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By Mike Esse, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff
dramatic 5-2 win over Villanova Wednesday, Penn State continues its 10-game
home stand Friday night with a three-game set against Central Connecticut
be the first true three-game home series of the season after last weekend's Big
Ten clash with Indiana was shortened to a Sunday double header due to weather.
Penn State head coach Rob Cooper and his squad are looking forward to
(hopefully) having a full weekend series at home.
playing at home and I love playing at Medlar Field and just want to get after
it Friday," Cooper said.
winners of four of its last five, has begun to string together wins since
returning from road trips down south in the late winter and early spring.
It's been late game comebacks in the past few wins for Penn State, something
that Cooper is proud of his team for.
to not think it's the end of the world when another team gets ahead and know
that you have the ability to come back and bring the next guy up.," he said.
"It's something as a program you have to learn how to do if you want to be
reason why wins have started to turn in favor of Penn State, is the Nittany
Lion bullpen, which had another big night on Wednesday. Led by junior Jack
Anderson, the bullpen has turned in 28 2/3 innings with an ERA of 1.26 and
collecting 27 strikeouts to 16 hits in their last five games.
as the weather still doesn't favor pitcher's ability to have longer outings,
having multiple reliable relievers has been a luxury for the Nittany Lions. Freshman
Sal Biasi has hit the ground running in his first season at Penn State. Biasi
has posted a 2.35 ERA in 15 1/3 innings with 16 strikeouts.
Biasi is a
perfect example of what Cooper wants from freshman when they first enter the
guys when we recruit them, 'I don't want you guys waiting around until you're a
sophomore or just try to make the travel roster, I want you to come in and be
the guy,'" Cooper said. "A guy like Sal, Marco, Lehman and those guy shave
tried to come in and make an impact. It allows us to say 'yeah this is who we
need to use here.' (Biasi) has earned that right."
ahead to Central Connecticut this weekend, Cooper said upon looking at CCSU the
Nittany Lions have a tough task ahead against a strong program out of the Northeastern
very well coached team," Cooper said. "Coach (Charlie) Hickey does an
unbelievable job. They're usually a team that fights for a conference
championship and has played in a regional before. It will be a heck of a test."
begins Friday at 5:30, with Saturday's game at 1:00 and Sunday's slated for
By Julie Bacanskas, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff WriterUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With the first ten games played, the Penn State
women's lacrosse team will enter the next portion of its season this weekend.
For the first time, the Nittany Lions will take on an opponent in its new
conference. This is Big Ten.
As the No. 15 Blue and White (7-3) travel to Rutgers (1-9) this weekend, they
will look to build off Tuesday's comeback win over No. 9 Stanford. Right now,
the team has momentum on its side. It wants this success to continue.
"It's exciting, a Big Ten Network game," head coach Missy Doherty said. "I
think we want to just keep getting better. We have to hold teams to less than
15 goals. It's still great that we outscored them [Stanford], but we need to do
our best job of limiting players. We'll look to do that against Rutgers."
While the team's defense may be the area Doherty is looking to improve upon,
the Nittany Lion offense has certainly been doing its part.
Penn State is averaging 14.2 goals and 31.2 shots per game. Leading the way in
shots is senior midfielder Tatum Coffey. She has attempted 41 through the opening
ten matches and has 21 points on the season.
Coffey is tied with sophomore Steph Lazo for second in scoring, and both sit
behind Maggie McCormick. McCormick has dished out 23 assists this season alone
and scored 15 goals of her own.
To emerge victorious on Saturday, the team will need its top scorers to
continue their hot streak. These leaders need to stay consistent and produce.
"Rutgers is always, even in any sport, they're always scrappy," Coffey said.
"They're always an athletic team. So, we're just going to bring this energy
that we had over to that game and throughout the Big Ten season. We're going to
win a Big Ten Championship."
Rutgers enters this weekend's matchup on a nine-game losing streak, and while
the Scarlet Knights may seem like an easy opponent to down, it is clear that
they will be hungry for a taste of success.
