Lucas, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY
PARK, Pa. - The Penn State track and field teams had a superb weekend at the
prestigious Penn Relays Carnival at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pa., coming
away with five championships.
Brittany Howell started the meet off for the Nittany Lions on Tuesday with the
heptathlon. Howell had a comfortable lead after day one of the two-day event.
She cruised to a victory Wednesday with a season-best of 5,084 points.
Loht followed up Wednesday securing her first collegiate Penn Relays title and
her second ever, the first coming as a high school senior. The junior's first
throw of the day was the winning effort sailing 154-6.
track Wednesday Natalie Bower posted a personal best in the 3,000-meter
steeplechase. Bower's time of 10:13.58
is the eighth fastest time posted at the relays and third fastest in the Penn
State record books. The senior's time was good enough to rank her No. 20 in the
nation and No. 3 in the Big Ten.
The men's team was able to come away with its first distance medley relay
victory at the games since 1959. The team of freshman Brannon Kidder, junior
Brandon Bennett-Green, senior Casimir Loxsom and sophomore Robby Creese won the
event in 9:24.68. Their time now ranks them No. 1 in the school record books.
Kidder and Loxsom followed up their record setting performance with a second
consecutive victory in the 4x800-meter relay during the final day of
competition. Adding freshman Za'Von
Watkins, the group finished the race in 7:14.14.
men's 4x400-meter relay team also had a strong performance at the relays.
Sophomore Matt Gilmore, freshman Alex Shizler, juniors Bernard and Brandon
Bennett-Green posted a time of 3:06.21. The result was good enough for the
group to be ranked No. 17 nationally and No.3 in the Big Ten.
women's team also put its 4x400-meter relay team into the national rankings at
the relays. Freshman Kiah Seymour, redshirt
junior Mahagony Jones, redshirt freshman Shelley Black and sophomore Dynasty
McGee raced to a time of 3:33.47 good enough for No.20 in the nation and second
in the Big Ten.
Evonne Britton makes her first appearance in the national rankings after her
performance at the Penn Relays. Britton clocked in with a time of 58.56 in the
400-meter hurdles, good enough for No. 24 in the nation and No. 4 in the Big
men's team slipped slightly in the national rankings this week, dropping down
two spots to No. 13.
outstanding performances, Penn State was not ranked in the DMR and the
4x800-meter relay because the two are not official NCAA outdoor track events.
Rankings as of April 30, 2013
Big Ten Rank
Matt Gilmore, * Alex Shizler,
Bernard Bennett-Green, Brandon Bennett-Green
Renahan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff
Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany
Lions travel to Baltimore this week to begin play in the American Lacrosse
Conference tournament. Penn State has earned the No. 3 seed after going 4-1 in
conference play and earning a shared conference title with the Florida Gators
and Northwestern Wildcats. The conference title is the first in Nittany Lion
Penn State will open their conference
tournament play against the No. 6 seed Vanderbilt Commodores. The Commodores
and Nittany Lions met in Happy Valley earlier this season, Penn State won the
showdown, 20-14. Penn State will look to
improve its defensive efforts against the Commodores. The 14 goals they allowed
against Vanderbilt is tied for second most allowed this season, they allowed 20
in a loss at Maryland.
"I think overall, you know defensively, we
just have to be ready to make more of an impact, not sit back and wait, but try
to get out and make things happen. I think sometimes we get a little on our
heels a little bit, so we have to be ready to be maybe a little more
aggressive. We've continued to get better defensively, but Vanderbilt can
score, they see each other well, they feed each other well, so being able to
get in front of the cutters and stop their transition will be key for us," coach
Missy Doherty said.
The 4-1 record in conference play is the best
under Doherty in her three years in Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions recorded
solid victories against top conference foes Florida, Johns Hopkins and Ohio State,
all of whom were ranked in the top 20 at some point during the regular season. Florida
was ranked No. 2 when the Nittany Lions defeated them. Penn State outscored its
ALC opponents this season 68-62, which showcases how talented this conference
Against Vanderbilt on March 17, Penn State
started slow but dominated late to earn the victory. Maggie McCormick paced the
team. McCormick, a sophomore attacker, recorded six points against the
Commodores, scoring five times and assisting on another. McCormick has seven
points against the Commodores in her career.
"Maggie is awesome. She is just a great
person, a great competitor, she is very unassuming. Ever since her freshman
year, she just doesn't get fazed by pressure," Doherty said. "People will
pressure her behind, they will put double teams to her and it just doesn't seem
to really faze her. Having someone like that as a freshman, and then a
sophomore, has been great for our attack. She has really stepped up when we
need her to be a little more aggressive, were always trying to challenge her
with new things and she has been really receptive to what we would like her to
do. But, you know, having that leader down there especially as a sophomore has
been great for our team."
The win against Vanderbilt was the beginning
of a 7-2 run to finish the 2013 season for Penn State. It was also the team's
first conference win in 2013. The Nittany Lions are looking to advance past the
semifinals for the first time under Doherty. Last year, they fell to the Johns
Hopkins Blue Jays In the first round. In Doherty's first year, Penn State
advanced to the semi-finals before falling to the Northwestern Wildcats.
