TAMPA, Fla. - The buildup is complete.It is time to play football in sunny Florida at Raymond
James Stadium.Penn State is set
to take on Florida in the 25th Outback Bowl.
GoPSUsports.com has provided several videos and numerous photos from the
trip to Tampa.Today, we shift
focus towards gameday in Raymond James Stadium.As we have throughout the season, GoPSUsports.com will give
the fans an inside look at Outback Bowl Gameday.
We kick things off with
Friday's trip to the stadium for the team photo.Check back often on gameday for plenty images from the New
Year's Day clash with the Gators.
Inside the Raymond James Stadium press box
End zone seating in the press box
The view from the press box
Stefen Wisniewski taking the field
The Nittany Lions on the field in Tampa
The red phones to the press box
The cooling fans are out
Matt McGloin warming up
The Penn State Blue Band
The Nittany Lions take the field
Lined up for the first play of the game
Coach Paterno looks on
Derek Moye celebrating a long pass completion
The Hyatt downtown Tampa has been the home of Penn State football this week.
The field at Raymond James Stadium.
The mid-field logo.
Putting the final touches on the logo.
Raymond James Stadium
Penn State's end zone painted and ready to go.
The sideline paint has a Penn State helmet striping effect.
Penn State taking the field for the team photo.
The 2011 Outback Bowl team photo.
Inside the Penn State locker room.
The Penn State cheerleaders encouraging Penn State fans to wear white at the pep rally.
A crowd in excess of 3,000 people attended the Penn State pep rally at the Tampa Convention Center.
TAMPA, Fla. - The Nittany Lions visited Raymond James Stadium for the
first time on Friday morning to participate in the team photo and walk around
the field, one day prior to kickoff in the Outback Bowl.
Greeted with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70s, Penn State
posed for a group picture in their blue game jerseys before taking some photos of
their own and looking around the field.
GoPSUsports.com had its camera rolling at the team photo event.Take a look at the Friday festivities
Coach Paterno also met with the media for the final time prior to
kickoff on Friday morning.Take a
look at what he had to say.
TAMPA, Fla. - Penn State wrapped up its Outback Bowl practices on
Thursday afternoon at Jesuit High School.A Coach Paterno press conference and the team photo are the only two
events that remain until the Lions clash with Florida in Raymond James Stadium
GoPSUsports.com talked with numerous players before the Outback Bowl
DeBartolo Team Luncheon at the Tampa Convention Center on Wednesday for two
video scouting reports.After examining
the Florida offense on Wednesday, let's take a look at the Florida defense.
Penn State's all-time leading rusher Evan Royster, All-American Stefen
Wisniewski and junior wide receiver Derek Moye will all talk about the Gator
defense in the video below.
Florida's front seven is an elite group of defensive players that
spearhead a unit ranked No. 9 in the nation in total defense.The Gators will be without two
significant pieces on the defensive line against the Nittany Lions.Terron Sanders and Lawrence Marsh are
veteran interior linemen, who will not play on Saturday.Defensive end Justin Trattou leads the
team with 12 tackles for a loss.
The linebacker corps is led by redshirt freshman Jelani Jenkins.Jenkins is a superb athlete with great
closing speed.He sits second on
the team in tackling with 73 hits.Sophomore Jonathan Bostic is another name to keep an eye on in the
In the secondary, Florida is one of three schools in the nation to have
four players with at least three interceptions.Overall eight different Gators intercepted a pass in
2010.Florida hauled in 17
interceptions this season, but will be without star corner Janoris Jenkins, who
is out with a shoulder injury.Strong
safety Ahmad Black leads the team in tackling with 102.
Urban Meyer said earlier in the week that he is confident that the
Gators have the personnel to fill all four vacancies (injury) on the depth
chart this week.
Statistically speaking, Florida allows 21.1 points per game.The Gators yield 302.9 total yards per
game, including 129.9 rushing yards and 173.0 passing yards.It is no coincidence to see Florida
listed as a top 10 defensive unit.The numbers speak for themselves.Penn State will see a talented defense on Saturday.
For more on the Gators, take a look at what the Nittany Lions have to
say on this video scouting report.
TAMPA, Fla. - The Nittany Lions practiced for the final time before they
take the field at Raymond James Stadium for the Outback Bowl on Thursday
morning at Jesuit High School in Tampa.
Greeted by the warmest temperatures of the week in the Tampa area, the
Nittany Lions wrapped up two weeks of practice leading up to the New Year's Day
clash with Florida.Several
players wore different numbers than Penn State fans are accustomed to in the
final practice of the 2010 season.It is a tradition for squad members to switch practice jerseys during
the final practice of the season.
Among the numerous jersey changes were Evan Royster, who wore No. 2,
Derek Moye, who wore No. 44 and Matt McGloin, who wore No. 75, among
others.Senior wide receiver Brett
Brackett had the honor of the final kickoff in his final practice as a Nittany
Lion.The team gathered at
mid-field and broke the huddle with a "JoePa" chant before jogging off the practice
field for the final time this season.
The on-field preparations are now complete in Tampa.
Following practice, several members of the squad boarded a bus for a
30-minute drive to Clearwater for Outback Bowl Beach Day.Take a look at some highlights from the
final practice and beach day with the Nittany Lions on Thursday in the Tampa
TAMPA, Fla. - The Nittany Lions continued preparations for the Outback
Bowl at Jesuit High School on Wednesday afternoon in the Tampa area with the
New Year's Day clash with the Florida Gators looming.
The Lions practiced under plentiful sunshine again on Wednesday
afternoon.Thursday will mark the
final day of preparation on the practice field for the squad before Saturday's
kickoff at Raymond James Stadium.
Prior to practice, several players and coaches met with the media before
the Outback Bowl DeBartolo Team Luncheon at the Tampa Convention Center.GoPSUsports.com talked with numerous
players from both sides of the ball for their take on the Florida Gators.Over the next two days, we will let the
Nittany Lions tell the fans about Saturday's opponent on two video scouting
We kick things off today with a look at the Florida offense.Assistant Coach Tom Bradley, junior
cornerback D'Anton Lynn, linebacker Michael Mauti and defensive end Pete
Massaro all talk about Florida's offense on the scouting report below.
As Coach Bradley mentions in the video, Florida's offensive skill
players have elite speed.John
Brantley will be the signal-caller seeing most of the snaps under center.The redshirt junior quarterback, who
has started every game this season, has thrown for nine touchdowns and nine
interceptions in 2010.In addition
to Brantley, dynamic freshman Trey Burton will spend time at the quarterback
Burton, who also lines up at running back and receiver, scored six
touchdowns against Kentucky earlier this season.He leads the team with 11 rushing touchdowns.Burton has attempted just five passes,
but sits second on the team with 30 receptions.He plays a big role in the Gator offense.Florida will likely use a third
quarterback in Jordan Reed on Saturday, as well.
Speedster Jeff Demps is the primary threat in the running game.Demps, who runs the 100-meters for the
Florida track squad, leads the team in rushing (531) and all-purpose yards
(902).Junior Deonte Thompson is
the Gators' leading receiver with 36 catches for 548 yards.Thompson is a veteran player with 23
Statistically speaking, Florida averages 29.2 points per game and 356.8
yards per contest.Turnovers have
plagued the Gators in 2010.Nonetheless, there will be weapons all over the field wearing white and
orange on Saturday afternoon.As
Coach Paterno has noted throughout the preparation for the Outback Bowl, Urban
Meyer is a very innovative offensive coach.Penn State will see plenty of different looks on Saturday.
For more on the Gators, take a look at what the Nittany Lions have to
say on this video scouting report.
TAMPA, Fla. - Following Tuesday's practice in Tampa, the Nittany Lions
had some fun at Busch Gardens in Tampa.
From lion feeding to thrill rides, the Nittany Lion football team
enjoyed its visit to one of Tampa's finest attractions.Several players participated in the
feeding of lions at the park.Additionally, a number of players sat in the front row of SheiKra, which
is the amusement park's most renowned thrill ride.
Take a look at Penn State football's day in Busch Gardens.
The main gate of Busch Gardens.
The Nittany Lions look on as the Busch Gardens trainers begin to feed the Lions.
Simon awaiting his dinner.
Brett Brackett, Andrew Dailey and Stefen Wisniewski feed the lions.
Look closely, Ollie Ogbu and company are in the front row of SheiKra.
TAMPA, Fla. - As the Nittany Lions continue preparations for Saturday's
Outback Bowl against Florida, GoPSUsports.com wanted to pass along a postcard
from the Sunshine State to give the fans a look at some of the Tuesday
festivities for Penn State football.
Coach Paterno and Florida head coach Urban Meyer met with the media at a
joint press conference before practice at Jesuit High School in Tampa.Take a look at some of the festivities.
Coach Paterno meeting with the media.
Coach Paterno and Urban Meyer talking to the media.
A crowd of around 50 gathered for the joint press conference.
Michael Mauti walking to the practice field.
The Nittany Lions heading on the field at Jesuit High School.
Coach Paterno walking through the stretching lines at practice.
Mike McQueary and Derek Moye.
The turf field at Jesuit High School.
The Penn State linebackers.
The Nittany Lion safeties going through tackling drills.
The linebacker drills.
Inside the Penn State locker room at Jesuit High School.
The equipment room.
A wide shot of the facility at Jesuit High School.
The entrance to the locker rooms.
The Nittany Lions also used the adjacent grass field.
The Penn State equipment truck at Jesuit High School.
The Nittany Lions will head to
Busch Gardens later today.Check
back later for photos from the amusement park visit.
TAMPA, Fla. - Several members of the Nittany Lion football team paid a
visit to St. Joseph's Children's Hospital on Monday afternoon in Tampa.
It was a humbling experience for the Nittany Lions to bring smiles to
the faces of many children in the hospital.Take a look at the visit.Members of both Florida and Penn State took part in the
Prior to the hospital visit, the Nittany Lions returned to the practice
field on Monday at Jesuit High School in Tampa.Penn State used both the turf game field and grass practice
field at Jesuit High School on a crisp, but sunny day in Tampa.
Both head coaches will participate in a press conference in Tampa on
Tuesday before the Nittany Lions practice and travel to Busch Gardens.As always, GoPSUsports.com will be
there to cover all of the events on Tuesday.
TAMPA, Fla. - Penn State returns to the practice field on Monday in
Tampa.Last week, the Lions spent
their practice time in Clearwater at the Philadelphia Phillies Spring Training
The Nittany Lions practiced at Carpenter Complex from Sunday (Dec. 19)
through the morning of Dec. 24. Carpenter Complex was renovated with new
offices, locker rooms, a larger weight room and an observation walkway for
coaches in 2009.The Lions used
two practice fields during their week in Clearwater.
Prior to practice on Wednesday, Coach Paterno had an
opportunity to visit with Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay, winner of the 2010
National League Cy Young Award. Halladay tossed just the 20th perfect game in
Major League Baseball history this past season and just the second MLB
post-season no-hitter vs. the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of the NLDS.
For several members of the Nittany Lion football team, practicing at the
Phillies Spring Training site was a once in a lifetime opportunity to use the
same field as some of their favorite professional athletes.Take a look to see what several
Phillies fans had to say about practicing at the Carpenter Complex last week.
TAMPA, Fla. - The Nittany Lion football team and staff members boarded
four buses outside the Hyatt Regency Downtown in Tampa for the first official
game week event for the 2011 Outback Bowl on Sunday evening.
Penn State and Florida congregated at the A La Carte Event Pavilion for
an Outback Steakhouse feast at the official welcome dinner for Saturday's
game.Both teams and staffs ate approximately 2,400 pounds of sirloin, chicken and ribs in Tampa on Sunday night. Following the superb meal, both head coaches took the
stage for brief remarks.
In addition to the meal, each player from both teams received a gift bag
from the Outback Bowl, which included an Outback Steakhouse gift card and hat.Bowl games are allowed to provide gifts
up to $500 under NCAA rules.Penn
State and Florida student-athletes will receive an Outback Bowl ring, Best Buy
gift card and an Outback Bowl Fossil watch to go along with the gifts from
Sunday night's welcome dinner.
Take a look at the video below from inside the Outback Bowl Welcome
Dinner, including a speech from Coach Paterno.
In addition to the dinner festivities, GoPSUsports.com caught up with
several Nittany Lions for their thoughts on Sunday's event and the buildup for
the 2011 Outback Bowl.Take a look
After two days off, the Nittany Lions will return to the practice field
on Monday.Penn State's practice
home is Jesuit High School this week in Tampa.Following Monday's practice, several members of the squad will
pay a visit to St. Joseph's Children's Hospital.As always, stay tuned for coverage from Monday in Tampa.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - In the spirit of spreading some holiday cheer,
'tis the season for a Penn State wish list pertaining to its fast-approaching Outback
Bowl clash with Florida.As you fight
through crowds to do some last minute shopping to fulfill the wish lists of
family members and friends, make some time to sit down and enjoy GoPSUsports.com's
version of a list of holiday gift ideas for the Nittany Lions.Items are listed in no particular
Get Off to a Fast Start
Penn State scored just one touchdown on its opening drive in the final
seven games of the season.Playing
the ninth best defense in the nation at the bowl game, there is no better time
to hang seven points on the board early in the first quarter against Florida.The Nittany Lions can ill afford to
fall behind early against a defensive front like Florida's.Throwing the first punch will take some
pressure off the offense.Allowing
Florida to set the tone with its defense could make things very difficult as
the game wears on.So, I'm asking
for a touchdown or two in the first quarter.Is that too much to ask for?Nah, not with Matt McGloin, Derek Moye and Evan Royster
running the show after a month's worth of preparation.
Make Special Teams, Special
Penn State's special teams started fast in 2010 with an early return for
a touchdown, but the return game has been quiet since.Meanwhile, the Florida Gators rank No.
1 in the nation in net punting and No. 4 in the country in kickoff returns,
thanks to freshman Andre Debose, who has two returns for a score.The Nittany Lions have not returned a
kickoff for a touchdown since Chaz Powell's 100-yard return in week one.Penn State has not had a punt return
for a score since Derrick Williams took a Wisconsin punt to the house at Camp
Randall Stadium in 2008.A touchdown
return would have been nice on the road at Iowa or Ohio State this fall, but I
will gladly accept a score in the bowl game.With two solid defenses on the field, a cheap touchdown
could be a difference-maker.Raise
your glass to a special effort for Penn State's special teams.
Match the Speed
You know the drill.We hear
the same thing every year.The SEC
has players that could rival lap times of Jimmie Johnson's car at Daytona
International Speedway up the road in Daytona Beach.The Big Ten has nothing but slow, powerful athletes who
can't match the all-world speed of the SEC.Well, Penn State may not have a player with a track resume
like Florida's Jeff Demps (9.96 in the 100 meters), but there are plenty of
players with jets wearing blue and white.Michael Mauti and the defense are tired of hearing it.Florida has plenty of speed, no
question about that, but the Lions can do more than just hold their own.With speed on the mind, let's hope for a
few big plays from Devon Smith, Silas Redd and company.
Turnovers, What turnovers?
The Lions committed nine costly turnovers in their five losses in 2010.The turnover margin in those five games
was minus-2.Like special teams
play, turnovers are critical in big games.Winning the turnover battle is an area that could be a big
boost against the Gators.The Outback
Bowl gives the Lions a chance to turn things around in the turnover game.A turnover-free game would bring a
smile to Coach Paterno's face.Add
a couple forced turnovers to the wish list, as well.Florida quarterback John Brantley threw nine picks in 2010.A couple more would be nice.
White New Year's
Children around the world are dreaming of a white holiday season.I am dreaming of a white New
Year's.The Penn State faithful
has become famous for its white-clad environments in Beaver Stadium.Here's hoping the Penn State fans take
that theme on the road in the Outback Bowl to give the Lions an added boost
from the 12th man.Florida's
campus is just 130 miles from Tampa.The Gator nation will be out in full force in what they are calling a
"home" game on New Year's Day.Florida's fans will travel in droves, but I am dreaming of a Penn State
white New Year's.
Big Game, Big Plays
Two teams with records not indicative of the potential offensive
firepower on their rosters will do battle in Raymond James Stadium.Both teams have big-play athletes on
both sides of the ball, but neither was extremely consistent during the regular
season.Penn State's offense is at
its best when the big-play players make big plays.We did not see it on a regular basis in 2010, but the
big-play offense is on the wish list for the bowl game.A couple touchdown receptions from
Derek Moye and a long run from Evan Royster would be a nice treat on New Year's
Day.So, throw a couple big plays
on the holiday wish list.
Carry the Big Ten Banner
Penn State was part of a strong bowl season for the Big Ten, last
year.With another series of tough
matchups awaiting the conference during this bowl season, Penn State needs to
do its part to win one for the Big Ten.Matching up with a national power on New Year's Day makes the mouth
salivate in anticipation.We can't
really ask for much more than a great opponent on the biggest day in college
football.Obviously, one bowl
victory from Penn State won't clinch a solid postseason effort from the Big
Ten, but it will certainly go a long way.Wins from all five of the Big Ten teams with New Year's Day clashes on
national TV would bring some smiles to the conference office in Chicago.
A Drive for Five
Do you remember putting that one present on your wish list that you knew
you wouldn't get, but you couldn't help but add it to the list?Although it's not part of the
gridiron-themed wish list, I am going to be greedy and ask for fifth straight
title in women's volleyball.Russ
Rose and the women's volleyball squad have made Penn State the volleyball
capital of college sports.A drive
for five is probably beyond our wildest dreams, so throw it on the wish
list.In the meantime, I think all
of us will celebrate title number four and will gladly settle for a win in the Outback
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Both the Nittany Lion and Lady Lion basketball
teams entered Tuesday night's doubleheader in the Bryce Jordan Center looking
to build some momentum heading into the holiday break.
But both squads came up on the short end of the scoreboard.The men's squad suffered a 64-54
setback to Maine, while the Lady Lions dropped an 84-73 contest to Drexel.
