UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - While the Nittany Lion
football team is just 15 days from returning to the practice field for the
start of spring drills, the group is not thinking about putting helmets back on
Led be Director of Performance Enhancement Dwight Galt and his strength staff,
the football squad is in the midst of its annual three-day physical testing
period to measure the progress it has made since winter conditioning began in
January and to set a baseline leading into the summer workout season.
The Nittany Lions kicked off the testing week on Monday by running the 40-yard
dash, broad jump and triple jump inside Holuba Hall and maxing out on the bench
press in the weight room. Tuesday's
testing featured the vertical jump and the power clean max out in the weight
room. Following a snow day on the
University Park campus on Wednesday, the testing culminated on Thursday with the
shuttle run in Holuba Hall and a squatting max out session in the weight room.
When Galt addressed the media one year ago this week, he talked about how
pleased he had been with the team's effort. This year, he said the growth has elevated
to a different level.
"What a difference a year makes. It has been unbelievable," Galt said.
"Fifty-six of the guys in here are guys we had last January...It's been a
phenomenal difference. They did a great job last year, but they know the
expectations and they are really excited about the 2015 season....It has been a
Roughly eight weeks into the winter conditioning
program, Galt is confident in where the team is at during the final week of
strength and conditioning before the student-athletes are off for spring break
next week. The team has lifted three
days a week and conditioned during the early-morning hours the other two days.
While Galt still has some numbers to analyze once the week is over, he has seen
a big jump in the team's testing results when comparing this year to last year.
"I went back and looked at some of the records I'd had at previous places where
we had older, more established teams," Galt said. "We actually had 56 guys
(power) clean 300 or more pounds. The highest I've had in the last five years
was 43. This is a young team that is basically one of the stronger team's I've
Galt said the power clean results translated well into the 40-yard dash
testing, which puts explosiveness at a premium. Last year, nine players ran a
4.59 or lower in the 40. This year, 19 players ran 4.59 or lower. Of the 93
guys who tested in the 40-yard dash, 74 ran 4.99 or lower.
On the bench press, the team's max out average jumped from 312 pounds last year
to 323 pounds this year. Additionally, seven players topped 35 inches in the
vertical test. Galt said the team's overall speed and explosiveness have taken
a big step forward in the past year.
"All of those things work hand in hand with one another," Galt said. "The
numbers, especially in the explosive moment, have been great."
A few position groups have jumped out at Galt during the winter workout period.
He highlighted the defensive ends, which is a unit that had four players power
clean 350 pounds or more. Galt also said the offensive line has done a superb
job improving its strength and movement capabilities. The third group he
singled out for their efforts this winter was the wide receivers.
With the media in attendance at Thursday's workout, junior offensive lineman
Derek Dowrey put on a show in the final squat of the team's first lifting group
of the day. Dowrey squatted 545 pounds five times with his fellow teammates
Now, the Nittany Lions are counting down the days before the start of spring
practice, but they have an eye on the bigger picture. The 2015 season is just
around the corner, and they have one thing in mind.
"Everybody is so excited about getting back on the field," Galt said. "They
want to get better on the field."
"We have a great week going. We are really excited about how much improvement
we have made," Galt said. "A lot of that has to do with the work ethic. There's
no doubt about. But we have talent here."
Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - While the opponent may be familiar, the situation will
certainly be different for the Penn State women's hockey team this Friday.
When the Nittany Lions take on Syracuse this Friday in the CHA tournament
semifinals, it will be the fifth time this year they will have taken on the
Orange. The difference however, will be what is at stake.
This time around, the two clubs won't be playing a two-game series like they
did on Oct 31-Nov. 1 and Jan. 30- 31. Now, the winner of Friday's contest will
move on to the CHA finals, where they will face off against the winner of
Robert Morris and Mercyhurst.
So far this season, the Lions are 1-1-2 against the Orange, losing 3-1 and
tying to 2-2 the first series and tying 2-2 and winning 4-2 the second.
"I think the familiarity makes for exciting competition this time of year,"
Penn State head coach Josh Brandwene said. "We are focused on us, our
preparation and continued growth as a team and looking forward to competing."
The Nittany Lions reached the semifinals by beating Lindenwood twice last
weekend, by scores of 1-0 and 3-1. In those contests, Penn State got big
performances from Shannon Yoxheimer, who scored in each game, and Bella Sutton,
who registered two goals and an assist in the second victory.