Nevertheless, the fact that Rutgers is scoring only 8.6 goals each game could
work in favor of the Lions' defense. This first Big Ten opponent is certainly a
team Penn State can hold off. It will just have to make sure it is putting
forth a strong effort throughout the entirety of the 60 minutes played.
This opening conference games marks the beginning of what will be an exciting
season of Big Ten lacrosse. The Nittany Lions have the chance to go up against
some of the top teams in women's college lacrosse, including the consistently
successful No. 1 Maryland, No. 4 Northwestern and No. 18 Ohio State.
While the Lions have been tested early in the season, the best lacrosse is yet
to come. They will have to make adjustments and tighten up in some areas, but
success is imminent for this group of Nittany Lions.
The team is anticipating some big victories and many upsets. As Coffey
mentioned, this group wants to win a Big Ten Championship. Penn State is ready
to give its heart and soul in this conference stretch.
But, the Blue and White will have to take these matches one game at a time,
starting with Rutgers.
At 1 p.m. Saturday, the Nittany Lions and Scarlet Nights will go head to head.
Big Ten women's lacrosse is about to begin.
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK. Pa. - It was a short offseason for the Penn State men's basketball team.
a run to the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals, head coach Patrick Chambers gave
his players a week off to clear their heads and reflect on the season. Starting
this week, however, the Lions wanted to get back into the gym.
excited and we've already started," Chambers said. "We already started our
spring workouts and our guys wanted to get back in the gym. That's exciting,
especially for me. We're going to start lifting [Monday] and I think they're in
a good place heading into the offseason."
Penn State went through plenty of ups and downs this season, three straight
wins in March, including two in the conference tournament, offer plenty to
build on for the future. With six players who averaged double-digit minutes
returning next season, the Lions will have plenty of experience entering their
the same time, there will clearly be big shoes to fill with leading scorer D.J.
Newbill graduating. Not only was Newbill the unquestioned leader of the Lions,
he scored nearly 31 percent of the teams points (20.7 per-game) in 2014-'15.
much as the team relied on Newbill the past three seasons, Coach Chambers
doesn't want a single player scoring the majority of the team's points next
season. In the Big Ten Tournament, the Lions got double-digit scoring efforts
from senior forward Ross Travis, sophomore guard Geno Thorpe and freshman guard
Shep Garner, a trend Chambers hopes continues in the future.
were close to averaging four guys the last six games in double-digits,"
Chambers said. "I'd like to see us play like that. I'd like to see really good
production. Now do I want to see the disparity between the leading scorer and
the second leading scorer? No, I don't. If we can get it to [five different
players averaging] 14, 12, 11, 10, 10, that's going to make us a very difficult
team to guard."
without one dominant scorer, it is likely that Penn State will continue to get
a bulk of its offense from its backcourt. Garner and Thorpe, two players that
showed exceptional growth this season, will be counted on even more.
true freshman, Garner started every game at point guard and scored in double
figures 15 times, while Thorpe showed such offensive improvement that Chambers
inserted the team's sixth man and defensive ace into the starting lineup even
though that meant shifting Newbill from shooting guard to small forward.
that doesn't mean that both players don't have room for improvement. Garner,
who averaged 9.1 points-per-game, will have even more ball handling
responsibility and will need to be more consistent. Thorpe, who improved his
scoring average from 3.2 to 8.8 from his freshman to sophomore campaign, will
need to continue to adjust to being relied upon on offense, as well as defense.
going to count on them a lot, for different things," Chambers said. "Off the
court first, leadership. And they have a lot to get better at and they know
that. We're just scratching the surface with both of them.
really shot the ball well at the end of the season, he was close to 40 percent
from three the last six or seven games. Shep gave us that roller coaster ride
but a maybe a little more consistent towards the end. I think his assist to
turnover ratio was outstanding the last six games."