Men's Hoops: Maine 74, Penn State
The Nittany Lions (7-4) dropped their final non-conference clash of the
season on Wednesday night in the first game of the evening doubleheader.Maine (6-5) executed on both ends of
the floor en route to a 10-point victory over the Lions.The Black Bears shot 53 percent for the
game and 58 percent from the 3-point arc.
But the stat you can circle on the final box score is rebounding.Maine out-rebounded Penn State by eight
(35-27).As Coach DeChellis said
after the game, the Lions must rebound and defend every night to be in a
position to win.Penn State did
not manage to play well in either area on Tuesday night.
On the offensive end of the floor, Maine held the Lions to just 39
percent shooting.Penn State
struggled to find any type of rhythm against Maine's 2-3 and 1-2-2 zone
defenses.Talor Battle scored 26
points to lead all players, but suffered a left hand injury on a dunk late in
the game.Battle finished the
game, but went to the hospital for examination on the hand.D.J. Jackson added 18 points.
Outside of those two seniors, Jermaine Marshall was the third leading
scorer with six points.The Lions now
head into a brief break before returning back to State College in preparation
for the Big Ten opener at Indiana.The Nittany Lions must turn up the wick heading into a rigorous stretch
to open the conference season.Intensity level on the defensive end of the floor and on the glass must
improve before traveling to Bloomington, Ind., on Dec. 27.
Women's Hoops: Drexel 84, Penn
Like the men's team, the Lady Lions (10-3) wanted to depart campus for
the holiday break with a victory, but were unable to do so after a hot-shooting
night from Drexel (7-2).The Lions
led by as much as nine in the opening 20 minutes, trailed by one in a
high-scoring first half (41-40).Both teams had good flow and rhythm in the opening 20 minutes.
The complexion of the game changed in the first five minutes of the
second half.Drexel's offensive
onslaught continued, as the Dragons tallied 13 straight points out of the
locker room.The Lions went 5:10
before they got on the board in the second half.From there, Drexel clung to a double-digit advantage for
nearly all of the second half.
Credit Drexel, who ranks second behind Penn State in the national
3-point shooting numbers) for knocking down 13 3-pointers in the Jordan Center,
but the Lady Lions will be looking to sure things up on the defensive end of
the floor moving towards the conference season.Freshman Maggie Lucas scored 11 of her team-high 20 points
in the first half to lead the Lady Lions.Junior Zhaque Gray and sophomores Alex Bentley and Nikki Greene also
reached double figures.
Penn State next hosts Bucknell in the final non-conference matchup of
the season on Dec. 28.The Lions
will open the conference season on Dec. 30 against a talented Iowa team.As we have talked about throughout the early
stages of the non-conference season, Penn State has plenty of firepower on the
offensive end of the floor.But
its success in the Big Ten is going to hinge on its defense.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State opened the conference season with a
commanding 42-3 victory over Ohio State in front of a packed house in Rec Hall
on Sunday afternoon.
The Nittany Lions are now home for a brief holiday break before their
trip to the Southern Scuffle next week.GoPSUsports.com caught up with wrestling head coach Cael Sanderson for
the latest edition of This Week in Penn State Wrestling on Tuesday.Take a look.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It is with great pleasure to wish college football's
greatest coach a Happy 84th Birthday, today.Coach Paterno will be celebrating in Clearwater on the
practice field as the Nittany Lions go through a double session.
What he has done for Penn State University cannot be expressed in words.He has spent 61 of his 84 years on the
Nittany Lion coaching staff.He is
the Division I all-time leader in victories.He has two national championships.He is the only Division I coach to reach 400 victories.His coaching resume is second to none
in college football.
But it's the people Coach Paterno has produced that will carry on his
legacy long after his football career is over.He has impacted so many lives in his time at Penn State.Most Penn State fans will remember the
star athletes he has produced, but you forget about the hundreds of players who
went on to have successful careers outside of football as doctors,
entrepreneurs or lawyers, to name a few.
He and wife Sue have donated millions of dollars to Penn State, which
includes helping lead a $13.75 million dollar fundraising effort to create what
is now known as the Paterno Library.The 140,000 square-foot portion of the library dedicated to the Paterno
family for their fundraising efforts opened in 2000.His contribution to the library is probably the most
well-known donation to the university.
The Paterno family has lived in the same house on McKee Street in State
College for virtually his entire tenure as head coach.When driving past, onlookers would have
no idea that a Hall of Fame head coach lives inside.And he wouldn't want it any other way.He is the most generous man in the
community and does not seek any attention from the media.
Coach Paterno will be spending his birthday where he belongs - on the
practice field with khaki pants, black Nike shoes and a plain gray
sweatshirt.People from around the
country wonder why a man, who is now 84, still has an interest in coaching
18-22 year-olds, but football is what he knows best and he wouldn't change a
For those of you who have not had the pleasure to meet Coach Paterno in
person, it is nearly impossible to exactly describe what his personality is
like.He is truly a special human
With that in mind, we have compiled a collection of Coach Paterno quotes
to help commemorate this special day for the legend in charge of the Penn State
"Besides pride, loyalty, discipline, heart, and mind, confidence is the
key to all the locks."
"When a team outgrows individual performance and learns team confidence,
excellence becomes a reality."
"Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your
hunger, but it won't taste good."
"Losing a game is heartbreaking. Losing your sense of excellence or
worth is a tragedy."
"You need to play with supreme confidence, or else you'll lose again,
and then losing becomes a habit."
"The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital."
"Believe deep down in your heart that you're destined to do great
"You have to perform at a consistently higher level than others. That's
the mark of a true professional."
"Publicity is like poison; it doesn't hurt unless you swallow it."
"It's the name on the front of the jersey that matters most, not the one
on the back."
"I don't know exactly where to start. It's been fun. I have enjoyed
every minute of my career or I never would have stayed in it. Never intended to
coach when I came here, but I enjoyed the town so much and enjoyed the
competition and the people and made me comfortable and I just decided, 'hey, this
might be the best for me.'"
He has seen countless football games.His lifetime has spanned 14 different presidents.Coach Paterno was born on Dec. 21, 1926
in Brooklyn.He may be 84,
but he doesn't coach like he is a day over 60.Enjoy the day and flip on an old game as a reminder for how
lucky Penn State has been to have an iconic figure leading its football program
for the past half century.
Happy Birthday, Coach Paterno.Enjoy the sunshine.We look
forward to seeing you on the sidelines for the Outback Bowl in less than two
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions are back on the practice field
in Clearwater, Fla., preparing for the New Year's Day Outback Bowl clash with
We caught up with a number of different Nittany Lions prior to heading
south.Stay tuned over the next
few days for comments from several Penn State players leading up to the New
Year's Day clash with Florida in Tampa.
We kicked things off with Quinn Barham and Brett Brackett last week.Today, we are going to focus on the
sophomore quarterback who will lead the Penn State office onto the field at
Raymond James Stadium.Matt
McGloin played solid football throughout his time as the starter.McGloin, who started four of the last
five games, tossed 13 touchdowns in 2010.Take a look at his thoughts leading up to the bowl.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For the fourth consecutive season, Penn State is celebrating a national
championship in women's volleyball.It was an incredible night in the Sprint Center, as the Nittany Lions
tallied a 3-0 sweep of Cal to win an unprecedented fourth straight trophy.
Take a look back at the national championship match on this in-match
Setting the Scene
It is Big Ten vs. Pac-10 in the 2010 National Championship match.Two powerful volleyball conferences
will clash on national television.The nation will be watching to see if the Nittany Lions can win their
fourth consecutive national championship.
Penn State's run through the 2010 tournament draw has been impressive,
but the team played its best match of the postseason on Thursday night against
Texas.The Lions were potent
offensively and limited a powerful Longhorn attack to nearly .200 below its
The Nittany Lions and Golden Bears have met in each of the past three
postseasons, with Penn State winning all three meetings.This matchup will feature two vastly different
teams.Both squads are playing
superb volleyball heading into the biggest match of the season.It is shaping up to be a very
intriguing matchup inside the Sprint Center.
Regardless of the outcome on Saturday night, it has been an incredible
season for the Nittany Lion women's volleyball team.Playing for a fourth straight national championship is an
now, though, it's national championship match time in Kansas City.
Here is a brief look at a few numbers for both teams in tonight's National
Blocks Per Set: 3.003.00
Opponent Hitting Percentage:.131.168
Top Attacker:Brown - 4.19 kills/setMurrey
- 5.23 kills/set
Record Against Ranked Teams:8-313-2
Stay tuned tonight throughout the match for an update live from the
Sprint Center after every set.
Set One: Penn State 1, Cal 0
Just like they did on Thursday night, the Nittany Lions got off to a
fast start.Freshman Deja
McClendon drilled home a pair of kills to put Penn State up 12-7 before the
Golden Bears burned a timeout.Nonetheless,
the Bears answered with four straight points to trim the lead down to just one
before McClendon tallied another kill.With the score reading 16-15, Nittany Lions, Penn State put together a
crucial 5-2 run, which pushed the lead to 21-17 late in the set.The Lions benefitted from Cal errors
and made timely plays to push the lead up to four.From there, Cal closed to within three on two occasions, but
a deep tip from Blair Brown clinched the first set for the Nittany Lions.McClendon tallied six kills in a crucial
first set.The Lions did a nice
job responding to every Cal run.The big number on the scoreboard is Penn State's 1-0 lead.
Set Two: Penn State 27, Cal 25
The second set proved to be a seesaw battle in the early stages.Neither team led by more than one tally
until the Golden Bears manufactured a kill and a service ace to claim an 11-9
advantage.Cal extended its lead
to four (14-10) before kills from Arielle Wilson and Brown trimmed the deficit
down to 14-12.Trailing 17-14, the
Nittany Lions got a pair of kills from McClendon and a key block from fellow
freshman Katie Slay to square the set at 17-17.Slay then struck again with another block to put the Lions
out front for the first time in the second set at 18-17.An attack error from the Golden Bears
put the Lions up 19-17 before Cal burned a timeout.The latter stages of the second set were like a heavyweight
fight.Both teams exchanged blow
after blow.Cal had two set points
before the Lions scored the final three points of the second to build a 2-0
lead in the match.Slay registered
her seventh block and then Brown buried home two kills to clinch a 27-25
victory.Cal did a superb job
getting hands on Penn State balls at the net in the second set, but again, the
Nittany Lions stepped up when they needed to.What a battle this has become in Kansas City, but the Lions
Set Three: Penn State 25, Cal 20
Just as the Golden Bears did in the second, they came out swinging in
set three.The Golden Bears built
leads of 10-6 and 12-9, but the Nittany Lions illustrated the fiber that has
fueled them this far into the tournament, once again.Every time the Lions face some adversity, they find a way to
dig a little deeper and respond.An 8-0 spurt, capped by an Ali Longo ace, put the Lions on top 17-12.The Nittany Lions had firm control on
things from there.Cal closed to
within four (24-20) late, but the night belonged to the Nittany Lions.What more can you say about Deja
McClendon.She finished with 16
kills in her first ever National Championship match.Blair Brown was outstanding, as well, finishing with 18
kills.Arielle Wilson added
12.And Penn State has won its
fourth consecutive national championship.What an incredible night it was in the Sprint Center.
It is hard to put into words what this week has been like in Kansas City for
the Nittany Lion women's volleyball team.It is truly incredible to think about Penn State winning four
consecutive national championships.There is a set of expectations to play for Russ Rose.He demands a lot from his players, but seeing
the work ethic from everyone on the roster and the staff makes it easy to see
why the Nittany Lions have won four straight titles.Saturday night's match was a hard fought battle, but Penn
State again made all of the big plays at the clutch moments of the match.And for the fourth straight season,
Penn State women's volleyball is celebrating a national championship.Congratulations to the Nittany Lions.
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions arrived in Kansas City on
Tuesday and have since found their way into the final match of the NCAA
Tournament. Penn State is now the only school in Division I history to reach
the championship match four years in a row.
Penn State defeated ninth-seeded Texas on Thursday night in three straight sets
to take the first National Semifinal match. Later the same evening,
seventh-seeded California swept sixth-seeded University of Southern California
to advance to the National Championship. The Nittany Lions will face the Golden
Bears on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET in the Sprint Center for what is sure to be a
The Golden Bears defeated USC 3-0 on Thursday night, marking their 21st sweep
of the 2010-'11 season. This season highlights the ninth consecutive appearance
in the NCAA Tournament for Cal, but only the second time the team has made it
into the NCAA Finals. California will play in its first ever NCAA National
Cal's wins over the Trojans puts them on a six-game winning streak, capturing a
program-best 30 wins this season after the National Semifinal victory. Overall,
the Golden Bears are 30-3 this year.
California boasts a number of other honors and accomplishments this season as
well. Cal head coach Rich Feller was recently named the AVCA (American
Volleyball Coaches Association) National Coach of the Year. Feller led his team
to a 15-3 conference record to capture their first Pac-10 title in program
history, and helped the Golden Bears earn a program-best fifth-straight 20-win
season. Feller was also named the Pac. 10 Coach of the Year.
California's starting line-up features three AVCA Division I All-America
honorees as well. Senior setter Carli Lloyd and junior outside hitter Tarah
Murrey were named to First Team All-American while sophomore outside hitter
Correy Johnson earned Honorable Mention All-American status.Lloyd was named AVCA Player of the Year
on Friday night at the banquet.
The Golden Bears currently have four active players hitting above a .300
average. Redshirt sophomore middle hitter Shannon Hawari leads the team at .421
followed by sophomore middle hitter Kat Brown averaging .366, Johnson averaging
.330 and Murrey hitting .321. Murrey dominantly leads Cal in kills per set with
5.23, and is averaging 5.53 kills per set in this NCAA Tournament.
Lloyd has played in all but one match this season, and has been solidly guiding
her offense to success. The senior setter has racked up 1,351 assists this year
for an average of 11.85 assists per set. Like Murrey, Lloyd has managed to step
up her game in the postseason and is averaging 12.73 assists per set in this
California uses its height as an advantage over their opponents as well.
Standing at 6-foot-3, Brown leads the Golden Bears this season with 146 blocks
for an average of 1.34 blocks per set. Close behind and just an inch shorter at
6-foot-2, Hawari has put up 125 blocks of her own to average 1.19 blocks per
set. Finding herself in the front row more often than not, Lloyd has managed to
contribute 123 blocks this season as well for an impressive average of 1.08
blocks per set.
Sophomore defensive specialist Robin Rostratter has held down the defensive end
of the Golden Bears' system with 479 digs this season for an average of 4.17
digs per set. Rostratter also leads the team with 28 services aces this season.
Expect to see senior defensive specialist Meagan Schmitt helping out in the
back row as well, as she was contributed to 244 digs this season for an average
of 2.14 digs per set.
Saturday's National Championship match will be the fourth time Penn State and
Cal have met in Division I history. The Nittany Lions and the Golden Bears have
faced one another the past three years in a row in the NCAA Tournament, and
Penn State claimed all three matches.
While the Nittany Lions look to clinch their fourth-consecutive national title,
the Golden Bears find themselves in a place where they have never been before.
California is looking to take home their first NCAA Title, and upset the three-time
Expect nothing more than a head-to-head match-up of two of the most successful
women's volleyball teams this season. This one is for all the marbles, and will
make history for the program that reigns victorious.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Penn State's run through the NCAA women's volleyball
world has been truly remarkable over the past four seasons.
Having won three straight national titles, the Nittany Lions are
familiar with the stakes in front of them leading up to Saturday's national
championship match with Cal.Following a dominant 3-0 sweep of Texas on Thursday, the Lions have the
opportunity to play for an unprecedented fourth consecutive national
Head coach Russ Rose and the Nittany Lions returned to the Sprint Center
on Friday morning for a two-hour practice.As it has been throughout the NCAA Tournament, the coach
staff has placed a big emphasis on serving and passing leading up to the
national title match with Cal.
The Golden Bears were impressive in their victory over USC on Thursday
night.The Lions have defeated Cal
in each of the last three seasons en route to their three national
we mentioned prior to the Texas match, this is a matchup between two completely
different teams than the ones that met in the past three seasons.
A national television audience will be watching when the Nittany Lions
play for all the marbles on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. ET inside the Sprint
The Sprint Center scoreboard is ready for the title match.
VIDEO: Previewing the National
We caught up with assistant coach Kaleena Davidson just after practice
on Friday for her thoughts leading up to Saturday's national championship clash
between Penn State and Cal.
VIDEO: Pre-Championship Match
Head coach Russ Rose and a trio of Nittany Lions met with the media
following practice, as well.Watch
to see Coach Rose's thoughts on Saturday night's matchup.
One Match Left
The Nittany Lions have reached the point they strive for every
season.The final match of the
NCAA women's volleyball season will take place on Saturday night, and Penn
State will again be part of it.The
incredible string of success for Penn State women's volleyball is something
that may never be matched by the program again.The hard work and dedication the 2010 Nittany Lions have put
forth for the past five months will climax on Saturday night when they meet Cal
for the 2010 NCAA Women's Volleyball National Championship.
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The three-time defending national champions
defeated the Texas Longhorns on Thursday night in what was truly a team effort.
Although Penn State presented a line-up of three fresh faces in the NCAA
Tournament, the Nittany Lions played like a truly veteran team.
Penn State swept Texas 3-0 (25-13, 25-13, 25-22) in the first National
Semifinal match held in Kansas City. The last time the two teams faced one
another was in the 2009 National Championship match in Tampa, Florida, where
the Nittany Lions reigned victorious after pulling out an incredible 3-2
come-from-behind win over the Longhorns.
This time, it was all Penn State. The Nittany Lions got off to a commanding
start in the first set as they went on a 4-0 run to start off the set, forcing
the Longhorns to take their first time out early. The Nittany Lions used their
standout senior middle hitter Blair Brown to get ahead, and then handed the
offense to the freshmen.