On the backend, the Lions also got an impressive performance from goaltender
Celine Whitlinger, who allowed just one goal on 48 shots during the weekend to
finish with a terrific .979 save percentage. Whitlinger is now 13-10-1 on the
season with a 2.17 goals-against-average.
While winning both games over the weekend was obviously important for the Lions
in terms of advancing them to their first ever CHA tournament semifinals berth,
it also gives them a much needed boost of confidence at this time of the
Prior to last weekend, the Lions had dropped five contests in a row and hadn't
won since Feb. 6. Now with two straight wins under its belts, Penn State can go
into Friday knowing it's primed for a peak performance.
"We had an excellent week of preparation and looking forward to getting after
it," Brandwene said.
As for Syracuse, the Orange had a bye in the first round of the tournament and
haven't played since Feb. 21, a 1-0 loss to RIT. In their last six games, the
Orange are 4-1-1 but have a 5-6 all-time record in CHA tournament games.
If Penn State can get past Syracuse, it will have a tough test no matter what
opponent it gets next. On the season, the Lions are 2-2 against Meryhurst and
1-3 against Robert Morris. The winner of the tournament will also get a
automatic bid in the NCAA tournament.
However the weekend does play out, the Lions have taken a major step forward as
a program by advancing to the semifinals. No matter what, Brandwene knows his
club is moving in the right direction.
"This team's continued success and growth is a credit to the players'
commitment to excellence and to the process everyday," Brandwene said. "We're
excited and really looking forward to competing."
By Julie Bacanskas, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Three years ago, Jacob Friedman, Taylor
Holstrom, Nate Jensen, PJ Musico and Peter Sweetland were all playing hockey
for Penn State's club team, the Icers. When Max Gardiner arrived the following
season, all six student-athletes partook in the team's inaugural Division I
season. Last year, with the addition of Patrick Koudys, they dressed for the
first season of the Big Ten Conference, the first season in Pegula Ice Arena.
Now, their time at Penn State is coming to a close. This weekend, all seven
seniors will see the final home games of their careers as Nittany Lions.
Nevertheless, this class is incredibly special to the program. The mark they
have left on Penn State Hockey will remain intact forever.
"This was really the first guys that were sort of recruited, and if you
remember, when they were recruited, when they committed to us, when they said
yes, we weren't even Division I at the time, let alone in a league," said head
coach Guy Gadowsky. "They said there was going to be a league, but there
wasn't. They said there was going to be this beautiful building, but there
wasn't. There wasn't even a shovel in the ground.
"These guys, they had to have a lot of faith in Penn State and what this staff
was sort of saying would happen. More importantly, they had to have a lot of
faith in themselves because we recruited a lot of players. A good portion of
those would come back and say, 'Jeez. I just don't want to lose for four
years.' These guys never said that. Anybody that came from this class, they
never said that."
These athletes didn't come to Happy Valley solely to win. The road ahead was
going to be tough, but they wanted to build a program. They wanted to be the foundation
of Penn State hockey.
That is exactly what they have done.
This group includes players with tremendous leadership abilities, players with
a strong presence both in the locker room and on the ice, players with true
"I've learned that you just have to take things as they come and help everyone
stay focused on the tasks at hand," said Jensen, the team's assistant captain.
"There's always going to be ups and downs. It's not easy, but that's part of
hockey and being a leader."
The determination of the senior class is a big part of the reason the Nittany
Lions have found what some may call unexpected success this season. Yet, these
seven knew there was magic in Hockey Valley. It just had to be uncovered and
During their time at Penn State, the class has combined for 150 career-points.
Holstrom currently leads the way with 67, followed by Gardiner's 28 and
Koudys blocked 137 shots for the team in his 68 appearanced. Muscio has
registered a .904 career save-percentage, and Friedman and Sweetland have
appeared in 41 and 42 games for the Blue and White, respectively.
The class continuously provides depth for the team, but they also add
"Goofballs," said Jensen when describing his fellow seniors. "No, but really,
we're a hard working group. We may not be the most skilled class, but we
definitely have a lot of heart. We like to lead by example and give it our all
every time we're out there."
The final games in Hockey Valley for these seven will not be an easy task. With
Michigan coming into town, emotions will be high. The history between Penn
State (16-12-4, 8-7-1 B1G) and the Wolverines (19-11-0, 11-5-0 B1G) always drives
up the level of play, the level of physicality.