Penn State has had a host of high-scoring guards in recent years, it will be
paramount for the Nittany Lions frontcourt to help them carry the load next
season. In Jordan Dickerson, Donovon Jack and Brandon Taylor, the Lions have
three rising seniors that Chambers believes are capable of doing it.
of the three, Taylor is the most accomplished scorer, having finished second on
the team in scoring this year with 9.3 points. His ability to score in the
paint and from the outside is shared by the 6-foot-9 Jack, while the 7-foot
Dickerson will look to further develop his postgame this summer.
think Jordan is coming, he shot 60 percent from the floor the last six games,"
Chambers said. "This offseason is going to be critical for him. We need to put
the ball inside, because it's going to put you on the free throw line, but
they've got to make their free throws too."
there will certainly be some transitioning to do as the Lions get used to life
without Newbill. With a top recruiting class featuring two ESPN top 100
recruits in Josh Reaves and Mike Watkins and Lithuanian star Deividas Zemgulis,
as well as rising sophomores like Julian Moore and Payton Banks, Penn State has
more than it's share of young talent.
goal however, is still to win. Players come and go every year in college
basketball, and Chambers is excited to coach the group that he has now.
think [the Big Ten Tournament] taught our program and our younger guys that we
can compete and we are good enough," Chambers said. "After that game (season
ending loss to Purdue), I didn't see a dry eye and I knew we were closer than
we've been. We're gonna be young but we're coming."
By Gabby Richards, GoPSUsports Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa. - When most kids are an 11-year-old, their career is usually the last
thing on their mind. Penn State women's gymnastics senior Alex Witt was
different; she has always known that she wanted to become a doctor.
the Florida native knew one thing for certain, aside from her desired career
path, she knew that she wanted to continue competitive gymnastics in college.
She needed to find a school that would allow her to excel in the classroom and
in the gym, and Penn State was that place.
up here was a huge adjustment for me," Witt said. "I was hundreds of miles away
from home. But, by the end of sophomore year, I was involved with clubs, doing
really well in school. You have to take advantage of everything this school has
junior year was a roller coaster ride; she missed the first eight meets of the
season due to a thumb injury. Witt's primary event is uneven bars and was
unable to train her upper-body for a good portion of the season.
was crazy," Witt said. "I had to have surgery on my thumb and then I was out
for three months. But, I never lost faith that I would be back at sometime that
season. I did walkthroughs with the team in the gym and was constantly doing
cardio. Uneven bars is my best event, so I knew I just had to keep my mind
three months of rehabilitation, Witt was ready to start to fight her way back
into the starting rotation.
had to shuffle some things around in the lineup before NCAA Regionals last
year," head coach Jeff Thompson said. "If Alex [Witt] didn't step up and
perform as well as she did on bars, I don't know if we would have made it to
the [NCAA] championships."
the 2014 NCAA Regionals, Witt delivered a career defining performance, scoring
a 9.850 on uneven bars. Her score not only lifted the team to the NCAA
Championships, proved to her that she was 'back' and ready to compete.
mentality that she has grown into because of gymnastics has influenced her
desire to become an emergency room doctor or even venture into cardiology.
an athlete has taught me how to deal with high pressure situations," Witt said.
"As an ER doctor, I would have to be aware of multiple patients at once. Being
able to focus and have a clear head is something that I have learned from this
sport. I know that I would be prepared for that line of work."
season, Witt has been consistent, delivery solid performances on bars at every
meet. She is not only a senior, but also a leader in the event category. Penn
State has always been solid, consistently, on floor and vault, but this year
Witt's dedication has forged a path for new success on the apparatus.
[Witt] is the type of kid you want to recruit," Thompson said. "She is a hard
worker, but she also knows how to have a good time. She makes you laugh and
really understands that you have to take the good with the bad and make the
most of it."
recently, Witt helped the team to a securing it's second highest bar score of
the season at the Big Ten Championships. Witt's 9.850 performance helped the
team to a 49.275 finish in the category.
just have to breathe," Witt said. "At the end of the day, it is just a sport,
you can't be too hard on yourself. Things aren't going to go your way 100
percent of the time. In club gymnastics, you only compete for yourself, but
college is different. Here, you compete for your teammates, coaches, all while
representing your school. If you keep perspective, everything will be okay."