Freshmen middle hitter Ariel Scott, outside hitter Deja McClendon and middle
hitter Katie Slay combined for 11 of the Nittany Lions 16 kills in the first
set. Penn State was solid on both sides of the net, hitting a team average of
.556 and holding the Longhorns to just a .115 hitting percentage. The Nittany
Lions have not lost an opening set since October 9th.
The second set seemed all too familiar as the Nittany Lions jumped out to an
early 4-1 lead and the freshmen stepped up again. McClendon and Scott recorded
the first two kills for Penn State, and were on a roll from then on. The three
freshmen totaled 19 kills and 10 blocks in the second set, leading the Nittany
Lions to another 25-13 set victory.
Sophomore setter Kristen Carpenter was impressive in the first two sets as
well, guiding the offense like a veteran and using her quick decision-making to
keep the Longhorns off balance. Senior libero and defensive specialist Alyssa
D'Errico and senior defensive specialist Cathy Quilico were solid in the back
row, allowing the Longhorns only 13 points in each of the first two sets.
After the intermission, the Nittany Lions came back out onto the floor a little
more relaxed than they had been. The Longhorns put up a good fight coming out
of the locker room, but Penn State was on a mission and no one was going to
The third set was a dogfight, both teams battling back and forth for the
majority of the set until Penn State took an 11-9 lead after a big block from
Slay and Brown. The Longhorns continued to answer back and went on a 3-0 run to
put Texas up 12-11, but Brown put down a roaring kill to tied it 12 again.
The teams continued to go back-and-forth until Penn State lead 23-21 after the
Longhorns had gone on a 2-0 run, and the Nittany Lions called a timeout to calm
their nerves. Brown came back onto the court and delivered a kill to notch the
score at 24-21. The Longhorns answered with a kill of their own, but Scott
closed out the set with the final kill to end the match 25-22.
The Nittany Lions hit .356 as a team. Brown led Penn State with 12 kills,
followed by McClendon with 11 and Scott with 10 of her own. McClendon recorded
a career-high and match-high .733 hitting percentage, attacking 11-15 on the
Penn State shut down the two hitters in the country in Texas' junior middle
blocker Rachael Adams and senior middle blocker Jennifer Doris, holding the
Longhorns to just a .131 hitting percentage. The Nittany Lions' defense was
solid to say the least, as D'Errico tallied 11 digs and Brown notched 10. The
triple block was in effect for Penn State as well, as Slay led the team with
six total blocks followed by senior middle hitter Arielle Wilson, McClendon and
Scott each with three of their own.
Penn State head coach Russ Rose was more than pleased with the way his team
played against the Longhorns.
"I thought we had a really nice game plan for Texas, said Rose. "Deja
[McClendon] had a great night offensively and Ariel [Scott] had a great night.
I thought that Carp [Kristin Carpenter] set a great match. We played hard; you
have to play hard in a match like that. I thought we great the first couple of
games and we started a little soft in the third game. Once we got a hold of the
ball again, I thought that we controlled the ball on our side at least."
Carpenter was modest when she was asked about the way she served during the
"Well, I ate my Wheaties this morning," said
Carpenter. "Other than that, we serve a lot in practice. There wasn't anything
special. I started out jump serving like you saw, but we needed a tough, low
serve. We all served pretty well, I thought."
Rose attributed part of the win to the Nittany Lions' ability to be flexible
and continually adjust to the extremely physical Texas offense.
"We have a few players that I thought were great in the game," said Rose. "In
the second game we had a triple block on a one-ball. People don't normally do
things like that. We thought that if they had a good pass, there were certain
things that we had to take chances on. We took some chances and tonight they
paid off for us."
Although the match was reminiscent of last year's National Championship, the
Nittany Lions said that the only thing that was really the same was the names
of the two teams competing against each other. Brown said that Penn State was
looking to beat the team on the other side of the court Thursday night.
"We don't like to talk about the history because these are two completely different
teams that are playing this year," said Brown. "We have nine new freshmen and they
have a lot of new people on the floor. These are two different teams playing each
other in a different year. That's what's we really focused on, the team that
was in front of us."
The Nittany Lions move on to face
seventh-seeded California on Saturday, December 18 at 8:30 p.m. Penn State is
now only one match away from winning its fourth consecutive national
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions are one day away from meeting
in Clearwater, Fla., to begin preparations in the Sunshine State for the
We caught up with a number of different Nittany Lions at Outback Bowl
media day in Happy Valley last week.Stay tuned over the next few days for comments from a number of Penn
State players leading up to the New Year's Day clash with Florida in Tampa.
Quinn Barham kicked off the video interviews yesterday.Today, senior co-captain Brett Brackett
is the highlighted player.Brackett has been a go-to receiver in a superb senior season.He made 37 receptions and five
touchdowns in 2010.Brackett is
one of few players on the roster who has been to the Outback Bowl before.Take a look at his thoughts leading up
to the bowl.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Nittany Lions turned in a dominant performance to oust Texas in the
National Semifinals on Thursday night.With a 3-0 sweep, Penn State will play in the national title match for
the fourth straight season inside the Sprint Center on Saturday night at 8:30
p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Take a look back at a great day in the Sprint Center.
Match Day Blog:
All of the buildup is complete.It is match day in Kansas City, as the three-time
defending national champion Nittany Lions get set to take on Texas in the NCAA
Semifinals inside the Sprint Center.
Penn State practiced inside the arena for the final time on Thursday
morning during a 60-minute closed session.The squad will participate in the team meal at the hotel
before heading to the arena for tonight's match with the Longhorns.
Setting the Scene
Penn State and Texas met one year ago in what evolved into one of the
most epic national championship matches in NCAA Women's Volleyball
history.But 362 days later, two
very different teams are set to take the floor inside the Sprint Center with a
berth to Saturday's National Championship match on the line.The three-time defending national
champions will clash with a talented, athletic group of Longhorns.
Texas comes into the match riding a 19-match winning streak.Senior outside hitter Juliann Faucette
is the go-to player for the Longhorns.The 6-2 outside hitter was named Big 12 player of the year.Keep and eye on No. 1 in burnt orange
tonight.Also watch for No. 5
Rachael Adams, who leads the team in hitting percentage at .438.
Penn State must block well against Texas' firepower this evening.It will be very interesting to watch
the battle at the net.As a fan of
the Nittany Lions and college volleyball, you can't ask for much more than Penn
State and Texas in the national semifinals.Two exceptionally talented teams are set to clash on
national television with a trip to the national title match on the line.It's time for the first serve in Kansas
Here is a brief look at a few numbers for both teams in tonight's
Blocks Per Set: 3.012.47
Opponent Hitting Percentage:.131.189
Brown - 4.20 kills/set Faucette
- 3.92 kills/set
Record Against Ranked Teams:7-37-4
Set One: Penn State 25, Texas 13
Penn State opened the match in a huge manner.Big Ten Player of the Year Blair Brown drilled home the
first two kills of the match.A
Texas error and a Deja McClendon kill forced Texas to burn a timeout just four
points into the match.Penn State was
on fire out of the gate.The Lions
built a 10-1 lead before the Longhorns rattled off four of the next five
points.Nonetheless, the Nittany
Lions kept their foot on the accelerator on the way to a 25-13 victory.Penn State freshmen accounted for 11 of
the Lions' 16 kills.The Lions hit
.556 as a team in the dominant first set.The most important number on the board is a 1-0 lead in the overall
Set Two: Penn State 25, Texas 13
The Nittany Lions opened the second set just as they did in the
first.Penn State jumped out to a
4-1 lead, thanks to a pair of kills from Ariel Scott.The Longhorns rallied to square the score at 7-7, but the
Lions again turned up the wick.A
service error from Texas standout Juliann Faucette triggered a 6-1 spurt from
the Nittany Lions.A 6-0 run later
in the set put the Lions up 19-10.From there, the Nittany Lions cruised home for a 25-13 win in the
second.Texas had no answer for Penn
State's offensive attack.The Lions
are hitting .400 for the match as the teams head into the locker room for the
10-minute intermission.Scott has
been incredible in her first ever NCAA Semifinal appearance.She has nine kills to lead all
players.The Nittany Lions are on
a mission with a 2-0 lead in the match.
Set Three: Penn State 25, Texas 22
Unlike the first two sets, the third set went back-and-forth in the
early stages.With the score tied
at 9-9, Penn State benefitted from a Texas hitting error and a combined block
from Katie Slay and Brown, which put the Lions up 11-9.The score was again tied at 13-13, but
the Lions again turned up the wick at a crucial moment.A Kristin Carpenter kill triggered a 4-0
run for the Nittany Lions.The
Longhorns closed to within two late in the set, but the night belonged to the
three-time defending national champions.Penn State won the third 25-22 and swept Texas in dominant fashion.Brown finished with 12 kills, while
McClendon added 11 and Scott tallied 10 kills.McClendon hit a sizzling .733 in the match, which was her
first appearance in the national semifinals.Penn State hit .365 as a team for the match.The Longhorns simply had no answer for
Penn State's potent offensive attack.
The Nittany Lions advance to play for an unprecedented fourth straight
national championship on Saturday night inside the Sprint Center.The Lions will meet either Cal or USC
in the championship.Penn State
delivered a message to the women's volleyball world on Thursday night with a
truly dominant performance in all aspects of the game.The talented Texas Longhorns were
pushed back on their heels on the first point of the match, and the Nittany
Lions never looked back.Penn
State never allowed Texas to generate any momentum in the match, which was
crucial.Coach Rose commented
after the match that effective serving and passing was key in the scouting
report.For the fourth consecutive
season, the Nittany Lions found another gear on the biggest stage in college
volleyball, and for the fourth straight season, Penn State will play for a
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions are beginning to wrap up final
exams and head home before meeting in Clearwater, Fla., on Saturday.
As we noted earlier in the week, Penn State will begin practice at the
Philadelphia Phillies spring training complex in Clearwater from Sunday through
Friday, Dec. 24.Leading up to the
Outback Bowl preparations, GoPSUsports.com is going to roll out several video
interviews over the next few days.
We caught up with a number of different Nittany Lions at Outback Bowl
media day in Happy Valley last week.Stay tuned over the next few days for comments from a number of Penn
State players leading up to the New Year's Day clash in Tampa.
First up is a conversation with junior tackle Quinn Barham.The North Carolina native started all
12 games at left tackle in 2010.Take a look at his thoughts leading up to the bowl.
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions are in Kansas City and are ready to
get to work. Penn State was able to practice on Monday and Tuesday for the last
times in Rec Hall this season, and get in their first 90-minute practice round
in the Sprint Center on Wednesday afternoon. However, there is still much more
preparing to be done.
Penn State is up against ninth-seeded Texas in the first National
Semifinal match, which will be played at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Longhorns are
physical team to say the least, and the Nittany Lions know that they will be
facing stiff competition.
This postseason marks the Longhorns' 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament
and Texas holds an all-time record of 62-25 in tournament play. However, these
are hardly the most impressive numbers when it comes to the Longhorns.
Texas started off the 2010-2011 season with a record of 8-5 as they were
stricken by a number of injuries that made it tough for head coach Jerrit
Elliot to set a definitive line-up. Projected starting sophomore outside-hitter
Bailey Webster tore her ACL in preseason, foreshadowing a string of bad luck to
follow for the Longhorns.
Throughout the season, three more key players have been taken out of the
line-up. Sophomore defensive specialist Cristina Arenas and junior libero
Syndey Yogi are both out with hip injuries, and freshman outside hitter Ashley
Bannister went down with an ankle injury.
However, the Longhorns managed to come together as a team and turn their
season around. Their fifth loss of the season was their last loss of the
season. Texas has won their last 19 matches and is coming into the National
Semifinal match on a roll.
Despite injuries and a national audience that said they wouldn't make it
far, the Longhorns have entered the final weekend of the NCAA Tournament yet
again. And how fitting for the Longhorns, since coach Elliot was born in Kansas
The starting line-up for Texas is a mix young and old talent, both
experienced and inexperienced in NCCA Tournament play. Senior outside hitter
Juliann Faucette leads the Longhorns offensively, averaging 3.92 kills per set.
Close behind with 2.94 kills per set is junior middle blocker Rachael Adams,
along with junior outside hitter Amber Roberson with 2.86 of her own.
Texas is an extremely dominant hitting team. Adams and senior middle
blocker Jennifer Doris are ranked 1-2 in the country in hitting percentage.
Adams is hitting .448 while Doris follows close behind at .435. As a team, the
Longhorns are fourth in the nation among the best hitting teams with a .311
In their last 19 matches, the Longhorns have averaged an even better
team hitting percentage of .346 while averaging 15.54 kills per set. Needless
to say, Texas has a very strong offense.
Junior setter Michelle Kocher will be guiding her teammates offensively,
as she has recorded 787 assists this season to notch an over of 10.64 assists
per set. Texas is strong from behind the end line as well, with three players
tallying 20 or more service aces this season. Faucette leads the team with 26
services aces, followed by sophomore utility player Sha'Dare McNeal with 24 and
freshman setter Hannah Allison with 20.
On the receiving end, freshman libero Sarah Palmer and Faucette have
been solid. Palmer has fended off 285 balls, recording as many digs and
averaging 3.06 digs per set. Faucette has been a strong defensive presence as
well with 292 digs for 2.54 digs per set.
Standing at 6-foot-2, Adams has been a force to reckon with at the net
with 137 blocks this season for an average of 1.20 blocks per set. McNeal
towers over most at 6-foot-1 and has put up 90 blocks for an average of .78
blocks per set, the same average as Doris, who has tallied 89 blocks this
Needless to say, the Longhorns will be putting up a fight. The Nittany
Lions are 9-6 all-time against Texas, and the last time the two teams met was
in the National Championship match of the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
This time last year, Penn State and Texas faced one another in Tampa,
Fla. in the final match of postseason play. Texas took an early 2-0 lead in the
match and things looked dismal for the Nittany Lions. However, Penn State
pulled out a jaw-dropping come-from-behind victory by winning three straight
sets against the Longhorns to earn their third-straight national championship.
The Longhorns have not won a national championship since 1988, and will
be looking to defeat anyone who stands in their way of another chance this
season. Penn State will be their first opponent. Get ready for a showdown.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It is practice day inside the Sprint Center for the
fourth-seeded Penn State women's volleyball team.The Lions stepped onto the floor at 10 a.m. CT to begin 90
minutes of practice time for today.
As things transpire throughout the practice day, we are going to provide
blog coverage.Check back
throughout the day for updates.
Welcome Inside the Arena
The Sprint Center was built three years ago, and it is a fantastic
sporting venue.The seats are
positioned in an intimate manner, despite seating more than 17,000 people.Here are a couple images from our seat
next to the court for today's practice.
The Nittany Lions on the court.
The view from press row.
The Sprint Center scoreboard and video screens.
VIDEO: Catching up with Coach
As we have throughout the NCAA Tournament, here is a video interview
with assistant coach Kaleena Davidson leading up to Thursday's National
Semifinal matchup with Texas.
Brown and Wilson Named First Team
All-Americans; McClendon Freshman of the Year
Three Nittany Lions were honored on Wednesday for their stellar efforts
this fall.Seniors Blair Brown and
Arielle Wilson were named first team AVCA All-Americans.Both earned second team All-American
honors last season.
Freshman Deja McClendon was named AVCA Freshman of the Year and earned
second team All-American honors.All three players have been tremendous in the NCAA Tournament.And all three will play a huge role in
to all three standout players.
VIDEO: Wednesday Press Conference
Following a pair of video sessions with ESPN and the Sprint Center video
board, Coach Rose, Blair Brown, Alyssa D'Errico and Arielle Wilson met with the
media during the formal press conference on Wednesday afternoon.We had the camera rolling for some
highlights of the meeting.Take a
With the Wednesday festivities over, it is now time to focus on match
day in Kansas City.The Nittany
Lions will practice in the morning before the 6 p.m. CT first serve against
Texas.Stay tuned for much more
coverage from the Midwest.
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State wrestling program is unique. Besides
the fact that the Nittany Lions' 33-man roster is made up of 21 freshmen, the
Penn State program has a winning attitude unlike any other team around.
Head coach Cael Sanderson and his coaching staff has instilled a sense of
intensity and determination in their Nittany Lions and it seems to be working.
The team is undefeated this season, boasting a team record of 6-0. Most recently,
Penn State shutout local rival Lock Haven 48-0 in a dual meet this past Sunday.
Each and every Penn State wrestler seems to have one goal in mind when
they step onto the mat and face an opponent. Not only are the determined to win
and score points for the Nittany Lions, each wrestler goes out and wrestles
hard for seven minutes no matter what.
Sophomore Nick Fischer made his dual-debut appearance for the Nittany
Lions this past Sunday against Lock Haven and proved just how deep the Penn
State roster really is. Fischer stepped in to wrestle at the 174 spot as the
team had to juggle around a few wrestlers because starters Jake Kemerer and
Quentin Wright were not in the line-up. Usually seen in the 165 spot, Kemerer
was out sick on Sunday and 184 starter Quentin Wright is out with a shoulder
injury. Instead, James Vollrath was listed at 165 and Ed Ruth bumped up from
174 to 184, leaving the 174 spot open to Fischer.
And boy did he make good use of the opportunity. In a bout that went
back and forth between Fischer and Lock Haven's Michael Khoury, the Nittany
Lion came out on top. The two wrestlers entered the third period of the bout
locked at a score of 4-5. Khoury chose down to start the third period, and
quickly escaped to tie the score at 5-5. With time winding down and pressure on
each wrestler to finish out the match, Fischer countered a Khoury shot and
sealed a bout-winning takedown with just seven seconds to go in the third
Coach Sanderson said that he couldn't have asked for more from a kid who
has simply been waiting his turn to wrestle.
"He did a great job, I'm really happy with him," said Sanderson. "Fischer
is a guy that's been right there and been doing really well in the room and in
open tournaments and any time you can get those guys a match it's a good thing."
Fischer's plan going into the match-up with Khoury paid tribute to the
mentality of the Penn State wrestling program as a whole.
"We're going to wrestle how we wrestle," said Fischer. "Every match we
go out there we're going to wrestle Penn State style - everybody is going to go
hard for seven minutes."