With such few points separating the top four spots in the Big Ten Conference,
the Lions know they'll need to dig deep and focus.
"There's definitely a rivalry between Michigan and Penn State that started from
last year and earlier this season," Jensen explained. "Our two teams don't like
each other. It's definitely going to be good hockey games, and I'm excited. I'm
looking forward to the weekend."
Although Friedman, Gardiner, Holstrom, Jensen, Koudys, Musico and Sweetland
will all be honored in a senior ceremony this weekend, the seven will have one
final series against Minnesota and the Big Ten Tournament to prepare for
following the last two games in Pegula Ice Arena.
With such tough weekends ahead, the Nittany Lions know playing their best hockey is even
more important now.
"What I like is that we're facing the top two teams going into playoffs," said
Gadowsky. "I like that. To face the best going into playoffs I think is a
positive experience. You're going to be forced to play at such a high level
that I feel that can only help you going into the Big Ten Tournament."
These seven seniors have experienced all the ups and downs of this program.
They played in club games. They played in the first Division I season. They
played in Greenberg Ice Pavilion. They played in Pegula Ice Arena.
Most importantly, these seniors gave their hearts and souls to Penn State
hockey. That kind of dedication is rare and can never be forgotten.
"I will definitely always remember," said Gadowsky of this class. "Always.
ESTATES, ILL. - Battling to the last second, Penn State fell, 68-65, to Indiana
in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday night.
Lions and the Hoosiers took turns getting numbers on the board for a
high-energy and aggressive start, an energy that lasted all 40 minutes.
"We're a very competitive team. So we always come out
fighting, and we're going to fight to the end, whether win or lose," said sophomore
The Lady Lions did just that with less than a minute left in the first half, a
clutch Alex Harris layup followed by a Peyton Whitted jumper cut Indiana's lead
to seven (38-31).
second half begun, it was clear that both teams were going to leave everything
out on the court. An exciting half followed as Penn State answered back,
bringing the difference within two with a minute left in the game.
Unable to execute, Penn State attacked to the very last
second as Indiana found a momentum that brought the final score to 68-63.
Moore led the Lady Lions with 18 points, notching her 21st game with
a double-figure performance. She shot 9-for-13 and dished out six assists.
Fellow sophomore, Kaliyah Mitchell got hot in the second half to snatch her
fourth double-double this season, grabbing 10 rebounds and 13 points against
of Penn State points were made in the paint, 14 of which by Candice Agee
"I think that it was
something that we know to do and something that we've found that is we get
better shots off in the paint," said Candace Agee. "So not that it was a
surprise to me. Something that we work on, something that we try to focus on
doing is getting the ball inside and out."
size as an advantage, Penn State outrebounded Indiana 40-29, eight of which
were pulled down by 6-foot-5 Tori Waldner.
closed out her senior season by becoming the 31st member of the 500-rebound
"There's certainly a lot of learning, a lot of
lessons that we'll take away from this season, this game, the Big Ten
Conference play, said head coach Coquese Washington. "We've got the majority of
the team coming back next year. So a lot of these lessons and the growth we saw
over the course of the season is something we'll build."
team will do just that as they continue to build for next year.
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK,
Pa.- Take a look at this year's postseason lineup for the Penn State wrestling
team and you'll notice a few differences from last year's.
There are seven new
names, much less experience and no returning national champions. There's no
denying it, plenty has changed for the Nittany Lions.
But that doesn't
mean their mindset is any different than the past four years. When the Lions
begin the Big Ten Tournament on Saturday in Columbus, they'll still be gunning
for their fifth consecutive conference championship.
"We need all 10
guys scoring points, we need all 10 guys scoring bonus points when they have
that opportunity," head coach Cael Sanderson said. "Similar to the southern
scuffle, same mentality. We need to use every second of every match, we've got
to win those close matches, that was the difference in the dual meets we won."
Out of the 10 wrestlers
competing for Penn State this weekend, five have experience in the conference
tournament. All-Americans Matt Brown (174) and Morgan McIntosh (197), along
with sophomore Jimmy Gulibon (133) return from last year's squad while junior
Jordan Conaway (125) and senior Jimmy Lawson (285) wrestled in 2013.
As for the
newcomers, freshmen Garett Hammond (165), Matt McCutcheon (184) and Kade Moss (141)
will make their postseason debuts after holding down their weights all season long.
The same goes for sophomore 149-pounder Zack Beitz, who just missed out on
going to the Big Tens last season when senior James English earned a spot in
the lineup in the final weeks of the season.