By Miranda Kulp, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Sophomore Shelby Miller and freshman Alyssa VanDerveer led the charge as the Penn State softball team defeated Robert Morris 2-0 and 9-1 in Wednesday night's doubleheader.
The Lions made their presence known at the plate. As a team, strikeouts improved from 11 in the first game to only two in the second.
"I think comparing the two games, we seemed much more relaxed at the plate during the second game," said head coach Amanda Lehotak.
In the opener, the blue and white got on the board early with a pair of runs during the first inning with a single by VanDerveer and a throwing error by RMU.
Although the Lions weren't able to increase those runs, the team stayed focused and determined to prevent the Colonials from scoring.
"I would say defensive play is extremely important. Sometimes during a game we're faced with a pitcher, like Robert Morris's, who knows how to keep off us the bases and that's when the team really needs to adjust our hitting approach and make sure we're staying focused on the field," said Lehotak.
Although two runs may not be the biggest lead, pitcher Marlaina Laubach threw an impressive game by only allowing one hit through RMU's first six innings.
Ending the game with a 2-0 victory, the Lions took a break and came back with high energy and ready for a strong start for the second game.
"One of the biggest aspects of being a coach is making sure the team's energy is good," said Lehotak. "It's never easy playing back-to-back games and we want to make sure our players are feeling good for the start of the second game."
Penn State quickly got on the board. Reina Furuya was walked with bases loaded to set up a two RBIs by Mollie Sorenson.
"We started being aggressive early in the game, and I'm very happy with how we rebounded in game two" said Lehotak.
After tacking on another three runs, the blue and white increased the lead in the bottom of the fourth when Miller hit a homer to center field, bringing in two more runs to make the lead 7-0.
"I mean it always feels great when you get a home run," said Miller. " To me though it matters more that I was able to help my team today and I think we all did a great job being aggressive on the bases tonight."
Following Miller's lead, Alyssa VanDerveer hit her sixth homer of the season in the fifth inning.
"We showed a lot of focus while at bat and made sure we were swinging at the right pitches and that helped us get a lead early in the game," said VanDerveer.
In the beginning of the season, the Nittany Lions made it a mission to focus on the team's toughness and aggression while at bat and last night's game proved the team is heading in the right direction.
"I think one key aspect to the team's victory tonight was the general attitude we all had," said VanDerveer.
After Wednesday's sweep, Penn State will be back on the road with another B1G weekend series at Michigan State. The series will be a double header on Saturday followed by a Sunday matinee.
By Gabby Richards, GoPSUsports
Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- At the beginning of the 2014-2015 season, Penn State
women's basketball head coach Coquese Washington said one of her main priorities
was "to get to know the team." With only one senior this season, the Nittany
Lion roster was full of underclassmen, which meant new talent and new
personalities that Washington needed to braid into the Penn State women's
Out of the gate, the Nittany Lions were putting up an impressive fight
against opponents, despite being a young, inexperienced team. The pre-season
WNIT Tournament showed the potential of this team, as two of four losses were
determined by a single basket. This mentality of continued growth played out
throughout the season, a mentality their record didn't necessarily reflect.
Towards the middle of the season, the Nittany Lions were becoming more
aggressive inside the paint and getting better at shot selection. Redshirt sophomore,
Sierra Moore and freshman Lindsey Spann were offensive powerhouses,
successfully making it into each column of the scoring table. The dynamic duo
finished atop not just the scoring chart, but the steals and three-point
column, too. This leadership in the scoring position remained steadfast all
season, setting the pace for what is likely to be a more successful season next
"What I like to see is continued growth," Washington said. "We started to
do some good things as we closed out the season. I really want to see our
post-game continue to be a bright spot for us next year and to see us grow in
our ability to create easy shots."