Ultimately, Fischer said that his win wouldn't have been possible
without all the hard work and dedication he has put into this season.
"I'm confident in my conditioning," said Fischer. "Penn State has the
best conditioning in the country, and we're just going to keep coming at them.
I knew if I kept coming at him I'd get that takedown in the end."
Fischer also tipped his hat to the coaching style of Sanderson and the
progress he has made under Sanderson's leadership this season.
"I want to keep improving until I'm the man at whatever weight class I'm
at, said Fischer. "I'm going to keep wrestling.I mean wrestling these guys in the room, they're good guys
making me better. A couple of years ago before Cael came in, I probably would
have been the starter my whole career but I wouldn't be nearly as good as I am
now. I'd go out there and be a mediocre wrestler and now I'm getting to be a
Fischer's success is just one example of the exciting things that have
been happening for the Penn State wrestling program. One thing that is for sure
is that each and every Nittany Lion steps out onto the mats anticipating a
seven-minute battle. No breaks, no letting-up and no giving in.
Thanks to a dedicated coaching staff that has instilled a hard-nosed
attitude into a talented group of athletes, the No. 5 Penn State wrestling team
will definitely be one to watch this season.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Shortly after 7:15 p.m. CT, the fourth-seeded Nittany
Lion women's volleyball team arrived in Kansas City in preparation for its
National Semifinal bout with Texas on Thursday night.
Penn State shared its charter flight with the pep band, which played the
Penn State fight song at 30,000 feet during the flight to the Midwest.
Before the team departed Rec Hall on Tuesday evening, Penn State
President Graham Spanier stopped by practice for a special graduation
interrupted practice to award senior Blair Brown her diploma.
Brown put a cap and gown on over her practice clothes and participated
in a special graduation ceremony.She is slated to graduate this weekend in Happy Valley, but because the
team will be in Kansas City, President Spanier paid a special visit to practice
to give Blair Brown the proper graduation ceremony she deserves.Take a look at what is likely the first
graduation ceremony in the South Gym of Rec Hall with the Big Ten Player of the
Year and President Spanier.
Stay tuned for much more coverage
from Kansas City.The Nittany
Lions will participate in open practice on Wednesday and a press conference at
the Spring Center leading up to Thursday's match with Texas.We will bring coverage to you
throughout the trip.Follow the
blog and Twitter @GoPSUTony.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - After a dominant 48-0 shutout over Lock Haven on
Sunday, the fifth-ranked Nittany Lion wrestling team shifts focus towards a
showdown with conference rival Ohio State on Sunday afternoon in Rec Hall.
Penn State kicks off the Big Ten season with a 2 p.m. dual against the 22nd-ranked
Buckeyes on Sunday.Leading up to
this week's home dual with Ohio State, GoPSUsports.com sat down with head assistant
coach Casey Cunningham for the filming of This Week in Penn State Wrestling.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The wind chill may read negative numbers in Happy
Valley this afternoon, but the Nittany Lions will soon be in Florida for
preparations leading up to the New Year's Day clash with the Florida Gators in
the Outback Bowl.
The squad will gather in Clearwater, Fla., this weekend leading up to
the first day of practice in Florida on Sunday.Some of the Nittany Lions will participate in commencement
ceremonies on Saturday in the Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park campus
before heading to the Florida sunshine.
Leading up to the trip, Coach Paterno received an important phone call
over the weekend from David Montgomery, President of the Philadelphia
Phillies.Montgomery told Coach
Paterno that Carpenter Complex, home of the Phillies' spring training, in
Clearwater would be available for Penn State football to practice at next week.
The Nittany Lions will practice at Carpenter Complex from Sunday (Dec.
19) through the morning of Dec. 24.From there, the team will head to Tampa in the middle of the afternoon
on the 24th, which is when the families of the football coaches and staff will
arrive in Tampa.
Carpenter Complex has four fields on site.It was renovated with new offices, locker rooms, a larger
weight room and an observation walkway for coaches in 2009.
The Outback Bowl is a superb reward for the Nittany Lions following the
2010 season.And now, the team
will have the luxury of practicing at the spring training home of the Philadelphia
Final exams will wrap up at the end of the week.The equipment truck will head to
Florida on Thursday. Practice begins Sunday in Clearwater.
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The three-time defending champions are on their way
to the NCAA National Semifinals for the fourth consecutive season. However,
this time the Nittany Lions travel to Kansas City with a much younger team that
has faced much more adversity this year.
After seizing the NCAA University Park Regional Championship title last
weekend, the Nittany Lions have found their way into the final weekend of play
in the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Tournament. Penn State defeated 12th-seeded
Duke to move onto the National Semifinal, which will be held in Kansas City, Mo.
The Nittany Lions are up against stiff competition, as they face ninth-seeded
Texas on Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the Sprint Center. Penn State owns a 70-25
overall record in NCAA Tournament play, and has won 22 straight postseason
matches. This will be the Nittany Lions' ninth trip to the National Semifinals,
where they have earned four national titles overall.
Penn State head coach Russ Rose said that he is proud of his past and
present teams that have accomplished such feats.
"It's great to have
four and even better to think you have a chance to compete for another one,"
said Rose. "You should never take it for granted and you have to be
appreciative of the opportunity that you have."
Rose said that this year was a
little bit different than the past three, with a roster of younger talent and a
season that handed the Nittany Lions their first loss in 109 consecutive
matches. He acknowledged his players for their achievements this season.
"You know you come to work
every day and you work as if you still have the same goals even if you don't
have the same personnel that you had previously," said Rose. "For this team,
which is a totally different team than the team that everybody else wants to
talk about, it's a terrific accomplishment. For them to get on this stage, to
be able to go there with the last few weeks starting three freshmen and having
so many young kids out there, it's a great opportunity."
Coach Rose also said that he expects this weekend to be a new experience
for the Penn State program, as well.
"I don't think we
have the same expectations going in," said Rose. "I mean I don't look at us as
the favorite going into the championships this year. I look at us as a team
that had a favorable bracket, there were upsets along the way and we did what
we were asked to do. We weren't responsible for the seedings, we were
responsible for playing the game the way we needed to play and we're happy to
still be standing."
The Nittany Lions practice in their home gym Tuesday for the last time
this week before they fly out to Kansas City to defend their national title.
They are preparing to face a hard-nosed Texas roster full of talent, and are
specifically working on their defense and service game.
Sophomore setter Kristin Carpenter said that the team would especially
be working on defensive style of play in preparation for the weekend.
"They have a lot of big guns on their team so probably defense," said
Carpenter. "You can't go wrong with defense. If we win the serve-pass game I
think we're going to be okay. We've got to serve tough and we've got to pass
like we did against Oklahoma this past weekend."
Carpenter said she is extremely excited to be a part of such a great
program, and even more excited to be traveling to Kansas City. She said that
the Nittany Lions have even written down a few things that they will be
bringing with them on the trip.
"We have a list of what to bring, and at the very bottom is bring your
game face," said Carpenter. "I think that pretty much sums it up. We go to
Kansas City ready to bring our best game possible and Texas is first."
The National Semifinal match will be aired live on ESPN2 on Thursday
night at 7 p.m. Watch as the Nittany Lions take on the Longhorns, presenting a
whole new Penn State roster to the final weekend of the NCAA Tournament.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - We caught up with Outback Bowl President/CEO Jim
McVay on the trip to the Outback Back Contract Signing event in Tampa last
With the Tampa skyline in the background, he gave GoPSUsports.com a message that he wanted to pass along to all of
the Penn State fans leading up to the Outback Bowl clash with Florida on New
By Kyle G. Arslanian, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State Lady Lions defeated the Maine
Black Bears Sunday by a score of 95-41.The 54-point margin of victory was not the lions largest this season, as
they beat Rider by 74 earlier in the season.
Wide margins of victories can often lead to teams losing sight of their style
of play and reverting to bad habits.For The Lady Lions, this was not the case as they continue to build their
game in anticipation of Big Ten play.
In this game, Penn State was up big very early, but the team's intensity did
not falter and that is something coach Coquese Washington is looking for but
would like to see her players communicate on the court better.
"I thought the intensity was where we needed it to be but then it is about
playing at an intense level and being successful," said coach Washington. "I thought we had too many breakdowns
and most of the breakdowns came from lack of communication; talking to each
other and listening. We have to have better at communication on the defensive
end of the floor. If we get better at that then we will be fine."
The Lady Lions have not had any trouble scoring so far this season;
putting up 90 or more points seven times in their first 12 games.They are also getting balanced scoring,
especially Sunday when the Penn State bench scored 42 points.Not a single player took more than 12
shots and no one took less than four.When a team has balance like that, it is hard to stop.
The players know that when Coach Washington talks about breakdowns, she means
on defense.After Thursday's game
against Army, defense was a focal point for the team in practice.
"Defense was definitely a focal point for the rest of the week and for this
ball game," said Maggie Lucas."We
are trying to get back to playing Lady Lion basketball and living up to our
Although they played stronger on defense against Maine, The Lady Lions
felt they could have been better.
"There were some defensive possessions where we got a little lost and without
our communication, it brought our intensity down," said Nikki Greene."Once we started talking, we got to
where we needed to be."
In terms of score alone, the game was over early as the Maine Black Bears had
scored just 13 points at the half to the Lady Lions' 49.The score did not matter to Penn State,
they had specific aspects of their game they wanted to work on.The players feel that whether a game is
close or not, it is important to play up their standards and not have lapses.
"It's not because of the score, but we just have mental lapses and breakdowns,"
said Lucas."It happens over the
course of the game. It's important to not lose track of backdoor cuts or
Overall, Coach Washington was pleased with the game, especially with finals
week looming for Penn State.
"I thought we played with intensity; we played with focus; we shot the ball
well," said Coach Washington."We
did a pretty good job of trying to go inside-out. We had a balanced offensive
attack. Our bench got some good minutes and got some good runs.That is going to be helpful for us.
Going into finals week, I thought we were as focused as we could be."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Big Ten has a new look for the future.
Conference commissioner Jim Delany unveiled on the Big Ten Network
Monday afternoon the new logo and division names for the future of the Big
Ten.Penn State will play in the
Leaders division of the Big Ten beginning in 2011 football season.The second division has been named the
"We're honoring legends and building future leaders," Delany
The Big Ten division alignments with names:
After months of debate, the Big Ten opted for names that honor all of
the great coaches, players, commissioners and faculty at the institutions
around the conference.Rather than
focus on two specific individuals, the Big Ten elected to call the divisions Legends
and Leaders.Commissioner Delany
was asked on a conference call following the announcement if the names were too
bland, and this is what he had to say.
"All of these things will engender discussion," Delany said. "We
want to engage our fans. All I can tell you is that we thought long and hard
about what not to do. We thought harder about what to do."
In addition to the new division names and new logo, the Big Ten also
announced 18 new trophies.At the
top of the list is the Stagg-Paterno Trophy to be awarded to the winning team
at the Big Ten football title game.
There could not be a more fitting trophy name for the championship
game.It honors two of the
greatest figures in college football history.It is terrific to see Coach Paterno's name forever on the
Big Ten Championship trophy.
"We're so proud of what he's done and so are his colleagues,"
Delany said of Coach Paterno.
There is now a clear-cut goal for the 2011 Big Ten season and beyond for
the Nittany Lions - win the Stagg-Paterno Trophy.
Penn State Logo and Trophy Notes:
- The Smith-Brown Trophy will be awarded to the Big Ten Defensive
Lineman of the Year.The trophy
honors former Penn State All-American Courtney Brown and Michigan State legend
- The Kwalick-Clark Trophy will be awarded to the Big Ten Tight End of
the Year.It honors former Penn
State All-American Ted Kwalick and Iowa standout Dallas Clark.
- The Big Ten unveiled numerous different variations of the new logo.We have included all of the logos
below.Take a look.As for our thoughts on the logos, it is
interesting to see the large variety.The idea of creating horizontal logos and vertical logos will fit well
on playing surfaces.The
horizontal logo will look good on a football field, while the vertical logo
will fit nicely in paint of a basketball court.It will be interesting to see how the conference integrates
the logos with founding years on them.At this point, it is unclear what type of setting those logos will be
used in. It is also interesting to note the change of shade in the blue on the logo from what it is now.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome inside Rec Hall for GoPSUsports.com's live blog from today's
matchup.Penn State (6-0) tallied
a 48-0 shutout against Lock Haven (2-2) to remain unbeaten on the season.
Check back throughout the dual for an update after every bout.
125 - Martellotti Opens Up with a
Freshman Frank Martellotti knocked off Lock Haven freshman Nick Hyatt by
a score of 15-6 to hand the Nittany Lions a 4-0 lead in the dual.Martellotti built a quick 7-1 lead
heading into the second period, thanks to a pair of takedowns and a three-point
near fall.Martellotti opened up
the second period with two more take downs en route to a commanding 11-3 lead
heading into the third period.The
125-pound bout is always a crucial one.A quick start can really set the tempo for the dual, and this afternoon,
Martellotti started strong for the Nittany Lions.
133 - Pearsall Pin Sends Crowd to
Sophomore Bryan Pearsall wasted little time handing Penn State a 10-0
lead in the dual.Pearsall fell
behind 2-0 in the opening seconds against Evan Kolb.However, a quick takedown knotted the score at 2-2.Pearsall was not quite done, as the
sophomore notched a victory by pinfall at the 1:40 mark.The Lititz, Pa., native is now 8-4 on
141 - Alton Remains Unbeaten
Standout freshman Andrew Alton, wrestling against his hometown school,
came into Sunday's dual with nine pins in his first 11 collegiate matches.He nearly made it 10 for 12 in the opening
period against Lock Haven's Justin Loudon.Nonetheless, Loudon narrowly avoided the pin.Alton took a 7-2 lead into the second
period after a strong opening three minutes.Alton, who is ranked 10th in the nation, carried the
momentum into the third period on the way to a 13-4 victory.He is now 12-0 on the season, and the
Lions lead 14-0.
149 - Molinaro Continues to
No. 6 junior Frank Molinaro defeated Owen Wilkinson by technical fall to
put the Nittany Lions ahead 19-0. Molinaro dealt Owen Wilkinson an early
takedown just shy of a minute into the first period, followed by a two-point
and three-point near fall along with a takedown. Leading 9-1 going into the
second period, Molinaro built a strong lead with another takedown and a pair of
three-point near falls. Molinaro won by technical fall at 3:52 with a final
score of 18-1.
157 - Taylor Rolls, Lions Up 24-0
Like Andrew Alton, redshirt freshman No. 3 David Taylor has been very
impressive in his first full season on the mat for the Nittany Lions.Taylor posted a 19-4 technical fall
victory over Lock Haven's Seth Cresy.Taylor appeared to be on track to win by pinfall late in the second
period, but the horn sounded just before the Ohio native was awarded a
pin.Nonetheless, Taylor is now
12-0 on the season.He is a crowd
favorite for the Rec Hall faithful and is a fun wrestler to watch.Penn State heads into the break up 24-0
over intra-state foe Lock Haven.
165 - Vollrath Awarded Win by
James Vollrath was awarded a victory by forfeit at 165 pounds, which put
the Lions up 30-0 in the overall dual.
174 - Fischer Wins in Dramatic
Wrestling his first match of the season at 174 pounds, Nick Fischer
tallied a dramatic 7-5 victory with a clutch takedown in the final five seconds
of the third period against Mike Khoury.Khoury built a 4-2 after one period, and then added to his advantage
with an early escape in the second.Nonetheless, Fischer battled back with a takedown to set the score at
5-4 heading into the third.A
Fischer escape knotted the score at 5-5 in the third, setting up the dramatic
finish.Fischer grabbed a hold of
Khoury's ankle near the edge of the mat with five seconds to wrestle, clinching
a takedown and a 7-5 victory for the redshirt sophomore.Penn State now leads 33-0 in the dual.
184 - Ruth Pins Bachman
Adding to another stellar day from the Penn State freshmen, Ed Ruth
tallied his fifth pin of the season against Jacob Bachman at 184 pounds.With Quentin Wright out of the lineup,
Ruth wrestled at 184 pounds for the first time this season.The time of Ruth's pin was 2:53
seconds.He is a versatile
wrestler with very quick hands.The redshirt freshman is 11-1 on the season.
285 - Wade Puts and Exclamation
Point on the Day
Cameron Wade, ranked sixth in the nation, capped off the afternoon with
a victory by pinfall in 2:15 over Harry Turner in the heavyweight bout.Ranked sixth in the nation, Wade has
wrestled very well thus far in 2010.He is 9-2 at heavyweight this season.
With a dominant victory over Lock Haven, Penn State will now kick off
its Big Ten dual season with a showdown on Sunday afternoon against No. 22 Ohio
State.With a lineup featuring six
freshmen and two wrestlers participating in weight classes for the first time
this season, the Nittany Lions tallied three pins and two technical falls en
route to a 48-0 victory over Lock Haven.Granted, Lock Haven was wrestling without some integral pieces in its
lineup, but the Lions were again impressive on Sunday afternoon.Penn State is 6-0 heading into next
weekend's bout with the rival Buckeyes.
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State women's volleyball defeated Duke in four
sets (25-19, 25-18, 23-25, 25-17) to win the University Park Regional Final and
move on to the National Semifinal match in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday,
Penn State stepped onto the court in front of more than 3,500 spectators to
begin the match. As Duke's starting line-up was announced and the Blue Devils
stepped onto the floor, the Penn State student section turned their backs to
the opponent, sending a clear message to the Blue Devils.
Fans held up large signs at the start of the game that read 'Defend Our House',
the motto that the three-time defending national champions have lived by for
the entire season. In their 22nd straight postseason win since 2007
and 94th consecutive win at home, the Nittany Lions definitely
practiced what they preach.
The Nittany Lions came out swinging, hitting an impressive .405 team
percentage and taking the first set against the Blue Devils with a score of
In the second set, the Blue Devils served tough and started to pick up on the
passing of the Nittany Lions. Duke held Penn State to a hitting percentage of
just .243, but the Nittany Lions pulled out a win late in the second set with a
score of 25-18.
