Penn State didn't miss a beat as it took down North Carolina A&T in three straight sets Thursday.
Twenty-six days without playing a match didn't stop the blue and white, as it came out and crushed its competition to bolster its winning streak to six games in a row.
Although it is an impressive feat to come out after such a long break and take down the opponent in three straight sets, Penn State will face a new type of team in the next round.
The Longhorns have only one loss on the season in a little under twice as many matches as Penn State has played this year, sitting at 24-1. Texas’ sole loss came in a five-set defeat to Rice on March 23.
Penn State is on a winning streak itself in its last handful of matches, as it added a sixth victory to its favorable run Thursday.
Texas has conceded just one set in its last four matches, most recently sweeping Wright State to move on in the NCAA Tournament.
Each team might take a look at the team’s second-round showing to get a sneak peek at what it might see in the semifinals however, one game doesn’t always tell the complete story of a team.
“I don't think Texas will get much from our film and I'm not sure that we'll get a lot from Texas,” Rose stated. “There's a lot more data available than we had both teams show today.”
Although Texas does have more than double Penn State’s wins this season, the caliber of teams it has had to play is on a lower level than were the Nittany Lions’ opponents.
Playing in the Big Ten, the blue and white has had to compete against teams like Minnesota, Purdue and Ohio State.
“They've played a lot of significant meaningful matches during the year,” Rose said. “We played matches against some opponents where, you know, we really had to play at a much more significant competitive level.”
That is what this semifinal match might come down to.
Texas has the edge in matches played and matches won, while Penn State has the advantage in the density of its season playing a higher caliber of opponents.
Penn State will look to continue its winning streak as it attempts to take down No. 4 Texas this coming Sunday in hopes of advancing further in the NCAA Tournament.