With the graduation of senior Tori Waldner, the Nittany Lions lose one of
their tallest centers on the roster. The 6-foot-5 Lady Lion is leaving behind
some big shoes to fill, shoes that junior Candice Agee had started to fill
during the end of the season. Agee, who stands at 6-foot-6 has been a strong
post player for the Lady Lions, as she led the team in offensive rebounds and
blocked shots. Sophomore Kaliyah Mitchell stepped up this season, too. Mitchell
is aggressive, a skill that has helped her draw fouls, get the rebound and
break up the opposition's scoring drive, as she finished the season with an average
of 1.5 steals a game.
"Some of our incoming freshman will definitely fill some of the gaps that
we have," Washington said. "Shot opportunity will definitely be a big area for
us. I just want to see us build off of where we finished this season. Between
April and August we have to make some big steps, individually and collectively
as a team."
As the team closes out a rebuilding year, the record doesn't reflect how
the team has grown since the pre-season WNIT tournament. Wins and losses
define tangible success, but that doesn't always influence or create an
environment for a team to get better. The upcoming off-season will be a crucial
time for the Lady Lions to come back to the drawing board and adjust, even
more, to their roles on the court.
"We just need to learn to rely on each other," Agee said. "We just need to
work on figuring out when and how we can get the ball to each other on areas of
the court where we can be successful. That comes with knowing each other, and
we will only get to know each other better."
"Individual leadership is important," Washington said. "You have to start
working and improving now. You're not always going to be in the gym with your
teammates or a coach. It isn't always going to be spoon-fed to you; you have to
put in lots of time to get better. We talk to them about having individual
responsibility. You have to make time to get in the gym and get better."
Coach Washington has been through a similar situation before. When her 2010-11
roster fell short in the NCAA tournament, they were in the gym working shortly
after. That season lit a fire under the Lady Lions; it pushed them to get
better, to work harder
The following year, the 2011-12 team won the regular season Big Ten
Championship, achieving the same success the next two seasons as well.
"I think this group is
hungry," Washington said. "They want much better results next year. I have seen
Her faith in this team and their talent has never faltered. If there is one
thing the Penn State community knows for sure it is this: Coach Washington
knows how to harness drive and passion for the game, something no win or loss
column can accurately illustrate.
Here's to looking forward to the 2015-16 season.
By Anita Nham, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa - After finishing the regular season with five
wins, two second-place finishes and one loss, the Penn State men's gymnastics
team hopes to secure the program's third conference title in the Big Ten
Championships this weekend in Rec Hall.
"I'm a little anxious, but ultimately excited," said freshman Thad
Lawson. "To think the season is almost coming to a close is crazy. The days
have been long, but the weeks have just flown by and I've just been really
excited for the future."
The Nittany Lions will be reuniting with a handful of teams that they
have competed against earlier this season, but the results from those meets are
no indication of what the results will be for this weekend.
"I have no idea [what the results will be]," said head coach Randy
Jepson. "We haven't shown our best yet and I think we're getting closer to
where we can do that."
Penn State has been hard at work these past two weeks in preparation
for this weekend. With a conference crown on the line, the Blue and White have
been practicing a bit differently, but more strategically.
"We've been doing our routines the way we've been doing them the entire
season, but we've been doing more competition-style practices rather than the
regular traditional practices where everyone kind of does their own thing, just
to get used to having a way around the new routine and put on a little bit of
pressure," said senior Tristan Duverglas.
During practices, the men's gymnastics have been mainly focusing on the
little details - an important aspect to winning.
"Being consistent and sticking landings [is important]," said head
coach Randy Jepson. "The team that hits the most routines and sticks the most
dismounts is the team that's going to win this meet."
Duverglas adds that in order to win, it's important to never give up.