After the intermission, Rec Hall was ready to see the Nittany Lions hand out
one more sweep in the postseason - but they didn't get one. Penn State dropped
the third set to the Blue Devils with a score of 23-25.
Penn State won the first point of third set, but trailed the Blue Devils for
the majority of the remainder of the match. The Nittany Lions were out-hit by
Duke with just a .163 average compared to the Blue Devils' .227 team hitting
Penn State senior defensive specialist and libero Alyssa D'Errico said that the
Nittany Lions got content with the way they had been playing, and ultimately
let the Blue Devils control the set.
"I think we just relaxed," said D'Errico. "In the third game when they started
putting the pressure on us a little bit we tightened up and shifted a little
bit away from Penn state volleyball. I mean we're normally loose and energetic
on the court, having fun - that's just our style of play."
But leave it to the Nittany Lions to make things interesting. Penn State came
back in the fourth set with a vengeance to top the Blue Devils with a score of
25-17, closing the door on Duke's hopes of a Regional Championship.
D'Errico said that her fellow teammate Darcy Dorton had some words of wisdom
for the Nittany Lions before they went out into the fourth set, and they really
made a difference.
"In the huddle between the games you know Darcy just spoke about what our
program is about and what we want to play like and how we want to leave this
gym," said D'Errico. "We kind of came out with a lot of energy. One of the
words that came in the huddle was passion - we wanted to play with a lot of
passion in that fourth game and just show the fans what our team is about."
The Nittany Lions took the fourth set passionately and authoritatively.
Freshman outside hitter Deja McClendon had a match-high 20 kills and recorded a
.347 hitting percentage. McClendon also tallied 10 digs and four blocks,
including one solo block. Penn State head coach Russ Rose said that although
McClendon is known for her strong swing and hitting numbers, her defensive play
was what made the difference against the Blue Devils.
"Deja had a great night," said Rose. "People will look at the box score and see
that she had a great night in kills and hitting percentage but you know she
received about two-thirds of the serves and she was our best passer and that's
probably the thing that I'm most pleased about."
McClendon was almost speechless at the Nittany Lions' accomplishment.
"I don't even know what to say," said McClendon." It's a great feeling.
Especially being at home and just winning that last game at home for the
seniors - that's one of the best feelings I've ever felt."
Duke head coach Jolene Nagel tipped her hat to the Nittany Lions as well. The
Blue Devils were the lone ACC team hanging on in the NCAA Tournament, and she
was very pleased with the way her team played against the fourth-seeded Nittany
"I wouldn't say it was our best night by any means but that often happens when
you're playing a strong opponent," said Nagel. "I think they played really
well, I think they served really tough, I think they passed really well. It was
difficult to get them out of system. Blocking-wise they took away a lot of
things that we wanted to do so they really, I think had us scouted out well and
put pressure on us from the very beginning."
As for Penn State, the team is ready to move on. Although they will no longer
be 'defending their house,' the Nittany Lions will be defending their national
championship title. Rose said that he is proud of his team for coming such a
long way this season.
"They've had to work hard," said Rose. "The Big Ten is a very tough conference
and we started off the Big Ten season losing our first match and you know we
were 3-3 and they had to fight and I never let them off the hook of what the
goals of this team and what the expectations of this program should always be."
For Penn State, the goal is still the same as it was in the beginning of the
season: a fourth-consecutive national title.
With the top three seeded teams eliminated from the NCAA Tournament, (Florida,
Nebraska, Stanford) the fourth-seeded Nittany Lions advance to the NCAA
National Semifinal in Kansas City as the highest-ranked team remaining.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - In front of a boisterous Rec Hall crowd, the
fourth-seeded Nittany Lion women's volleyball team knocked off Duke by a score
of 3-1 in the NCAA Regional Finals on Saturday night.
With the win, Penn State will play in the NCAA Semifinals for the fourth
consecutive season.The four-time
defending national champions will meet either Purdue or Texas in Kansas City,
Mo., on Thursday night.
Take a look at the in-match blog updates from the 3-1 victory over Duke.
Set One: Penn State 25, Duke 19
The Nittany Lions took advantage of the boisterous Rec Hall crowd in the
preliminary stages of the match to build a quick 4-1 lead and push Duke back on
its heels.The Blue Devils
answered the run with a 5-1 spurt to claim a 6-5 edge.The Lions led 11-9 before a key
sequence handed Penn State the momentum in the first.A Kristin Carpenter kill, a combined block from Fatima Balza
and Deja McClendon and then a kill from McClendon handed the Nittany Lions a
14-9 advantage.From there, the
Lions maintained a sizeable lead en route to a six-point victory in the first.
McClendon tallied six kills in a strong set.Libero Alyssa D'Errico played a superb first set with seven
digs.Penn State hit .405 in the
Set Two: Penn State 25, Duke 18
The second set began, just like the first with an early spurt from the
Nittany Lions.A combined block
from Balza and Brown put Penn State up 5-2.Leading up to the media timeout at 15-11, Penn State, the
Lions were in control of the tempo.However, Duke rattled off four unanswered out of the timeout en route to
squaring the match at 15-15.Penn
State had seen enough, though.The
Lions responded to Duke's run with a 7-1 run of their own to claim a commanding
22-16 lead.From there, McClendon
finished things off, just as she did in the first, with a set-clinching
kill.Penn State is in complete
control of the match as the teams head into the locker room for the break.McClendon has been impressive in her
first ever NCAA Regional Final match.The rookie leads all players with 10 kills, but the key figure on the
scoreboard is the 2-0 lead for the Nittany Lions.Penn State is one set away from a trip to the National
Semifinals in Kansas City.
Set Three: Duke 25, Penn State 23
Give Duke credit for battling in the third set.Down 2-0 in the match, the Blue Devils
played like they had nothing to lose.Penn State led 14-13 mid-way through the set, but that would be its last
lead of the set, as the Blue Devils made big play after big play on the way to
a slim 25-23 set victory to trim the match score down to 2-1.Penn State rallied from five down late
in the set tie things up, but the Blue Devils answered with back-to-back kills
to stun the Rec Hall crowd.Give
the Blue Devils credit, but the Lions took their foot off the accelerator in
the third set and opened the door for Duke.Nonetheless, the Lions still hold a 2-1 lead in the match.
Set Four: Penn State 25, Duke 17
After winning the first 11 sets of the NCAA Tournament, Penn State
dropped its first set at the hands of a pesky Duke team.The Nittany Lions responded in
commanding fashion from the opening serve in the fourth set.Ariel Scott blasted home a kill to put
the Lions up 5-1 out of the gate.A
kill from Wilson put the Lions up 10 (15-5) mid-way through the set.From there, an angry group of Nittany
Lions put things on cruise control, winning the fourth set 25-17.Freshman Deja McClendon equaled a
career-high in kills with 20.Blair Brown backed up her 24-kill effort on Friday with 16 kills on
Saturday night.Arielle Wilson
added 12 kills in the victory.Despite dropping a set, the Nittany Lions played a solid match to earn a
spot in the National Semifinals for the fourth consecutive season.
Quoting Coach Rose
"Well, I thought it was a great crowd...I thought we were playing great in
the first couple games.We got a
little careless in the third.And
then we re-asserted some things in the fourth.
"We competed hard against a team that plays hard."
For the fourth consecutive season, the Nittany Lions will compete in the
NCAA Semifinals.Penn State will
learn its opponent in Thursday evening's matchup later on Saturday night
(Either Texas or Purdue).After a
long, rigorous trek through the Big Ten, the Nittany Lions are again one of
four teams left in the NCAA Tournament.Penn State's run in the NCAA Tournament over the past four seasons has
been truly incredible.The Nittany
Lions have won 22 consecutive matches in the NCAA Tournament, dating back to
Nov. 30, 2007.The top three seeds (Florida, Stanford and Nebraska) are all out of this season's tournament. Penn State is the highest remaining seed in the draw. Congratulations to
head coach Russ Rose and the Nittany Lions for advancing to the NCAA
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion basketball team heads on the
road Sunday afternoon for a critical non-conference matchup with Virginia Tech
Penn State (7-2) will take on a long, athletic Virginia Tech team in the
penultimate non-conference matchup of the 2010-'11 season.It is the last game before the Nittany
Lions break for final exams next week.Get ready for the game by watching assistant coach Lewis Preston in the
"Next Game Primer" video scouting report.
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The three-time defending national champions are one
match closer to earning a trip to Kansas City, Mo. to defend their title.
Penn State swept Oklahoma Friday night in front of more than 3,300
spectators. Rec Hall was filled with the devoted Nittany Lion faithful as Penn
State captured another win to set their home-winning streak at 93 consecutive
The Sooners put up a good fight against the Nittany Lions in the first
two sets, each ending with a Penn State victory of 25-23. After the intermission,
Penn State came out with a new sense of urgency to take the third set and close
out the match in a 25-15 win.
Senior middle hitter Blair Brown had a big night for the Nittany Lions,
registering 24 kills to tie her career-high along with a .583 hitting
percentage. Brown seemed unstoppable at the net as she pounded down one kill
after another. Brown also recorded three blocks and six digs.
Senior middle hitter Arielle Wilson tallied nine kills of her own,
hitting .571 for the evening. Freshman outside hitter Deja McClendon also had
seven kills. Sophomore setter Kristin Carpenter controlled the offense
smoothly, dishing out 45 assists and getting the ball to the hot-handed Nittany
Senior defensive specialist and libero Alyssa D'Errico was solid as well
with 15 digs while freshman defensive specialist Ali Longo came in to deliver a
few keys serves and register four digs of her own.
The Nittany Lions did a good job of controlling the left-handed hitters on the
Oklahoma roster, and fended off tough serving by the Sooners. Junior setter
Brianne Barker guided the Sooners offensively with 31 assists. Freshman middle
blocker Sallie McLaurin recorded eleven kills for a .417 hitting percentage.
Lefty red-shirt junior outside hitter Susan Boulavsky tallied nine kills as
Penn State head coach Russ Rose said that he was pleased with the performance
of his team, and that he was not surprised at the outcome of the match.
"I mean I thought the match played out like I thought it would," said Rose. "I
thought that Oklahoma was going to play really hard and their setter was going
to do a great job of always keeping them in the match."
Rose was more than happy with the way his seniors played against the Sooners,
especially the way that Brown stepped up her game.
"Certainly in Blair's case really I thought [Brown] was the star of the
evening," said Rose. "I think she's a terrific talent. I think both of these
guys [Brown and Wilson] are and you need them to play like that all the time."
Brown was very modest about her accomplishment, saying that the victory was
earned by the team and not by her 24 kills.
"Everybody helps each other out so the middles were taking blocks and like
coach just said I think [Carpenter] was great tonight," said Brown. "She was
setting the ball and reversing the flow, doing a lot of really good things so
yeah I just think it's a really good effort."
The Nittany Lions face 12th-seeded Duke at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday in the
University Park Regional Final. Brown said that this next match and every match
to follow are equally important.
"It's now or never," said Brown. "We have to have energy when we walk into the
gym. We have all these people there supporting us and we have to win to go on
so I think the energy is something that's got to be there, you've got to have
that fire you know."
Rose commented on the match against Duke as well, recalling a time when the
Nittany Lions played the Blue Devils on the road.
"Duke is in the position they're in because of how they play. I mean we played
them last year at Duke and it was a very tough match with the big crowd and
half the crowd was there because it was Megan Hodge's hometown and you know
Megan Hodge put on a show at the end to get us the victory. Certainly Duke's
aware of the fact that Megan's no longer with us and they're going to play
"You know it's Duke - it's the NCAA championships," said Rose. "The sport might
be different but the expectations should be the same."
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Duke Blue Devils defeated the Missouri Tigers on
Friday night in Rec Hall in four sets. Duke beat the Tigers 3-1, (25-19, 21-25,
25-19, 25-22) and will move on to NCAA Regional Finals on Saturday night at
6:30 p.m. The Blue Devils will be up against the Penn Nittany Lions, who
defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 3-0 to advance to Saturday night's match.
The Blue Devils took the first set with a score of 25-19. The Duke offense took
care of the set as the Blue Devils combined to hit .438, led by junior middle
blocker Amanda Robertson with six kills and junior middle blocker and outside
hitter Sophia Dunworth with four of her own.
After the Mizzou scored the opening point of the set, the Blue Devils came back
and held the lead for the remainder of the game. Duke held the Missouri offense
to just a .275 hitting percentage, and the Tigers made three service errors in
the first set that proved to be detrimental to the outcome.
The Tigers' defense stepped it up and Missouri passed the ball much better in
the second set to capture a 25-15 victory over the Blue Devils. The Mizzou held
the Duke offense to a mere .233 hitting percentage as senior libero Caitlyn
Vann tallied seven digs while the team put up a total of three big blocks.
Redshirt senior outside hitter Paola Ampudia led the Tigers offensively with
seven kills followed by red-shirt senior outside hitter Julianna Klein with
four. Freshman setter Molly Kreklow controlled the Mizzou offense nicely as she
dished out 15 assists for the win.
The Blue Devils came back after intermission recharged and ready to play as
they dominated the Tigers in a 25-19 win. Duke took set three to pull ahead in
the match 2-1, handing Missouri a five-point run to open up the set. The Blue
Devils led the Tigers the rest of the set.
Senior middle blocker Becci Burling led the Blue Devils with six kills,
followed by Dunworth with four and sophomore middle blocker Christina Gray with
three more. Duke ran their offense smoothly under the control of junior setter
Kellie Catanach, who dished out 15 assists and held the Mizzou to just a .053
The Blue Devils finished off the Tigers in set four with a victory to win the
match 3-1. Duke came out strong with an opening 5-3 point run against Missouri
and controlled the match from there on out. Midway through the match at a score
of 21-14, the Tigers went on an 8-4 point run, but it wasn't enough as the Blue
Devils closed out the set for a final score of 25-22.
Duke head coach Jolene Nagel said she doesn't like to think too far in advance,
but she feels that her team is ready for whatever may come their way.
"I have this superstition about looking too far ahead so we really try to
contain ourselves and just think about the task at hand," said Nagel. "I think
that obviously Penn State's a great team. They have phenomenal size. Because of
the time of the year that it is, everyone's going to be going after it."
Nagel expects Saturday night's match to be a tough one, but she and her team
are ready to play.
"We're really thrilled and really happy," said Nagel. "We're not done yet."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Fourth-ranked Penn State advanced to the NCAA
Regional Finals on Friday night at Rec Hall with a 3-0 sweep of Oklahoma.A dominant performance from Blair Brown
carried the Nittany Lions into Saturday's Regional Final bout with Duke.
Take a look at the in-match blog updates from Friday night's win over
Set One: Penn State 25, Oklahoma 23
The Nittany Lions faced a stiff test in the opening set of the match,
but a late rally clinched a 1-0 lead.With a big assist from a packed house in Rec Hall, the Lions rallied
from 21-19 down late in the first.A Kristin Carpenter kill sliced Oklahoma's lead to just one.A crucial kill from Blair Brown capped
a 4-0 run, which handed the Lions a 23-21 edge.Katie Kabbes drilled home a kill to clinch the set.Kabbes was huge down the stretch with a
key block and two clutch kills.Oklahoma's front line played very well in the first set.It is shaping up to be an interesting
match.The largest lead in the
first set was just two tallies.
Set Two: Penn State 25, Oklahoma 23
As teams get deeper into the postseason, you begin to turn more towards
the veterans on the roster.You
cannot coach experience on the floor, and Friday night's match is a living
example of that.Blair Brown is
putting on a clinic for the Nittany Lions as the match heads into halftime
break.Brown has tallied 14 kills
on .500 hitting through just two sets.She has been exceptional in the opening two sets of play.She tallied two kills to set up match
point before assisting on the set-clinching block.Despite building a 21-16 advantage, the Lions fended off a
late charge from the Sooners to claim another narrow set victory.Penn State is hitting .362, largely
thanks to Brown's dominant performance.
Set Three: Penn State 25, Oklahoma 15
The Nittany Lions found some breathing space in the third set en route
to a 3-0 sweep of the Sooners.Brown was again tremendous in the third set, tallying 10 kills in the
third.She equaled a career-high
with 24 kills, and it came in just three sets.The third set was tight in the opening half of the set, just
as the first two sets were.Nonetheless, the Lions closed the set on a 15-6 run to tally a sweep.The key stat in the final game was just
one hitting error from the Nittany Lions on .586 hitting.Brown hit at a .583 clip for the
evening.Arielle Wilson added nine
kills on a sizzling .571 hitting in the middle.The two seniors carried the Lions in front of a tremendous
Rec Hall crowd.
Quoting Coach Rose
"I thought the match played out as I thought it would.Oklahoma did a great job."
"In Blair's case, I thought she was the star of the evening."
Penn State faced some adversity for the first time in the NCAA
Tournament and responded with some of its best volleyball of the
postseason.To reiterate what
Coach Rose said, Blair Brown stepped up with best match of her career on Friday
night.The numbers speak for
themselves, but Brown took over and was virtually unstoppable when throughout
the evening.The Nittany Lions
will return home on Saturday night for a clash with 12th-seeded Duke.Penn State will again have a terrific
crowd inside Rec Hall.The match
will air live on ESPNU at 6:30 p.m.The Lions are one of eight teams alive in the NCAA Tournament.
Stay tuned for another in-match blog from Penn State-Duke in the NCAA Regional Finals.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - One day after media festivities in Tampa, the
Lasch Football Building played host to Penn State's 2011 Outback Bowl media
Coach Paterno and several members of the squad met with local reporters
throughout a snowy afternoon in State College.With the trip to Tampa and bowl media day on campus, we have
plenty of items in our notebook to pass along.Let's take a look through the notebook from the past two
days of media activities.