Finally, there's senior
157-pounder Luke Frey, the most improbable addition to the team's lineup. A
natural 149-pounder, Frey wrestled just three duals all season but earned the
spot over freshman Cody Law and senior Dylan Alton, who's dealing with
lingering shoulder injures.
"It was always my
goal to be able to compete in the postseason, Frey said. "Was it going to hard,
yeah, but I pushed myself and it ended up working out for me. It's different
how people wrestle from 149 to 157, just getting prepared so I can push the pace."
In order to
prepare, Frey has relied on the advice of Brown and assistant coach Frank
Molinaro, who earned four All-American nods at Penn State and won an individual
national title in 2012.
With half their roster making their tournament debuts, the Nittany Lions will
need plenty of leadership from their veterans. Still, each wrestler knows that
it will ultimately be on them to decide their own fate this weekend.
McIntosh, last season's Big Ten runner-up at 197-pounds, the team has grown
accustomed to expectations that come with wrestling for such a distinguished
program. At this point, even the newcomers are used to pressure-packed
"The team score
does matter this weekend just like in dual matches," McIntosh said. "I think we
should be competing the way we wrestle in practice and just have fun. Coaches
tell us all the time it's about having fun and not worrying about all the
pressure to win the fifth title. We all just need to relax and wrestle hard."
In fact, the Nittany
Lions only have one less wrestler with postseason experience this year than
they did last year when they captured their fourth straight national title.
While that team had
national champions David Taylor and Ed Ruth in the lineup, Sanderson still doesn't
feel like this year's squad is at too much of a disadvantage. Like McIntosh, he
believes the Lions' familiarity with hostile crowds will keep their minds at
"I don't think
[experience] is a big deal, I think these guys have wrestled in big tournaments,"
Sanderson said. "These freshmen have wrestled in front of the [second] largest
crowd in a dual in the NCAA (Feb. 8 in the BJC against Iowa) and they've been
in all those spots, everywhere we go there's a big crowd. I don't look at it
like these guys are freshmen."
As always, the
biggest key for the Nittany Lions will be qualifying as many wrestlers as
possible for the NCAA Tournament. With only so many spots available and many of
the nation's best wrestlers in the Big Ten, it will be a challenge for Penn
State to send all 10 guys for the third-straight year.
But as Sanderson
likes to say, iron sharpens iron, and the Lions can only prepare themselves by
taking on the best competition possible. With the competition as tough as ever,
the Blue and White will see exactly how far along they are.
benefits of being in the Big Ten, it's very competitive," Sanderson said. "The
more you put on a kid, the tougher they get the more they respond. When they
get to the national tournament it's like another weekend in the Big Ten."
By Maria Canales, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's lacrosse is set for three road
matches against Harvard, Marist and UMass during the academic spring break.
Although their luck on the road hasn't been ideal, the Nittany Lions
hope their fortunes will change over their spring break campaign. Historically
under head coach Jeff Tambroni the Nittany Lions' record has been superb on the
road, and Penn State looks to continue this tradition and notch its first road
win against Harvard this Saturday.
"It has always been a part of this program that we find more success on
the road than we do at home," said Tambroni. "So finding that formula is going
to be kind of what we're gonna set out to achieve this week."
The team will leave Happy Valley on Friday and head to Boston for their
first of three games over the course of a week. The long bus ride will give the
team and coaches time to further build relationships amongst one another.
After their game Saturday against Harvard, the Nittany Lions face Marist
on Tuesday, then travel to Amherst to take on UMass the following Saturday, but
despite their full schedule, the Nittany Lions do have a small amount of
downtime. The team plans to use this time to take in the sights and sounds of all
that Boston has to offer.
"We have extremely generous and gracious parents throughout the course
of the entire year, they go way above and beyond caring for this team when we
go on the road," said Tambroni. "Connor Darcey's parents are local, they're
from Wellesley, Massachusetts, so they have scheduled a number of things
including a tour of Fenway Park, we're going to go to a Boston Celtics game and
we got a day of bowling. This will give the guys the chance to see each other
in a different light."
Small adventures like these are nice ways for the team to further bond
with one other, but also get some much-needed downtime during such a busy week.
Coach Tambroni joked that, being a diehard New York Yankees fan, he'll have to
wear his pinstripes on the Fenway Park tour.