"The key to winning is definitely not beating ourselves," said
Duverglas. "We've done it in the past where we've kind of over thought things
or we didn't go out and do what we needed to do, so I think that's been our
biggest flaw. We kind of tip ourselves out of the competition, like we lose
meets because we lost them, not necessarily because we did a good job and the
other team was better, we just didn't have as good of a meet as we should have."
With this type of practice and better knowledge, the best meets and
routines are right in front of the Lions.
"I honestly expect us to perform better than we've performed in the
past, especially most recently," said Duverglas. "I think we've gotten to the
point where we know exactly what we can do and our biggest thing is that we
can't take ourselves out of the competition. We have to stay focus, put all our
energy onto us and not worry about what other people are doing."
Duverglas, the captain of the men's gymnastics team, plans to lead the
team to success by constantly encouraging his teammates.
"[I'm going to] be there for the team," said Duverglas. "I'll be the
loudest one cheering. If someone messes up and falls, I'll let me know that
'It's okay and we all mess up sometimes,' just to get their head back in the
game. Being if I mess up, then I get my head back in it and really be a support
The Nittany Lions recorded a perfect home record this season and hope
to continue that feat as they perform in Rec Hall for the conference title.
"I think [being home has its advantage], but not necessarily
score-wise, but just how it feels to compete. Being surrounded by thousands of
Penn State fans and people here to cheer us on, that energy is unlike anything
else, so being able to have that at home and really immerse ourselves in it, I
think it'll give us a bit of a confidence boost."
Even with a competitive atmosphere this weekend, there is a lot respect
between all the teams.
"It's going to be a spirited meet and it will be a lot of fun" said
coach Jepson. "These guys [in the Big Ten] have grown up together. They've been
doing gymnastics together with these other guys and these other teams around
the country since they were nine, ten years old, so everyone knows everyone.
They've competed against each other forever and there's a lot of rivalry. It's
a lot of fun, but when the meets over, it's really kind of nice because the community
of gymnastics is such that these are friendly rivalries. We support each other
and these are good quality coaches and good quality teams."
By Maria Canales, GoPSUsports.com
Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The
Nittany Lions are eager to begin their second season as they open Big Ten competition
for the first time in program history. As they look ahead to Ohio State, the
Nittany Lions prepare to take on their long-time foe.
Discussion of Big Ten
lacrosse started several years ago, when Maryland and Rutgers were in talks to
join the conference. With the addition of honorary member Johns Hopkins, Penn
State joins five other teams for the inaugural season of Big Ten lacrosse. Head
coach Jeff Tambroni applauds the fellow programs in the conference for their decorated
history within the sport of lacrosse.
"With the addition of teams
like Johns Hopkins, Rutgers and Maryland the competition is not only raised but
the exposure of those particular programs and how tradition rich they are,"
said Tambroni. "Those are the blue
bloods of college lacrosse and the attachment of our association with them as
well as Michigan and Ohio State just makes for very exciting opportunities."
The level of competition
increases as Penn State continues their 2015 campaign, but the Lions are poised
to take on every team, one game at a time.
Another welcomed change to
the rest of the season, other than the level of difficulty, is the exposure
Penn State will get from the Big Ten. With the rest of their games on
television, Penn State will see national attention and be thrown into the spotlight
every coming weekend.
"You certainly get a lot
more exposure because the Big Ten wants to promote one of their sports on
television," said Tambroni. "Through
regular season games all the way to our conference tournament, the exposure is
Coach Tambroni believes the
television component will be vital in marketing the Penn State lacrosse program
to a wider audience. Making the game available to previously unreached
audiences is vital for the program to build a larger fan base.
"I think [television
exposure] is going to do a lot for the sport of lacrosse and I also believe it
will do a lot for Penn State," said Tambroni.
Penn State will open Big
Ten play against border rival Ohio State. The Nittany Lions have faced the
Buckeyes every season under head coach Jeff Tambroni. Most recently, Penn State
defeated Ohio State 11-8 in Columbus last March. This weekend's game will be
vital in setting the tone for Penn State's identity as a Big Ten contender.