Joe Paterno and Urban Meyer
Joe Paterno and Urban Meyer met six years ago on a Nike trip.Both head coaches have an incredible
amount of respect for one another.Watching the two interact at the Outback Bowl festivities on Thursday was
great to be a part of.
Coach Meyer mentioned several times that he has looked up to Coach
Paterno since he was a kid.He
takes notes whenever he is around Coach Paterno.Coach Meyer even has a picture of Joe Paterno hanging in his
office at Florida.
Following the reception on Thursday night, Coach Paterno and the Penn
State staff entered a freight elevator in Raymond James Stadium with the
Florida contingent.At one point,
the elevator door wasn't working, and Coach Paterno quipped that Florida was trying
to hold him up.
Coach Meyer turned to Coach Paterno and said, "Our flight home is 20
minutes, how about yours."
Coach Paterno responded, "I liked you up until now."
The elevator erupted in laughter before both groups went their separate
ways on the way to the airport.
Speed of the Gators
As is the case every year the Lions prepare for an SEC opponent in the
bowl game, several media outlets were curious for the squad's thoughts on the
speed comparison between the two teams.Several players had some interesting things to say.Ollie Ogbu offered his thought on the
subject with this statement.
"You can't match the speed until you play them."
The speed question is one that is often overblown.Penn State has plenty of speed on its
roster.Additionally, the Nittany
Lions played Alabama from the SEC in the regular season, not to mention Ohio
State.Needless to say, the
Nittany Lions have seen plenty of speed this season.
Thrilled to be Heading to the
The Outback Bowl is a tremendous game.Spending time with several members of the Outback Bowl on
Thursday, the game is thrilled to have the Nittany Lions.Likewise, the team is excited about the
opportunity to be in Tampa.Florida is a superb opponent and the team is eager to play the Gators.
"To play a team with the tradition and the background that Florida has
should be fun for any kid," Coach Paterno said."You only get to do some of those things once in your
lifetime.I want them to enjoy
it.I want them to have a lot of
fun.But yet I want to play
well.I think the best way to do
it is to do what I just said:give
them some freedom, let them have a little fun, but when we practice, we practice,
Traveling to Florida
The Nittany Lions practiced inside Holuba Hall on Friday afternoon.They will do the same on Saturday
before breaking for final exams next week.The team will congregate in Florida on Dec. 18 to begin
preparations for the Outback Bowl.GoPSUsports.com will be in Tampa beginning Dec. 26 to bring you coverage
on site with the Nittany Lions.There are a number of events leading up to the New Year's Day clash with
Florida the team will take part in, including a trip to the beach in
Clearwater.In the meantime, stay
tuned for several videos that we will post from media festivities in Tampa and
Inside Media Day with Ollie Ogbu
Last, but certainly not least, we wanted to take Penn State fans inside
bowl media day at the Lasch Football Building.For anyone who has never been to a media day, take a look at
what senior defensive tackle Ollie Ogbu has to say about Friday's
festivities.Ogbu introduces you
to several members of the squad.Enjoy.
Stay tuned for much more from GoPSUsports.com's trip to Tampa and
Friday's Outback Bowl media day in Happy Valley.
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUSports.com
Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The three-time defending national champions are gearing
up for their NCAA Regional Semifinal match against the Oklahoma Sooners on
Friday night. The Nittany Lions take on the Sooners at 6:30 p.m. in Rec Hall,
after Missouri faces 12th-seeded Duke at 5 p.m.
The Nittany Lions hold record-setting 92-match winning streak at home and are
only looking to build onto it this weekend.
The Sooners are coming off a huge weekend of tournament play. Last weekend,
Oklahoma swept Wichita State in the opening round of play, defeating the
Shockers for the first time since 1999. The next evening, the Sooners toppled
Tulsa in a five-set match to advance to the final 16.
Oklahoma boasts a roster of talented athletes. Facing the Sooners, Penn State
will be up against something they have not seen much of yet this far into the
tournament - height. Three of the starters for Oklahoma are six feet or taller.
The Sooners do it all, and the Nittany Lions are preparing accordingly.
Freshman middle hitter Katie Slay said that Oklahoma is the kind of team that
is deep in talent, so she and her teammates are making sure that they focus on
both sides of the net.
"Oklahoma's a really great team so we're excited to play them on Friday and
we're just really trying to work on setting up our defense to what would help
us best have a victory over them, and also try to figure out what would go best
for our offense," said Slay. "It's just trying to figure out the match-ups and
we're solely focused on Oklahoma right now because [if] you lose you're out, so
you have to come into each match playing hard so it won't be your last."
Up against a strong line of left-handed hitters and 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-2
middle blockers, Slay recognizes that the Nittany Lions will also have to use
their height to combat the Sooners.
"I think that our block always is able to help us not only if we get
necessarily a block but we can get touches and it also helps set up our
defense," said Slay. "Blocking, I think, will be very important."
Senior middle hitter Arielle Wilson said that while Oklahoma will be a
challenge, the Nittany Lions are simply focused on earning a victory.
"We're just taking it a day at a time and just trying to focus on things we can
control and what we can do to get better," said Wilson. "We worry about what we
can control. We're just trying to do what we can do and just play off of that."
TAMPA, Fla. - Legendary head coach Joe Paterno, Director of Athletics
Tim Curley and a few staff members traveled to Tampa on Thursday afternoon for
the 2011 Outback Bowl contract signing event held at Raymond James Stadium,
site of Penn State's New Year's Day clash with Florida.
GoPSUsports.com boarded the plane with the staff to the Tampa Bay area
for the day's festivities.Coach
Paterno spent the afternoon interviewing with several members of the local
television and print media before participating in the contract signing
We had our camera rolling to take Penn State fans inside the trip to
Tampa.From media interviews to
catching up with Florida head coach Urban Meyer and ESPN's Jon Gruden, take a
look at this GoPSUsports.com exclusive.
Stay tuned tomorrow for much more from our trip to Tampa, including
video remarks from Coach Paterno, Florida head coach Urban Meyer and Outback
Bowl President/CEO Jim McVay.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The fourth-seeded Nittany Lion women's volleyball
team will continue its NCAA Tournament run on Friday night inside Rec Hall when
it takes on Oklahoma at 7 p.m. in the Regional Semifinals.
After a pair of sweeps over Niagara and Virginia Tech in the opening two
rounds, Penn State is now one of six Big Ten teams still alive in the final 16
of the NCAA Tournament.The
Nittany Lions again have the luxury of hosting NCAA Tournament action on their
own floor this weekend.
Expect a big crowd on Friday night when the Lions clash with the
Sooners.Duke will meet Missouri
at 5 p.m. prior to Penn State's match at 7 p.m.
As a primer to this weekend's NCAA competition, we spent some time with
assistant coach Kaleena Davidson at practice one day this week for a video
interview.Watch a preview.
Stay tuned for much more on the All-Sports
Blog leading up to the NCAA Tournament weekend inside Rec Hall.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Whether the Lady Lions (8-2) are scheduled to
practice or not, Maggie Lucas is in the practice gym doing what she loves,
shooting the basketball.
The sharp-shooting freshman guard attempts 1,000 shots a day in the
Bryce Jordan Center.
When you ask her what percentage she shoots at in the practice gym.Her answer is somewhere north of 80
percent.In other words, she
watches the basketball spin through the net more than 800 times every day in
Wednesday night was just another example of what Lucas brings to the
floor for head coach Coquese Washington.Lucas tallied eight points in the opening half on 1-of-3 shooting from
the floor and 6-of-6 from the charity stripe.She let the game come to her in 13 minutes of action in the
opening half of play.
Out of the break, Lucas drained a pair of 3-pointers and remained
perfect at the foul line before checking out of the game near the mid-way point
of the second half.As she walked
off the floor, Lucas suddenly had 20 points next to her name on the box score.
"I knew from the beginning that the focus was to get the posts a lot of
touches," Lucas said."I didn't think
they were big enough to guard our posts, and our posts are very skilled.So, when I got my shots I took
them.I didn't try to force too
much.I just took the shots that I
had, and I got fouled a lot, so I made sure to put those in."
She reached the 20-point plateau on just nine field goal attempts.Granted, she was 10-of-10 at the foul
line, but scoring 20 points on nine field goal attempts gives you a good idea
of the type of scorer Lucas is for the Lady Lions.
Good shooters have a knack for scoring in the flow of the game, and
Lucas illustrated the ability to do that once again on Wednesday.She is a very mature freshman with a high
Lucas' 12-point scoring spurt in the second half helped fuel a 25-5 run
out of the locker room.The Lady
Lions led by as much as 36 in the second half en route to the 95-65 victory.
Moving forward, Lucas is going to play an integral role in Penn State's
season.She brings a tremendous
spark off the bench.When you
field a weapon like Lucas as the sixth person in a rotation, it presents
significant matchup problems for the opponent.
Lucas now has four 20-point games in the first 10 games of her Lady Lion
career.Lucas' sharp shooting is
going to be fun to watch for the next four seasons.
It was just another night in the gym for No. 33, as Lucas finished with
20 points and a career-high five rebounds.
Tomorrow, she will be back shooting 1,000 more shots.
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Rec Hall will host yet another weekend of the NCAA
Division I Women's Volleyball Tournament. The fourth-seeded, three-time
defending champion Nittany Lions will be fighting to defend their title as they
take part in the Regional Semifinals.
Play begins on Friday at 5 p.m. as the Missouri Tigers face 12th-seeded
Duke in Rec Hall. Penn State will then take on the Oklahoma Sooners at 7 p.m.
The winner of each match will move on to play one another Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. to determine which team will advance to the National Semifinals.
Missouri vs. No. 12 Duke
The 12th-seeded Duke Blue Devils face Missouri on Friday night for the opening
match of the University Park Regional Semifinal. Missouri advances to the regional
semifinals for the second-time in program history, while the Blue Devils make
their first appearance in the final 16 since 1994.
The Tigers are 22-10 overall this season, making their second trip to the final
16 where they entered their first trip back in 2005 - State College. Missouri
pulled out a huge upset over fifth-seeded Northern Iowa in the first round of
the tournament last Friday, and then defeated Northwestern in four sets to
capture the second round on Saturday as well.
Four Tigers are averaging 2.32 kills per set or better this season. Red-shirt senior
outside hitter Paola Ampudia leads the team with 4.10 kills per set, followed
by red-shirt senior outside hitter Julianna Klein with 2.89, junior middle
blocker and outside hitter Brittany Brimmage with 2.48 and freshman outside
hitter Lisa Henning with 2.32 of her own.
Freshman setter Molly Kreklow will be controlling the Mizzou offense, averaging
11.70 assists per set for a total of 1,345 assists this season. The 6-foot-3
Brimmage has been versatile at the net as well with 117 blocks this season for
an average of 0.97 blocks per set.
However, what sets the Tigers apart from other teams is their seemingly
flawless defense. Four of the starting seven Tigers are averaging 2.31 digs per
set or better this season. Klein leads the team with 2.50 digs per set,
followed by Ampudia and junior defensive specialist Priscilla Armendariz with
2.37 digs per set and Kreklow with 2.31.
No. 12 Duke
The Blue Devils are the only Atlantic Coast Conference team left in the
postseason. Duke topped High Point and Ohio last weekend on its home court to
advance to the Regional Semifinal.
Senior middle blocker Becci Burling (3.02), junior middle blocker Sophia
Dunworth (2.95), junior middle blocker Amanda Robertson (2.83) and sophomore
middle blocker Christiana Gray (2.24) each average better than 2.2 kills per
set this season while guiding Duke to a .249 hitting percentage.
Junior setter Kellie Catanach leads the tigers with 1,327 assists this season
for an average of 11.25 assists per set. Senior libero and defensive specialist
Claire Smalzer has been solid for the Tigers defensively with 386 digs this
season for an average of 3.24 digs per set.
The 6-foot-5 Gray has notched an impressive 1.00 blocks per set this season,
followed close behind by Burling with 0.94 of her own.
Oklahoma vs. No. 4 Penn State
The fourth-seeded Nittany Lions take on the Oklahoma Sooners Friday night in
Rec Hall. This will be the first series meeting between the two teams.
The Sooners had a big opening weekend in the NCAA Tournament, sweeping Wichita
St. in the first round of play and then defeating Tulsa in a five-set match in
round two. Oklahoma boasts an overall record of 23-10 and will be making its
third appearance in the final 16 in program history.
Redshirt junior outside hitter Suzy Boulavsky leads the Sooners with 3.46 kills
per set and hitting .275. Freshman middle blocker Sallie McLaurin is not far
behind, averaging 2.36 kills per set with a team-high .315 hitting percentage.
Junior setter Brianne Barker is expected to be controlling the Oklahoma offense
as she has tallied 1,309 assists this season for an average of 10.39 assists
per set. Sophomore defensive specialist Maria Fernanda holds the top spot
defensively with 540 digs this season, averaging an impressive 4.29 digs per
The Sooners have some height on their roster as well, attributing to the
6-foot-2 McLaurin's 152 total blocks this season for an average of 1.28 blocks
per set. Standing at 6-foot-4, senior middle blocker Sarah Freudenrich has also
been solid at the net averaging 0.75 blocks per set.
No. 4 Penn State
The three-time defending national champions find themselves just four matches
away from their goal of capturing another NCAA Championship title. The Nittany
Lions defeated Niagara and Virginia Tech last weekend to advance to this coming
weekend's Regional Semifinals. Penn State is 28-5 this season, and is working
on a 92-match winning streak at home.
Three Nittany Lions are averaging .318 or better in hitting this season. Senior
middle hitter Blair Brown (.318) leads the team averaging 4.10 kills per set,
followed by freshman outside hitter Deja McClendon (.332) with 3.34 kills per
set and senior middle hitter Arielle Wilson (.424) with 2.68 kills per set.
Sophomore setter Kristin Carpenter has been taking care of things offensively,
dishing out 1,197 assists this season for an average of 11.29 assists per set.
Carpenter has guided the Nittany Lions to a .313 hitting average this season.
Penn State has been solid defensively thanks to senior defensive specialist and
libero Alyssa D'Errico, who has dug up 450 balls this season for an average of
4.09 digs per set.
At the net, height has helped the Nittany Lions dominate their opponents in
blocking. The 6-foot-6 freshman middle hitter Katie Slay leads the team with
1.58 blocks per set, while senior middle hitter Fatima Balza is close behind
with 1.34 and Wilson is averaging 1.12 of her own.
Each of the four teams will arrive in University Park looking to capture
two more postseason wins. The winners of each match on Friday evening will face
one another at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night in Rec Hall. The overall winner of
the match on Saturday night will advance to the NCAA National Semifinals in
Kansas City, Mo. on December 16.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State Lady Lions (7-2) head into a
mid-week clash with Army (3-5) looking to build on a solid victory over Texas
Tech on Sunday afternoon.
The main catalyst in Sunday's 76-68 triumph was redshirt sophomore Mia
Nickson.In her first career start
for the Lady Lions, Nickson poured in 26 points and pulled down 14 rebounds,
marking her first career double-double.She was a sizzling 8-of-10 from the floor.
Nickson is an active player on the low post every second she is on the
floor.After transferring from
Boston College and sitting out last season, Nickson is beginning to find her
groove in the rotation.The
Ashburn, Va., native has tremendous upside.
Coming off the best game of her Lady Lion career, Nickson spent some time
with GoPSUsports.com for this week's Lady Lion Player Profile video
feature.Take a look to see what
she has to say.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to the GoPSUsports.com in-game blog for
the Nittany Lion basketball team.Check out the updates from tonight's dramatic victory over Mount St. Mary's.
Penn State: G - Battle,
G - Frazier, G - Woodyard, F - Brooks, C - Jones
Mt. St. Mary's: G - Josh
Castellanos, G - Julian Norfleet, G - David Golladay, F - Shawn Atupem, F - Tayvon
15:51: Penn State 9, Mt. St. Mary's
As coach Lewis Preston talked about in the next game primer video scout,
the Nittany Lions needed the seniors to step up in the absence of D.J.
Jackson.Jeff Brooks answered the
bell with authority on Penn State's first basket of the game.Brooks' head was head high on a
tomahawk dunk to put the Lions on the board.Penn State's transition offense is off to a very good start
as the Lions lead by five early.Credit Cammeron Woodyard for a strong first stint in his initial start
of his Lion career.Woodyard is
active on the glass and on defense.
11:24: Penn State 14, Mt. St.
Continuing with the Woodyard theme, the junior forward has been
aggressive since the outset.He
has a pair of rebounds, a block and a 3-pointer from the left wing.Woodyard's long ball put the Lions up
six heading into the second media timeout.Penn State needs to play better defense on the ball.Mount St. Mary's is having its way off
the dribble in the early going.Nonetheless, the Lions are finding plenty of opportunities on the
7:56: Penn State 16, Mt. St.
The Nittany Lions' defense off the dribble remains an issue in the early
going.The Mount has been able to
get into the paint throughout the first 12 minutes.All six of its field goals have been within 15 feet of the
basket.With the short bench
tonight, the Lions have already used eight players.The key figure to keep an eye on is rebounding, and the
Lions are currently plus-five on the glass, which is key.
2:15: Penn State 24, Mt. St. Mary's
The Lions are now plus 10 in rebounding, which includes nine offensive
boards.That has been the
difference in the first half thus far.Neither teams is shooting north of 40 percent, but the differential in
rebounding has put the Lions up by five.Taran Buie has tallied five points off the bench.Buie continues to get more comfortable
with each passing game.He is
evolving into a consistent mid-range shooter.
0:00: Penn State 31, Mt. St.
Just when it felt like the Lions were going to push their margin to
double digits, the Mount tallied a timely bucket to keep things close.The largest lead of the ballgame is the
halftime margin (nine).Woodyard
was the catalyst in the opening 20 minutes.In his first start, the guard tallied eight points on 3-of-4
shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers.The first four minutes of the second half will be very interesting to
watch.You just have the feel that
Penn State could bust things open with a spurt.Nonetheless, the Lions head to the break up by nine after
Woodyard's buzzer beating 3-pointer.
15:42: Penn State 35, Mt. St.