Penn State has a career record of 3-0 against Vanderbilt under Doherty. They
have outscored the Commodores 43-33 in those three games, and have controlled
the pace of the game against their conference foe. Although the Commodores have
been struggling going 2-14 and 0-5 in conference play this year, Doherty knows
how important it is to not overlook any competition in postseason play.
"Well if there is anything good thing that I
can bring out of the Princeton loss it would be [not overlooking teams],"
Doherty said. I think we know that we have to be ready to finish our shots. We
didn't shoot very well at Princeton. We have to take advantage of every play
that we have. Any team that is ready to play is ready to play. We know
Vanderbilt is coming in and wanting to make a run at the tournament, so they're
not going to be backing down from us, for sure. I think they're up for it. I
think they're ready to improve from our past game this weekend and they're pretty
fired up to get better."
The Nittany Lions will look to continue an offensive attack that features
several players. Along with McCormick, junior Mackenzie Cyr, senior Molly
Fernandez and sophomores Kelly Lechner and Tatum Coffey have played major roles
in the offensive gameplan. The four have all scored over twenty goals this
season and help bring a balanced attack to the Nittany Lions.
"I think to compete at a high level, you
can't just have two or three scorers, you really need to have a balanced attack
and I think going into this season we were always wondering how big our young
players would come up, how mature they would play, how much of an impact they
would make and it's been nice to see as the season progressed some young people
really be impact players and you can kind of see that in our offense," Doherty
The Nittany Lions also have a core of young
players that have grown up throughout the season. Three freshmen, in
particular, have played significant roles for Penn State during the regular
season. Jenna Mosketti, Ally Heavens and Madison Cyr have all registered 15
goals or more in 2013, and much to the pleasure of their coach, they show no
signs of slowing down. Doherty said she
regardless of their youth, the young players are ready to go.
"You know, I think they're just competitors. I mean, I think it's one of the
reasons why we've been able to be successful, is they're just ready to compete,"
Doherty said. "They came here to Penn State wanting to compete at the highest
level and, thankfully, they've done that for us this year. I don't think you
change in preparation, we've been preparing to make our mark on the season all
year, and this week will be no different."
"It's been just great to see the maturity in
our young players. Obviously, we've played some great teams with great pressure
and they really have to be able to handle that pressure," said Doherty. "We
were wondering at the beginning of the year how mature they would be, and they
love the pressure. I think they come up with big plays at big times, they're not
fazed by the team were playing, they just want to compete. You see Kelly [Lechner]
having kind of a monster year for us at midfield. Jenna [Mosketti], the
freshman, being the four time rookie of the week for our conference, when our
conference is so competitive, I think is awesome. Across the board [Mosketti] is
just solid in every category."
Penn State will have to improve its
performance on the road if it hopes to advance to the semi-finals or the finals
of the ALC tournament. After going 10-7 away from home in Doherty's first two seasons,
the Nittany Lions have gone 4-5 in 2013. Their most recent loss came at the
hands of the Princeton Tigers, 14-9.
Along with improved defensive play,
goalkeeper Emi Smith looks to improve on her latest performance against
Princeton. The freshman played just over 27 minutes, allowing nine goals and taking
the loss. Doherty believes Smith will be ready to go come game-time.
"I think it's a tough position to be in,"
Doherty said. "To be able to handle that
pressure as a young player is hard, but were behind her 100 percent and we know
that she can have an amazing game on Thursday and were going to just be ready
to prepare to do that."
"Luckily we had a good experience down at
[Johns] Hopkins a couple weeks ago, so, you know, the field brings back some
good memories," said Doherty. "It's
tournament time, it's postseason time. You know, our girls have been in exams
all week and ready for them last week, so those will be over, thankfully. We're
ready to go and we know how big this tournament is and were coming down there
to give it our best, so it's not really hard to get up for our conference
The game is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. on
By Pat White, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Senior Jack Forster (Jenkintown, Pa.) put it
short and sweet. "Right now we are focused on winning a championship."
Forster and the No. 9 Nittany Lions (11-3, 6-0 CAA) prepare for their
first-round, home matchup in the CAA Championship against fourth-seeded UMass
(7-7, 2-4 CAA) at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Penn State Lacrosse Field.
Penn State closed out a perfect 6-0 CAA regular season last Saturday in
a 16-7 win at Hofstra. Forster was named Co-CAA Player of the Week after
notching five goals and an assist to up his point total to 52 on the season.
His 99 career goals are fourth all time and his 143 points rank seventh on Penn
State's all-time list.
Head coach Jeff Tambroni said that Forster has come up big in the last
few games coming down the stretch. He called his performance "signature Jack
"He has played terrific for us all year long," Tambroni said. "When
we've needed a goal, or some energy, or something coming out of halftime or
needed a play on the field...he has been there, as you would expect from a senior
leader and captain. He has provided everything and then some on and off the
However, Forster isn't ready to celebrate his statistical accolades just
yet. He wants to save that for after his career is over. Right now, his sights
are set advancing past the first round of the CAA Championship for the first
time in program history.
