field. You can be a Scoop in Journalism!”
After jokingly saying I wanted to name my kid this, Pavlik said: “I know! That’s why I told Heather, ‘Next pet we get is gonna be named Scoop.’”
Lastly, on a more serious note, Pavlik expressed his wish for the NCAA men’s volleyball tournament to be expanded from the Final Four to an eight-team tournament.
“There always has been talk [of it].”
Pavlik expects there to be more serious talk of expansion when the Conference Carolinas applies for an automatic bid in the tournament in 2014.
He also thinks another conference, the Big West, could come together in the next few years.
“[Expansion of the tournament] will be especially better for these [smaller conferences]. Not just EIVA, but Conference Carolinas also.”
Pavlik thinks it would be better for the sport because promoting expansion at the NCAA tournament would thus be promoting the expansion of the sport overall.