"I think no matter what the
records are this is always an extremely hard-fought game," said Tambroni. "I think both teams compete hard against one
another. You know when you play Michigan and Ohio State, you know kind of the
founders of the Big Ten lacrosse conference, and these guys go after each other
Tambroni knows the new Big
Ten conference boasts powerhouses in the sport of lacrosse, but believes with
the beginning of the season to build off of, the Nittany Lions have what it takes
to hang in a tough crowd.
"There's a lot on the line
now," said Tambroni. "It's not just Ohio
State-Penn State it's the first game of the Big Ten and you want to get
yourself off to a good start in the Big Ten conference and secure each and every
win that you can because those things are going to be so valuable in the end."
Tambroni and company have
been working on emphasizing the team aspect of the game. Working as one will be
a key component to the Lions' matchup against Ohio State.
"I want to maximize the
talents of this team, not necessarily each individual, but the talents of this
team and I think if we can do that, regardless if it's the first time we've
ever competed in the Big Ten or we've done it for years," said Tambroni. "We
just want to make sure we can look back and do it without regret."
Tambroni emphasized that
with this inaugural season as members of the Big Ten, wins aren't the only
focus. Building a strong foundation for Penn State amongst the other member
teams is just as important.
"Hopefully we develop the
kind of relationships that are going to last a lifetime and that have nothing
to do with the scoreboard," said Tambroni.
As the Big Ten games kick
the season into full gear, Penn State is prepared to fight for every goal and
every save, and demonstrate their strengths for the community.
"At the end of the day we
would hope when someone walked away from one of our games they would say 'man
that team plays hard, man that team really cares about each other' and it makes
anybody who's associated with Penn State very proud to be associated with the
same team that's on the field competing and playing for them," said Tambroni.
Penn State takes on Ohio
State Sunday at 3 p.m.
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
Pa. - Even on a tough night at the plate, Greg Guers couldn't help but feel he
was due for a hit.
It was the eighth
inning of the Penn State baseball team's contest against Villanova, and the
junior was 0-3 on the evening. Still, he found himself in a situation every
batter dreams of; tie game, bases loaded, two outs.
"I was trying to
get a pitch I could handle," Guers said. "We do a lot of mental game
preparation, with confidence and staying with things. Even though I was 0-3, I
thought, 'I'm in the biggest spot of the game right now I've got to contribute
to the team.'"
After fouling off
pitch after pitch, Guers finally saw a ball he liked on a 1-2 count and drove a
shot to the right center gap for a double that cleared the bases and gave the
Lions an eventual 5-2 win and their third victory in the past four games.
On a night in which
Penn State's pitchers shined throughout, Guers gave the offense a much needed
boost as the Lions threatened multiple times earlier in the game but stranded
10 runners on base.
In a way, it was
fitting that Guers delivered the winning hit. Dating back to last season, the
Langhorne, Pennsylvania native, has been counted on as a lynchpin in the
lineup, hitting third or fourth last year and currently batting second.
While Cooper has
always felt Guers is one of the most talented hitters the Nittany Lions have,
he believes the designated hitter and outfielder has turned a corner since last
season by improving his mental approach.
what's really awesome about it is last year at this time he wouldn't have been
able to do that," Cooper said. "He'll be the first one to tell you, he's really
made a choice mentally to battle and fight and compete. I had just gotten done
writing down, 'that's an unbelievable at-bat,' and he smokes a ball. Big time
It was the second-straight
game that Nittany Lions broke out offensively towards the end of the game, as
they used a two huge innings in the seventh and eighth to beat Indiana 13-7 on
Sunday. This time around, James Coates walked, Ryan Richter poked a single up
the middle and Alex Malinsky blooped a fly ball that the right fielder couldn't
catch to set up Guers at-bat.
According to Guers, the Lions were calm entering their half of the eight, yet
still determined to get a run across after watching pitchers Geoff Boylston and
Jack Anderson battle all night.