Just as the first half played out, Penn State sank the first basket of
the second half to push its lead to 11, but The Mount had an answer.Thanks to a 3-pointer from Julian
Norfleet, Mt. St. Mary's manufactured a 7-0 spurt to slice Penn State's lead to
33-29.Turnovers and inconsistency
on the defensive end has kept the Mountaineers in the ballgame.A runner from Brooks pushed the Lions'
lead back up to six, but Mount St. Mary's is still well within striking
11:15: Penn State 37, Mt. St.
When you have an opportunity to put a team away, you need to do it.Tonight, the Lions have faced several
chances to push their lead into double digits, but have only done it once.After a pair of free throws from
Battle, his first points since the 18:07 mark in the first half, the Lions led
37-31 with 13:49 to play.Mount
St. Mary's answered with five straight tallies to set the scoreboard at 37-36
with 11:15 to go.Penn State has gone
nearly five minutes without a field goal.
7:53: Penn State 44, Mt. St. Mary's
Mount St. Mary's claimed its first lead of the night on a driving layup
shortly after the last update.A
Buie old-fashioned three-point play put the Lions back on top by two, but
things have seesawed since then.At the moment, the Lions lead by two.Buie has been a nice spark off the bench with 10 points
tonight on 4-of-7 shooting.Brooks
is also a point and a rebound shy of his first double-double.The Lions need a spurt.
3:28: Penn State 49, Mt. St.
The number that stands out most on the box score at the moment is
Battle's shooting.The standout
senior guard poured in 31 points on 12-of-18 shooting on Saturday.Tonight, Battle is just 1-of-12 from
the field, including 0-for-6 from 3-point range for five points.Nonetheless, the Lions cling to
three-point lead heading into the final 3:28 of play.Brooks has registered the first double-double of his career
with 12 points and a career-high 12 boards.
0:00: Penn State 57, Mt. St.
Talor Battle has done it again for the Nittany Lions in the clutch.The last post highlighted his shooting
struggles this evening.But when
the game is on the line, you want the ball in the hands of No. 12 if you are
the Nittany Lions.Battle scored
Penn State's final eight points, including a 28-foot 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds
to play.The 3-pointer broke a
53-53 tie and clinched the victory for the Nittany Lions.Battle added a free throw to finish
with 13 points and eight rebounds on the night, despite being just 3-of-14 from
the field and 1-of-7 from beyond the arc.
It wasn't the prettiest of basketball games in the Bryce Jordan Center,
but the Nittany Lions head off the floor with a victory, thanks to a dramatic
3-pointer from Mr. Clutch, Talor Battle.Like he has done so many times in his career, Battle stepped up with an
incredible game-winning shot to lift the Lions past Mount St. Mary's.The Lions left the door open several
times down the stretch for the Mount to score an upset, but Battle stepped up
when the Lions needed him to.The
Lions will need to play better defense and improve at the foul line (11-18)
leading up to a crucial trip to Virginia Tech this weekend.For now, though, the Lions can
celebrate another dramatic finish from Battle.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Following a strong showing at the Nittany Lion Open,
the fifth-ranked Penn State wrestling team returns to dual competition this
The fifth-ranked Nittany Lions crowned four champions at the Nittany
Lion Open on Sunday at Rec Hall.This week, the Lions return to dual action with a clash against Lock
Haven on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.Leading up to this week's home dual with Lock Haven, GoPSUsports.com sat
down with assistant coach Troy Letters for the filming of This Week in Penn
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion basketball team returns home on
Tuesday night for a 7:30 p.m. tip against Mount St. Mary's inside the Bryce
After a strong shooting performance against Duquesne, the Nittany Lions
(6-2) will be looking for their seventh victory of the season against the
Mountaineers (3-5).Get ready for
the game by watching assistant coach Lewis Preston in the "Next Game Primer"
video scouting report, which was filmed inside the Penn State locker room.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It is going to be a busy few weeks leading up to
Penn State's New Year's Day showdown with the Florida Gators at the Outback
But the anticipation leading up to a bowl game is always enjoyable to
follow.The bowl season is
rewarding to the student-athletes for a season's worth of work.The media festivities officially kicked
off on Monday morning with a teleconference featuring Coach Paterno and Florida
head coach Urban Meyer.
We listened in.Here are
some of the more noteworthy storylines from the teleconference.
- Mutual Respect from Both Head
The conference call started with a short opening statement from Outback
Bowl President and CEO Jim McVay before each head coach commented about the
game.Within the opening
statements from both head coaches, they each talked about how much they respect
Coach Paterno: "We are delighted to have this opportunity to play
against Florida. As I said a while ago, Urban is one of my favorite people. It
is going to be exciting to play against them especially in this setting being
the 25th anniversary of a great bowl game and a great city. It is an exciting
time for us, it is going to be an exciting event, and hopefully we will put on
a good show for everybody."
Coach Meyer: "Coach Paterno is college football.He's what it's all about."
- Slowing Down Florida's Speed
As is the case every time a Penn State team prepares for a clash with an
SEC foe, the age-old speed question was brought up on Monday morning.Coach Paterno expects the Gators to be
a stiff challenge for the Nittany Lions with their speed.With that being said, Coach Paterno
stressed the importance to be in good position when making tackles.A missed tackle in the open field will
result in six points on the scoreboard from Florida.
- Injury Update on Michael Mauti
Coach Paterno noted that linebacker Michael Mauti has participated in
bowl preparations and will be ready to play on New Year's Day.That is great news for the Penn State
defense.Mauti evolved into an
elite linebacker for the Nittany Lions in 2010.He will play a huge role against Florida.
- Bowl Practice Schedule
Under NCAA rules, teams are allowed to practice 15 times leading up to a
bowl game.The Nittany Lions
practiced on Friday and Saturday of last week.They will do the same this week, with practice on Friday and
Saturday before being off all of next week for final exams.From there, the Lions will congregate
in Florida after final exams to begin practicing outdoors.Members of the football program are
currently in Florida examining potential practice sites in Clearwater before
moving to Tampa for the final week leading up to the game.
- Taking Care of Business
One reporter on the teleconference asked Coach Paterno about what he does
in Florida leading up to the game on New Year's Day.His response...
"Ordinarily they give me a place away from everything so I can look at
film when I want to and I can get ready for practice and see if there is
something I can learn from the tapes that might be helpful. It is a chore, not
in the sense of something you don't like to do, I like it, it is just a
challenge. I can't get to the beach, no. We are going down there and I got some
work to do."
- Next Up
The next event on the schedule is the official contract signing in
Tampa, which will take place on Thursday.Both head coaches and athletic directors will be in Tampa to officially
sign the bowl contract.Bowl media
day will take place in Happy Valley on Friday afternoon.As always, stay tuned for much more
By Alexis Morgan, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Lady Lions battled
head-to-head against Texas Tech for most of Sunday's game and landed on top
with a 76-68 victory. With the win, the Lions move to 7-2 while handing Texas
Tech their first loss in their season.
The Lady Lions took charge, exploding out of the gates with a 9-0 lead. Throughout
the afternoon, co-captain Mia Nickson was a key factor in the victory,
establishing a dominating performance on both sides of the ball.
In her first career start, Nickson earned her first ever double-double, posting
career highs of 26 points and 14 rebounds. Nickson contributed heavily at both
ends of the court. Offensively, Nickson's 26 points led the team with point
guard Alex Bentley tallying 16. On defense, Nickson was under the basket with
every Lady Raider shot, grabbing rebounds, and surpassing a career of 100
This season, the Lady Lions have been plagued
with slow starts. Therefore, Coach
Washington decided to switch up the starting line-up by adding Nickson in hopes
that her physical presence would fire up the team.
"We were getting off to a slow start and I thought that if we could get Mia
[Nickson] in the lineup [we could turn things around] ," Washington said."One thing she is pretty good at is
rebounding the ball and she is good defensively. If we are going to struggle
offensively, we could at least get some extra possessions with her crashing the
glass. Just with her energy and the way she plays [could give us the spark we
Nickson was unaware that she would start
Sunday until game time, but said she would support her team in all aspects.
"I don't mind coming off the bench," Nickson said. "I told coach that if she needed me to start, I could.
Whatever the team needs, I'm here to support. If they need me to start, that
would be fine."
Washington thought starting Nickson brought
the edge the team needed to defeat Texas Tech.
"[I] definitely feel like she did [help the
team to a quicker start]," Coach Washington said. "She did a fantastic job posting up and giving us offense
inside. At times we have struggled to get offense from in the paint and she
gave us that. It put pressure on their defense."
"She was amazing down low, getting the other
post players in foul trouble, making her shots, posting up strong and getting
rebounds. Her performance tonight was really great," teammate Alex Bentley
Coming into the game, Texas Tech head coach
Kristy Curry was prepared to perhaps see a dominant performance by Nickson.
"Just how hard she works," coach Curry said. "Her energy level is tremendous. She
just plays so hard and is very intense and works and reworks and is relentless
in what she's trying to do. Have to give her a lot of credit, she really worked
hard and was a huge concern coming in."
Nickson's intensity on the court and hustle
for every play indeed set the tone and energized the entire team.
"[Those plays] are humungous," Washington said. "They give us that added jolt of energy. When we can get
around and get those hustle plays, it just breeds confidence among everybody.
It spreads.You then see Maggie Lucas diving on the floor and you see Renee Womack diving in the passing lane.
[Nickson's] energy is definitely infectious."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Throughout his stellar career, Talor Battle has found
a knack to step up when the Nittany Lions need him to.
It's a fiber that most players do not have.It's a fiber that you can't really coach.It's something that Coach DeChellis has
talked about in the past, but it's not something you can really explain.
Battle has an ability to take his game to another level when the Nittany
Lions need him to.Saturday
night's performance from No. 12 was a prime example of that.
Coming off a cold shooting night in a home setback to Maryland in the
Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the Nittany Lions needed the veteran to spark the squad
in a non-conference matchup against a talented Duquesne team.
It was clear from pregame warmups that Battle was going to play with a
purpose.He moved through the
layup line with an extra bounce in his step.While most of the players trotted back to the end of the
line, Battle moved at a swift pace on his way to touching the mid-court line after
every shot and rebound.He just
had a look on his face that he was not going to be denied.
"Well he was out there 45 minutes before shooting practice today," Coach
DeChellis said after the game. "He was one of the seniors who showed up early
and was out there and was focused. We needed a big game out of somebody when DJ
(Jackson) went down ad Billy (Oliver) went down and he's a senior and stepped
up and made some big shots. He made some big plays."
Battle scored his first field goal at the 14:15 mark of the first
half.From there, the Albany,
N.Y., native went on to pour in 31 points in a span of 34:15.Coach DeChellis has said in the past
that Battle is a much better scorer than he is a shooter.
But he combined both on Saturday afternoon.Battle tallied a sizzling 12-of-18 shooting performance from
the field, including 5-of-8 from beyond the 3-point arc in his 31-point
effort.He also added eight
rebounds and four assists to complement the fifth 30-point game of his career.
"I was just playing with the flow of the game," Battle
said."Jeff (Brooks) was making
some moves the whole game where we knew eventually he was going to start making
them and he did. Whenever they found that I was just hitting shots - it was one
of those days where I was really feeling good and confident shooting the
Battle is at his best when he scores in the flow of the game, as he
mentioned.He makes things look
effortless when he lets the game come to him.
As the squad prepares for Mount St. Mary's (3-5), it will likely be
without D.J. Jackson and Billy Oliver.Neither player is expected to play on Tuesday night.Nonetheless, Battle and fellow senior
Jeff Brooks will again step up on the offensive end of the floor.Both players understand the
significance of their role as seniors in the lineup.Just look at the numbers.
The Nittany Lions (6-2) will clash with Mount Saint Mary's (3-5) on
Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. inside the Bryce Jordan Center.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - When it comes time for bowl season, Coach Paterno
wants to match up with an elite team on New Year's Day.
And for the 25th time in his storied career and the third consecutive
season, the legendary head coach got his wish as the Nittany Lions (7-5) will
clash with national power Florida (7-5) on New Year's Day in the Outback Back
at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium.
As a Penn State fan, you can't ask for much more than a Penn
State-Florida matchup on college football's biggest day.It is a tremendous reward for the 2010
squad to earn a trip to a New Year's Day game against a superb SEC opponent.
Consider that Penn State will be playing a team in its bowl game that
has won a national championship since 2004 for the third consecutive season.Penn State clashed with USC in the 2009
Rose Bowl Game.The Trojans won
the national title in 2004.The
Lions defeated LSU in the 2009 Capital One Bowl.The Tigers claimed the 2007 national title.That brings us to the 2011 Outback Bowl
opponent.Florida won the national
championship in 2006 and 2008.
Over the last six seasons, Florida owns a 64-15 record, which ranks
fourth nationally.In the same
time span, Penn State ranks No. 10 with a 54-18 overall mark since 2005.Two national powerhouses will meet on
the same field in Tampa.The quote
from Outback Bowl President and CEO Jim McVay speaks volumes about the classic
matchup that will take place on New Year's Day.
"When you talk about tradition and history of college football it just
doesn't get any better than Penn State and the University of Florida," said McVay.
"It's our 25th anniversary game and we can't think of a better way to celebrate
it on New Year's Day than with Coach Paterno's Nittany Lions and Coach Urban
With a team of Florida's stature and history now on the schedule, it
should add some extra motivation to the Nittany Lions as they kick off
preparations for the Outback Bowl.
The Gators will be looking to treat the Outback Bowl as a "home" game on
New Year's Day. Gainesville is a mere 131 miles from Tampa.This will mark the fourth time in six
years that the Nittany Lions will be playing a team from the same state as the
bowl game (Florida State, Texas A&M, USC and Florida).
Our advice for the Nittany Lion faithful, you ask? Pack your bags for
Florida and wear white on New Year's Day.
The Nittany Lions and Gators have met just twice prior to this season's
Outback Bowl.Florida ousted Penn
State in the 1962 Gator Bowl by a score of 17-7.The most recent meeting came on New Year's Day in 1998 when
the Gators tallied a 21-6 victory at the Citrus Bowl.
Coach Paterno is the all-time leader in victories (401) and fills a spot
in the College Football Hall of Fame.Florida head coach Urban Meyer has a 103-22 (.842) overall record since
his head-coaching career began in 2001.Meyer has the highest winning percentage among active coaches with at
least five years of experience.Coach Paterno is fourth on the active list with a .750 winning
percentage over 45 seasons.
When you think of elite college football programs, Florida and Penn
State among the nation's best.And
when you look through the potential sites and opponents for the Nittany Lions
during this particular bowl season, this matchup is a win-win for everyone
Now, the Nittany Lions will shift into preparation mode.After a week wondering who would be on
the schedule in January, Penn State can begin watching film on the Gators. The
additional 15 practices leading up to the bowl game are invaluable for the
young talent on Penn State's roster.
It's Penn State-Florida on New Year's Day in Tampa.Can you ask for much more than that?
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lions will play in their 25th New
Year's Day bowl game under legendary head coach Joe Paterno when they take the
field on Jan. 1 at the Outback Bowl.
With tonight's official announcement that the Lions will meet Florida, let's take a look at Penn State
and the Outback Bowl by the numbers.
1,479,559: The total
attendance in the Outback Bowl's 24-year history is 1,479,559.
65,657: The 2011
Outback Bowl will be played inside Raymond James Stadium, the home of the Tampa
Bay Buccaneers.Raymond James
Stadium's capacity is 65,657.It
will mark the second time this season that Penn State will play in an NFL
State's most recent trip to the Outback Bowl came in 2007.Thanks to an 88-yard fumble return for
a touchdown from Tony Davis, the Nittany Lions knocked off No. 17 Tennessee.The key turnover fueled the Lions to a
20-10 victory over the Vols.
Nittany Lions played in the Outback Bowl for the second time on Jan. 1,
1999.Facing the eventual No. 1
pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, QB Tim Couch, the Nittany Lions tallied a 26-14
victory over Kentucky inside Raymond James Stadium.Kentucky jumped out to a 14-3 lead before the Lions rallied.
State's first trip to the Outback Bowl came on New Year's Day in 1996.Thanks to a 27-point outpouring in the
third quarter, the Nittany Lions rolled over Auburn by a score of 43-14.A key touchdown pass from Wally
Richardson to Mike Archie just before halftime put the Lions in control.
Outback Bowl's first game took place in 1986.The game was known as the Hall of Fame Bowl at the time
before officially becoming the Outback Bowl in 1995.Boston College defeated Georgia by a score of 27-24 in the
distance between Beaver Stadium and Raymond James Stadium in Tampa is 1,109
miles.Pack your bags for Florida.
average high temperature, according to the National Weather Service, on New
Year's Day in Tampa is 71 degrees.
State's 43 points in the 1996 Outback Bowl stands as the highest total by a
team in the 24-year history of the bowl game.
37: The 2011
Outback Bowl will mark Penn State's 37th bowl appearance under head coach Joe
State will make its 25th appearance in a New Year's Day bowl game in the Joe
season's Outback Bowl marks the 25th anniversary for the Tampa bowl game.
Paterno is the all-time leader in bowl victories with 24.Coach Paterno led the Lions to a 19-17
win over LSU in the most recent postseason appearance at the 2010 Capital One
State is one of 21 different teams to have played in the Outback Bowl.Seven different teams from the Big Ten
have played in the Outback Bowl.
18: The 2011
Outback Bowl will mark the 18th time the game has been televised by ESPN.Monday Night Football announcers Mike
Tirico and Jon Gruden will call the action at this season's game on ESPN.
have been seven Outback Bowl games decided by four points or fewer, including
last season's 38-35 overtime victory for Auburn over Northwestern.
State will be making its fourth appearance at the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1, 2011.
and Penn State are tied for the most all-time Outback Bowl victories with
1: The 2011
Outback Bowl will kickoff on Jan. 1 at 1 p.m.The game will air live on ABC.We are 27 days from kickoff in Tampa.