Coach Tambroni hopes that Penn State's successful run at home will
translate into wins on the road now that the team knows what needs to happen to
notch wins. Communication is key on the field and the Nittany Lions have focused
on being more vocal during practices to lay the groundwork for their spring
"We had a great week of preparation before Penn, I think we learned a
lot, grew a lot as a team," said Tambroni. "I'm hopeful that we'll travel a lot
better going into Harvard and start stringing together some wins."
Junior faceoff specialist Drake Kreinz knows the team needs to get its
first win on the road and emphasized the hard work the team has put in during
this week of practices. Kreinz believes the team is well prepared, but it all
comes down to the mentality of the team during game time.
"I know we've got our hands full," said Kreinz. "Harvard's a very good
team, we got a short weekend and then on to Marist and UMass, all great
physical teams. Being on the road I know there will be a lot going on but the
biggest thing is just staying mentally prepared and, especially with the cold
and the snow in Boston, we just gotta play our game and stay focused."
On these road games, the one element that will impact the team the most
is the weather. Having played both home games in Holuba Hall, the Nittany Lions
have only battled the elements on the road, including blizzard like conditions
at Villanova. Overcoming the inevitable cold and possible snow in Massachusetts
will be the biggest challenge the team faces, but Penn State is prepared.
The Nittany Lions have studied film, practiced hard, and have
conditioned themselves in order to be as well prepared as possible for the week
ahead. Winning three games in a row would be the perfect spring break for the
Nittany Lions, but Tambroni emphasized that wins aren't the only thing that
decide a successful bout of road games.
"At the end of the day I hope we come back a more united team and a much
closer team when we head back from Amherst," said Tambroni.
The Nittany Lions will start their spring break campaign at Harvard on
Saturday at noon.
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY
PARK, Pa. - It may have been the last home game of his college career, but Ross
Travis didn't waste any time feeling nostalgic.
the senior forward, Wednesday night's game against Ohio State was an
opportunity to show just how effective he could be. In his first start since
Feb. 4 against Maryland, Travis gave perhaps his best performance of the
season, scoring 14 points and grabbing eight rebounds in 29 minutes in an
eventual 77-67 setback to the 23rd-ranked Buckeyes.
is playing great basketball the last couple of weeks and down the stretch,"
head coach Patrick Chambers said. "He's been dialed in, doing everything he can
for us and it's great to see."
has always been a player defined by his effort, and Wednesday was no different.
But while the 6-foot-7 forward's game has usually been defined by defense and
rebounding, he went to great lengths to assert himself on offense against the
game's first two minutes alone, Travis scored two of the Lions first three
baskets in what turned out to just be a taste of what was to come for Penn
State's third-leading rebounder of all time.
the Buckeyes took an early 15-8 lead, the Lions went on a 21-5 run that lasted
nearly nine minutes and resulted in a 29-20 Penn State lead with 3:21
remaining. In that frame, Travis went 3-of-4 from the field and scored seven
points before finishing the first half with 12 points and three rebounds as
Penn State led 30-29.
only did he match his highest point total of the season and finish just two
rebounds away from a double-double, Travis played with a ferocity that was
unique even for him. Clearly exhausted afterwards, the forward said he was
merely trying to do his job.
same thing that inspires me everyday and every game," Travis said. "Playing for
my teammates, playing for certain individuals. Just the same thing."
course, Travis wasn't the only senior honored prior to the contest. Former
walk-ons Kevin Montminy and Alan Wisniewski started for the first time all
season in their last game in the BJC.
then of course, there was D.J. Newbill, who led the Nittany Lions in scoring
with 17 points while dishing out five assists and grabbing four rebounds. It
was the 6-foot-4 guard's 29th double-digit scoring effort in 30
games this season.
only that, but the 17 points also helped the Philadelphia native pass the 2,000
mark for his career, making him the 10th active Division I player to
have accomplished the feat. When asked where he ranked Newbill against the
greatest players in Penn State history, Chambers put him near the top.
got to be top five," Chambers said. "The only thing that might prevent him is
wins. You feel for him. The guy took a chance on us and he's done his job and I
need to do mine. I need to do a better job of helping him out these last couple
games here to help him finish strong."
playing the 23rd best team in the nation evenly for the first 30 minutes,
the Lions came out on fire to start the second, opening the half with a 8-0 run
that gave them a 38-29 lead and all the momentum.
that moment, Ohio State freshman guard D'Angelo Russell began to show why he's
considered a future NBA lottery pick. Having gone just 3-of-9 from the field in
the first half, the Big Ten's second leading scorer went 5-of-7 the rest of the
way and finished the night with 28 points, six rebounds and three steals.
the Lions kept it close for a while and trailed by eight with 10 minutes to go,
Ohio State's hot shooting proved to be too much to stop. In the second half
alone, the Buckeyes shot 52 percent from the field and 56 percent from three.
thought we played really well for 30 minutes," Chambers said. "We played
really, really well. And then [D'Angelo] took over the game, that was the
difference. And then everybody got hot, it seemed we couldn't get a stop for a
while there, everybody made a shot. It was contagious."