"We had a lot of
situations to score guys today and we didn't do that but I think everyone has
confidence in whoever comes to the plate in that situation," Guers said. "I was
just lucky to be that guy. The dugout's fine and the dugout's pumped up for
anyone in that situation.
pitching well the past week or two, so today it was great to get them a win
again. We're confident in them and they're confident in us."
The Nittany Lions
pitchers certainly have been on form since the team returned home last Wednesday
against Canisius. Similar to that game, it was Boylston who held down the fort,
even if things weren't as smooth this time.
A week after he
struck out a career high eight batters in an 11-1 win over the Golden Griffins,
the senior put down just three batters against the Wildcats. Regardless, he
battled for 5 1/3 innings and gave up just two runs, one of them unearned.
Anderson entered and looked dominant, giving up just one hit in 2 2/3 scoreless
innings before freshman Sal Biasi picked up the save in the ninth.
"When you have
those two guys, they're great pitchers," Boylston said of Anderson and Biasi.
"Jack you see time and time again gets it done. I never had a doubt in my mind
and Sal's a great arm too. There's never worry when those guys are in."
It may not have
been the prettiest win, but it was a win regardless. The Lions are now 3-1
since retuning home, and Cooper said he is impressed with the fight his team
has shown recently.
"We could have
played better defense, could have pitched better could have hit better," Cooper
said. "But to their credit, they made the choice and battled back into it and
By Meghan Miceli, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.
- With the 2014-'15 season drawing to a close, six Nittany Lions have the
opportunity to race one last time. After a quick turn around from the Big
Ten Championships, Penn State is headed back to Iowa City for the Men's NCAA
Coming off a seventh
place finish at Big Tens, the Nittany Lions have spent the past three weeks
preparing for this meet and making the appropriate changes to their training.
The main focus for NCAAs will be strong morning swims in order to score in
"We are focusing on
getting a second swims in our races," said senior Nate Savoy. "We know we
have to swim really fast in the morning in order to do that."
The NCAA competition
is the most selective meet in college swimming. In order to participate,
swimmers must reach or surpass a specific time standard. At the beginning of
the season, time standards are released for each event, which are referred to
as "A" and "B" cuts. In order to receive an automatic invite to the meet, a
swimmer must achieve an "A" cut. Once conference meets are finished,
swimmers with "B" times are then invited based on their ranking in an event.
Typically the top 37-40 swimmers in each event receive a bid for NCAAs.
Two swimmers who
qualified individually for Penn State are senior Nate Savoy, and junior Shane
Ryan. Both Savoy and Ryan have qualified for NCAAs in years past, and
have led the Nittany Lions in points this season.
Savoy will be
competing in the 100 and 200 backstroke, which he placed second in at the Big
Ten Championships. Savoy is also the current record holder for the
Nittany Lions in the 200 backstroke.
Ryan qualified in the
50 and 100 freestyles, as well as the 100 backstroke. At Big Tens Ryan
took home a bronze in the 50 freestyle and a gold medal in the 100 backstroke.
He also had the eighth fastest time in the 100 freestyle.
The four other
Nittany Lions to compete at NCAAs are: senior Kyle Madley, junior Matt Grillo and sophomores Bob Bantley and Andrew
Schuehler. The trio will participate in Penn
State's relays alongside Savoy and Ryan.
Last year Penn State
had its best finish in over a decade, finishing 17th place. The Nittany
Lions were within 10 points of their finish at the 2001 NCAA Championships,
which was their strongest in history.
This year the Nittany
Lions look to improve upon that finish, and are focusing on scoring big in
"We have a good chance
to score in our relays which will be huge points for the team," said Savoy.
Relays rack up the
most points for teams. A first place finish in a relay is worth almost
double the points as a first place individual event. Strong relay
performances can make a huge difference on a team's total score as well where
they finish in the meet.
Nittany Lions are seeded in the top 20 for the 200 and 400 medley relays and
the 200 and 400 freestyle relays.
Live results for the
meet can be found online at hawkeyesports.com throughout the duration of the