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The fourth-seeded Nittany Lions defeated Virginia
Tech Saturday night in Rec Hall to capture a second round victory in the NCAA
Tournament. Penn State dealt the Hokies a three-game sweep (25-22, 25-22,
25-13) and has earned a spot in the NCAA Regional Semifinals.
Penn State extended its home-match winning streak to 92 consecutive
matches with the win over Virginia Tech. Next weekend, Rec Hall will again be
the host to tournament play as the Nittany Lions take on Oklahoma at 7 p.m. on
Friday in the regional semifinals.
Senior middle hitter Blair Brown led the team with 11 kills, followed by
fellow senior middle hitter Arielle Wilson who had eight of her own. Freshman
outside hitter Deja McClendon was strong on the outside with seven of her own
kills, as well.
Sophomore setter Kristin Carpenter guided the offense with 30 assists
and put down the team's only service ace all evening. Senior defensive
specialist and libero Alyssa D'Errico had a quiet night with just six digs, due
to the tough serving and big blocking game that was going on at the net.
For Penn State, putting up big blocks against the Hokies made a world of
a difference. The Nittany Lions recorded 15 total team blocks as Brown led the
team with six total blocks, two of them were her own solo blocks. Freshman
middle hitter Ariel Scott attributed to five blocks, and senior middle hitter
Fatima Balza had five, as well.
The block was one of the most effective things that the Nittany Lions
could use against a tough-serving and quick Virginia Tech offense. Penn State's
defense held the Hokies to a .031 hitting percentage in the second set, and
just a .154 average in the third and final set.
Penn State head coach Russ Rose said that the block was key to the
evening's match, and that he thought his team did a nice job executing the
skill. Rose noted that in order to beat the Hokies, he knew his team was going
to have to be tight at the net.
"We needed to block because I didn't think we would dig," said Rose.
"They run such a fast offense behind the block that in the second game we
weren't serving well and their fans were making a lot of noise and a couple of
our kids got a little tentative and you know one thing led to another."
Rose mentioned that most of the action during the night's match involved
a big block or a big kill.
" I thought if we could pass the ball that we could do some things well
and I thought Deja [McClendon] did a nice job attacking and Blair [Brown] and
[Arielle Wilson] had some moments where they couldn't stop them but really for
us tonight is was more about blocking," said Rose. "There were not a lot of
digs. I mean [D'Errico] had two digs after two games so there were not a lot of
balls that were being dug. They were either being blocked or they were kills."
Brown tipped her hat to the Hokies, saying that they were a tough team
to play against because of their speed and tough serving.
"They're very well coached," said Brown. "You can tell they run a very
quick offense. Tonight we needed to really work on our blocking and get that
down and we were successful there so I think that really helped us."
Brown said that she especially enjoys putting up a big block, and that
she and her teammates get an energy boost whenever they can take away a big
kill from their opponent.
"I mean I think any play that you make is an energy changer on the court
and that's one of them so if I can help bring the energy up that's what I'm
going to do."
Virginia Tech head coach Chris Riley said that he and his team knew what
they were up against, and he was pleased with the way the Hokies stuck with
every play they made.
"I couldn't be more proud of our team," said Riley. "We struggled
tonight but we played against a great Penn State group and you know they were
physical and they were humungous blocking."
Riley agreed that the Nittany Lions' blocking game was very effective,
and he attributed a lot of the Hokies' defeat to the height and talent of the
Penn State defense.
"We struggled setting the outside and playing on the outside and against
a team with 6-6 and 6-5 blocking you know you've got to be able to move them
around and you know we struggled to do that at times tonight," said Riley. "In
this environment for the first time of that kind of caliber you know at times
it got to us but in general I think our kids really enjoyed the atmosphere of
it and didn't really play tentative or scared at any time."
The Nittany Lions are excited for what lies ahead. Brown said that she
is proud of her teammates for coming such a long way this season, and knows
that Penn State will keep working hard to get where they want to be.
"I think every single game in the tournament you have to get better, you
have to progress," said Brown."This
whole year for us has been about progression and we just need to continue doing
that throughout the tournament."
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to the GoPSUsports.com match blog for
Penn State women's volleyball.We
are thrilled to bring you live coverage from press row at Rec Hall.
A berth to the NCAA Regional Semifinals is on the line this evening
inside Rec Hall as the Nittany Lions clash with the Hokies.The winner will advance into the
University Park Regional Semifinals, which will take place on Friday night
inside Rec Hall.
Check back for updates at the end
of every set and a wrapup after the match.
Set One: Penn State 25, Virginia Tech 22
It was a hard fought opening set in front of Rec Hall.Like we mentioned last night, the
Nittany Lion faithful did a tremendous job willing on the Nittany Lions as the
scoreboard see-sawed throughout the initial set.Penn State's largest was four in the first.The Hokies knotted the set at 19-19
after a kill.However, the Nittany
Lions mounted the clutch rally they needed to claim a one-set lead.Blair Brown kicked things off with a
powerful kill on the outside to put the Lions up one.The Hokies got within two (24-22), but Arielle Wilson finished
things off with a kill.Penn State's
serving wasn't as crisp as it needed to be, but the Lions made big plays at the
key time. The Lions hit .500 in the opening set, which is a very good sign.
Set Two: Penn State 25, Virginia Tech 22
Thanks to a furious rally, the Nittany Lions claimed the second set in
dramatic fashion.Penn State
trailed 15-10 mid-way through the set before an Ariel Scott block
kick-started the spurt.A pair of
kills from McClendon trimmed the Virginia Tech margin to just one (16-15)
before the Hokies burned a timeout.In all, the Lions mounted an 11-3 charge en route to a 21-18
advantage.Two key blocks from
Brown capped off the set victory for the Lions.It was Penn State's block and a big assist from the Rec Hall
crowd that fueled the come-from-behind victory.Despite hitting just .160, the Lions head into the break
with a commanding 2-0 lead.
Set Three: Penn State 25, Virginia Tech 13
The third set started just as the other two sets did.The Lions and Hokies battled for most
of the set before Penn State turned up the wick when it needed to late in the
going.However, the third-set
spurt came a little earlier than the first two.Penn State tallied a 9-2 run to claim a 19-12 edge after
McClendon belted a kill.Prior to
Penn State's late surge, neither team led by more than five tallies in the
match.Credit the Hokies for
playing very well in their first ever visit to the NCAA Tournament.But the Nittany Lions tallied a 3-0
sweep to move on.Crisper passing
and serving are crucial as the season continues. Brown led the way offensively
with 11 kills.The Lions hit .321
for the match.To reiterate what
Coach Rose said after the match, It is nice to advance in the month of
Quoting Coach Rose
"It was a tough match against a great opponent that played very hard.I thought Virginia Tech competed hard."
"We thought blocking would be key for us."
Penn State will return home on Friday night in the Regional Semifinals
against Oklahoma.The Sooners
edged Tulsa by a score of 3-2 to earn a trip to Rec Hall.Credit Virginia Tech for a strong
effort, but the Lions turned up the wick when they needed to.We are already looking forward to the
NCAA Regional semifinals and finals at Rec Hall next weekend.The other regional semifinal will
feature Duke and either Missouri or Northwestern.It is a great two days of volleyball leading up to a berth
to the national semifinals for one of the four teams in action.
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No.4-seed Nittany Lions defeated Metro Atlantic
Athletic Conference champion Niagara on Friday night in Rec Hall to take round
one of the NCAA Tournament.
Penn State swept the Purple Eagles, (25-12, 25-19, 25-15) and thanks to the win
at home the Nittany Lions set yet another record. The win over Niagara gives
Penn State the top spot in the history of NCAA Division I women's volleyball
records with a winning streak of 91 matches at home.
Senior middle hitters Blair Brown and Arielle Wilson got it done offensively
for the Nittany Lions as they each put down nine kills against the Purple
Eagles. Freshman middle hitter Ariel Scott and freshman outside hitter Deja
McClendon followed close behind with six kills each, and were forces to be
reckoned with at the net. Wilson led the team with a .643 hitting percentage
for the evening as well.
Senior defensive specialist and libero Alyssa D'Errico showed up ready to
play as she jumped up and down in excitement during warm-ups. The senior
co-captain gave everything she had, diving to dig up 11 balls on the night.
D'Errico impressed the crowd more than once with her fancy digs and commanding
serves. D'Errico put down services aces against Niagara.
Head coach Russ Rose said that he was thankful to be able to host the NCAA
Tournament again, and that he was relatively happy with the way his team
"I thought it was a match where we knew that Niagara was going to play hard
and you know we needed to make sure that we controlled the ball and I thought
we did a pretty nice job from the end line," said Rose. "It was a match where
we had an opportunity to control the ball. We didn't make a lot of errors but we
certainly put ourselves in a tough situation a few times."
The Nittany Lions put themselves into several tight spots during the second
set against Niagara, and Rose said these situations did not go unnoticed.
"I'm educated in the national championship pursuits and this wasn't a great
effort out there," said Rose.
Wilson agreed with Rose and said that she also noticed how she and her
teammates seemed to be playing down to the Purple Eagles.
"Usually though when you play a team with a slower pace you kind of get in
the mix of it all and so we just need to play our game and do what we can
control," said Wilson. "I definitely think we need more energy, a sense of
urgency and just have everybody trust each other and know that we got this."
Penn State now faces Virginia Tech in round two of the tournament tonight
at 7:30 p.m. The Hokies defeated the Delaware Blue Hens on Friday evening 3-0.
The three-time defending national champion Nittany Lions are not only looking
to improve their home-match winning streak, but also take one step closer to
their ultimate goal of a national championship.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Welcome to the GoPSUsports.com match blog for
Penn State women's volleyball.We
are thrilled to bring you live coverage from press row at Rec Hall.
Penn State opened its national title defense with a 3-0 win over Niagara
on Friday night.The Nittany Lions
will take on Virginia Tech on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
First Match Recap: Virginia Tech
3, Delaware 0
Virginia Tech cruised to a 3-0 victory in the opening match of the
evening in Rec Hall.The Hokies tallied
a 25-17 victory in set one.Delaware fought back in set two, but the Hokies made big plays when they
needed to late in the set to score a 25-23 victory in set two.From there, Virginia Tech rolled to a
25-18 win over the Blue Hens.The
Hokies made the most of their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.They will meet either Penn State or
Niagara in the second round on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
#4 Penn State 3, Niagara 0
Set One: Penn State 25, Niagara 12
Hosting postseason competition is a boost for any team.For the Nittany Lion women's volleyball
squad, Rec Hall provides an outstanding atmosphere for any match, let alone the
postseason.This group of Lions
has played exceptionally well at home throughout the season.The initial set of the first round in
the NCAA Tournament was no exception.Penn State jumped out to a 7-2 lead behind a nice boost from freshman
middle hitter Katie Slay.With the
score resting at 7-5, the Lions took command with an 11-1 spurt to claim an
18-6 edge.From there, Penn State
cruised to a comfortable victory.Freshman Ariel Scott led the way with four kills in the set.Penn State's size across the front line
has pushed the Purple Eagles back on their heels.
Set Two: Penn State 25, Niagara 19
Despite dropping the first set, Niagara was unfazed throughout a much
closer second set.The Purple
Eagles led for much of the first half of the set before the Nittany Lions
claimed an 11-10 edge.From there,
Niagara would get as close as 19-18, but Penn State turned up the wick in the
latter stages of the set.The
Lions closed things out with a 6-1 run, which was capped off with a thunderous
service ace from Alyssa D'Errico.After hitting .480 in the first set, the Lions managed just .208 hitting
in the second, which included four errors.Give credit to Niagara for playing hard in the second, but
Penn State owns a commanding 2-0 lead heading into the intermission.
Set Three: Penn State 25, Niagara 15
Like the second set, Niagara kept things close in the early stages of
the third set.Nonetheless, Penn
State again turned up the wick when it needed to mid-way through the final
set.Behind three straight kills
from freshman Deja McClendon, the Lions rattled off four straight kills to
claim a 15-6 lead.From there, the
Lions put things on cruise control en route to a 25-15 victory and a 3-0
sweep.The Lions hit .406 in the
third set and .370 for the match.Seniors
Blair Brown and Arielle Wilson led the way with nine kills apiece.The Lions now shift focus towards
Saturday's second round match with Virginia Tech.
Quoting Coach Rose
"As always, I am very appreciative of the administration for putting in
a bid and to all the people who have to do so many things to host an event like
"We knew Niagara was going to play hard.We needed to make sure that we controlled the ball...Ari
(Wilson) had a good night hitting."
The Nittany Lions move on to face the Hokies on Saturday night at 7:30
p.m.Virginia Tech looked good in
its matchup with Delaware.The
Nittany Lions will present matchup problems with their size across the front
line.Nevertheless, it will be an
interesting match on Saturday night.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The fourth-seeded Nittany Lion women's volleyball
team begins its NCAA title defense on Friday night at Rec Hall.
Penn State enters the tournament with the opportunity to become the
first team to win four straight NCAA titles in women's volleyball history.The Nittany Lions kick things off with
a 7 p.m. matchup with Niagara.Let's take a look at Penn State and the NCAA Tournament by the numbers.
State has won 90 consecutive matches at Rec Hall, dating back to Sept. 1,
2006.The streak is tied for the
NCAA women's volleyball record.
Nittany Lions enter this season's NCAA Tournament with 66 all-time tournament
64: The NCAA
Division I Women's Volleyball Tournament is made up of 64 teams.The draw has 16 seeded teams broken
down into four regions.In all, 16
different sites host NCAA First and Second Round competition this weekend.
34: The 2010
campaign marked the 34th consecutive season in which Penn State has tallied 20
or more victories in a season.
State will be making its 30th postseason appearance in 2010.Stanford and Penn State are the only
two schools that have qualified in every postseason since its inception in
State brings a 26-5 overall record into the NCAA Tournament.
Nittany Lions' first round opponent, Niagara, enters the postseason on a
19-match winning streak.
18: The NCAA
title will be decided on Dec. 18 at 8:30 p.m. in Kansas City, Mo.
16: The NCAA
Tournament field will be shaved to 16 teams after play concludes on Saturday
State has won 14 Big Ten titles since joining the conference 19 seasons ago.
coach Russ Rose was named Big Ten Coach of the Year for the 12th time earlier
8: The Big
Ten leads all conferences with eight teams in the NCAA Tournament field (Penn
State, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State, Northwestern and
State has won four national championships in program history.The titles came in 1999, 2007, 2008 and
Nittany Lions won their third consecutive national title in 2009 with an epic
five-set victory over Texas.
enters the NCAA Tournament as the top seed in the draw.The Gators' lone loss in 2010 came at
the hands of Penn State (3-1) in Gainesville on Sept. 10.
Stay tuned for a Penn State in-match blog throughout the weekend at Rec
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion basketball team returns home for
a matchup with intrastate foe Duquesne (3-2) on Saturday evening at 6 p.m.
The Nittany Lions come into the game 5-2 after Wednesday's setback to
Maryland.Get ready for the game
with the Dukes by watching assistant coach Dan Earl in the "Next Game Primer"
video scouting report.
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The University Park campus is the host of the first and
second rounds of the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Tournament this weekend.
The No. 4-seed Nittany Lions have earned the privilege to begin postseason play
at home in Rec Hall, and welcome three other teams to State College, as well.
Play will begin on Friday at 5 p.m. when the Virginia Tech Hokies take on the Delaware
Blue Hens. Penn State will then face Niagara at 7 p.m. The winner of each match
will then play against one another on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. to determine
which team will head into the regional semifinals.
Virginia Tech vs. Delaware
The Hokies and the Blue Hens have met four times in the past, and Virginia Tech
has reigned victorious each time. However, the two teams have not faced one
another since 1992, and the Blue Hens are coming off of their third CAA title
in just four years.
This is the first time that Virginia Tech has earned a bid to the NCAA
Tournament. The Hokies finished the season 10-10 in the ACC.Virginia Tech boasts a 19-11 overall
record heading into its first postseason appearance.
Sophomore middle blocker Cara Baarendese leads the Hokies offensively averaging
3.24 kills per set with a .380 hitting percentage. Senior middle blocker
Felicia Willoughby is not far behind with 2.74 kills per set and a solid .355
Expect junior setter Erin Leaser to run the offense as she has recorded 1,274
assists, while Willoughby and freshman middle blocker Victoria Hamsher put up
big blocking numbers. Willoughby has notched 1.03 blocks per set and Hamsher is
averaging .91 blocks per set, as well.
The Blue Hens enter the NCAA Tournament with an automatic bid by winning the
CAA. In conference play, Delaware only lost one match to Georgia State this
season, posting a record of 13-1 for 2010. The Blue Hens enter the postseason with
an overall record of 26-5. Delaware is riding a 14-match winning streak into the
Senior outside hitter Kate Dennehy leads the Blue Hens offensively averaging
3.87 kills per set with 388 kills on the season. Fellow senior and middle
hitter Paige Erickson holds the team-high hitting percentage of .296. The
6-foot-1 senior has also posted an impressive 1.24 blocks per set with total
Senior setter Jess Chason has guided the Blue Hens' offense this season with
1,195 assists for an average of 10.58 assists per set. Defensively, senior
defensive specialist and libero Greta Gibboney has held down the court
recording 5.49 digs per set. Both Chason and Gibboney share the spot as senior
co-captains for the Blue Hens, and are looking to lead the team to victory.
No. 4 Penn State vs. Niagara
The Friday night match-up between the Nittany Lions and the Purple Eagles will
be the first in Penn State women's volleyball history. Niagara returns to the
NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year as the team captured back-to-back
The No. 4-seed Nittany Lions are coming off of an award-winning week in the Big
Ten. Penn State not only captured its eighth consecutive Big Ten Title, but
also received a number of conference awards.
Senior middle hitter Blair Brown was named the Big Ten Player of the Year and
her freshman teammate and outside hitter Deja McClendon earned Big Ten Freshman
of the Year. Head coach Russ Rose was also named the Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Needless to say, the Nittany Lions owned the Big Ten s