Though the loss stings like always, Chambers was still able to be proud of the
effort his seniors gave. From the star in Newbill to the grinder in Travis and
finally to two of the hardest workers in Montminy and Wisniewski, everyone was
deserving of the accolades they received.
thought Ross did some good things," Chambers said. "It was nice to see Kevin
and Wis, I thought they played to a stalemate before I took them out which was
just typical for those guys. Kevin Montminy played [former first team
All-American] Trey Burke at Michigan. Alan Wisniewski was in critical games his
last four years. It didn't surprise me at all that we didn't really miss a beat
with those guys in the game."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to GoPSUsports.com's live, interactive coverage of the 2014-'15 men's basketball season. On Wednesday, the Nittany Lions host Ohio State on Senior Night at 6 p.m. tip inside the Bryce Jordan Center.
Live Blog 2014-'15 Men's Hoops Blog - Penn State vs. Ohio State
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. - Welcome to GoPSUsports.com's live, interactive coverage of the 2014-'15 Lady Lion basketball season. On Wednesday, the Lions will meet Indiana in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament inside the Sears Centre.
Live Blog 2015 B1G Tournament WBB Blog - Penn State vs. Indiana
By Miranda Kulp, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK,
Pa. -While some students would love to spend their summers in California,
softball player Kristina Brackpool stayed in State College to improve her
softball game instead of going back to her West coast home.
This being her
sophomore year with the Nittany Lions, Brackpool is starting the year off with
determination and drive.
Brackpool has the second highest batting average on the team and has started
every game so far this season for the Lions.
"This summer I
really dedicated myself to improving," Brackpool said.
She credits her
summer here in Happy Valley for her massive improvement from last year.
"I stayed on campus
this summer and it was the best decision I could of made for my game,"
Brackpool said. "I was taking some summer classes and then dedicating the rest
of my time to working out. I was able to work with the team's strength and
conditioning trainers and that was a huge help."
Last year, she
blasted a solo homer in her lone at bat against Ohio State.She started 25 of 30 games and was
batting a .197 which has improved to .340 this season.
Now, this season
she is leading the teams in home runs with four so far this season and has a
total of 14 RBIs.
"I think looking
back on last season and where I am now I can definitely see how I matured as a
player," Brackpool said.
The infielder isn't
the only one that sees her handwork paying off, the coaching staff has noticed
"It's like night
and day when comparing last season to this one for Kristina," head coach Amanda
Lehotak said...Even after our first few practices I immediately saw an
improvement in how she was playing and carrying herself. She's one of our
toughest players this year and she's a force to be reckoned with when she's
either up to bat or in the infield."
Brackpool is living
proof that hard work and dedication goes a long way. Although she's already
shown a massive improvement from last year, number 52 is constantly trying to
continue her growth.
"I'm honored to be
on this team so I want to never stop trying to improve," Brackpool said. "To me
Penn State softball is more than just a team, it means I'm part of a family and
I'm going to go to practice everyday giving it my all not only for me but for
native explains that although central Pennsylvania is much different than her
hometown in Valencia, California, she fell in love with the school and its
softball program right away.
student-athlete here at Penn State means so much to me. It's the big school
feel I've always wanted with a family feeling you can't beat," Brackpool said.
"I have a family
within my team but also out of softball, I like how all student-athletes and
other students here support one another. I think that's why I feel in love with
softball, Brackpool is majoring in kinesiology and wants to pursue a career in
puts her mind to, she will succeed at," coach Lehotak said. "The dedication she
puts into softball shows what type of person she is and how she's willing to
put in the work to get what she wants."
State is 8-9 as they prepare to head to California for a tournament this
Brackpool and the
team are excited to see what this weekend brings for the Lions as they get
closer to the first home game later this month against Pitt on the 18th.