"That is all great and it's going to be a great thing to look back on
when I'm done here," Forster said about climbing in the record books. "But
right now we are just focused on winning a Championship, a CAA Championship
here and focusing on UMass tomorrow."
The Nittany Lions were losers of three straight games before knocking
off the reigning CAA Champion UMass 7-5 on March 16. It was the start of the
current nine game winning streak that Penn State is riding heading into the CAA
Championship. Senior Nick Dolik (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) scored his first goal
of the season in the win, and now ranks fifth on the team with nine goals and
The victory was a turning point in Dolik and the Nittany Lions' season.
Dolik said the team learned a lot down the stretch to get to the point they are
"As the year goes on, it's good to have a steady incline of how you're
improving," Dolik said. "Just learning from earlier in the season from what
good and bad things could have happened."
Dolik said that both teams know each other well and that the game will
feature the same intensity as any other CAA contest.
"We know it's going to be a battle in the CAA, especially us and UMass,"
Dolik said. "Every little play counts and it's going to be a fight out there."
Tambroni said that preparation will be more challenging with the short
week of practice leading up to the game.
Tambroni said the familiarity for both teams is helpful in game
planning, but that Penn State still has to compete on the field. He is
preparing for an offense that is effectively simple, but still averages 9.36
goals per game with a man-up unit working at 37.5 percent.
"They do what they do, and they do it very well," Tambroni said. "They play so
hard and compete up and down the field and believe in themselves. You have to
prepare for the intangibles and get the guys to compete as hard, if not
UMass' senior attacker Will Manny is the facilitator of the offense with
31 points in just nine games. Kyle Smith leads the team with 29 goals and 47
points. Grant Whiteway and Connor Mooney added 23 and 20 goals respectively.
In order to keep the Minutemen offense in check, Penn State will lean on
junior goalie and Tewaaraton Award nominee for the best player in college
lacrosse, Austin Kaut (Morton Pa.). The Penn State defense has been a major
component in the nine game winning streak the team is riding. The unit has
allowed just 5.66 goals per game over the streak, helping Kaut lower his goals
against average to 6.95. He has been the backbone of the team and will play a
major factor if Penn State is to advance.
Tamboni said the team is motivated to get out of the first round of the
CAA Championship for the first time during his tenor. Being ousted on their
home field is something that Tambroni doesn't want to happen again.
"We've been the host last three years," Tambroni said. "We've lost two
of these games, one at the hands of UMass. We want to keep this momentum going
and understand the opportunity we have here at home and take advantage of
In the beginning of the season Tambroni said that he wanted his team to
build confidence over a long period of time. The confidence level is high
within the locker room, but Tambroni knows that being overconfident against a
talented UMass team can be costly.
"As long as you utilize that confidence appropriately, place it on the
field and help you play at your potential than it can be a good thing,"
Tambroni said. "If we become complacent and don't prepare the same way...it can
be a very dangerous thing."
Forster said the team will come out with swagger and focus leading up to
the matchup with the Minutemen. He has been here through good and bad times
with the program, and is excited to hopefully share more success with the home
"It's great for our fans here at Penn State and it's what we set out for
in the beginning of the year," Forster said. "We have achieved that goal and
now have to actually win the next game against UMass."
Penn State and UMass are set to face off at 3 p.m. today at the Penn
State Lacrosse Field for the semifinal of the CAA Championship.
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -
The 12-stop Penn State Coaches Caravan kicked off on Monday before enthusiastic crowds of more than 225 in a sold out event in Reading and more than 400 during an evening stop in downtown Philadelphia.
The Penn State themed Fullington Trailways bus pulled out of the Bryce Jordan
Center parking lot at 8:10 a.m. en route to the Penn State Berks Campus. Take a look through some highlights on day
one, which included an evening stop downtown Philadelphia, of the six-day
Stop I - Reading (Penn State Berks) Head coaches Bill O'Brien and Patrick Chambers headlined the initial stop
on Monday morning to begin leg one of the second Coaches Caravan. Both head coaches participated in a media
session on the Penn State Berks campus before addressing a sold out crowd.
"The band is back together," Chambers joked as he opened his speech.
VIDEO: Reading Press Conference with Coach
O'Brien and Coach Chambers
During the morning bus ride, Chambers and O'Brien shared stories and coaching
insight during the entire two-plus hour trek to Reading on Monday morning. The two leaders have a great relationship,
and both are excited to be back on the road for the Coaches Caravan. At the first stop, the duo moved around the
entire gymnasium at Penn State Berks, walking from table to table as the crowd
at its lunch to shake hands and say hello to all of the Penn State fans.
After introductions and a brief video, Chambers took the microphone first
during the formal lunch program. Always
passionate, the leader of Nittany Lion basketball delivered a powerful speech
about the progress the Lions made on the hardwood despite facing adversity in
Chambers told the capacity crowd that All-Big Ten guard Tim Frazier is nearly
back to 100 percent and looking ahead to what will be an exciting fall with the
Big Ten's top two leading scorers from last season - D.J. Newbill and Jermaine
Marshall - back, along with the conference's second-leading rebounder - Ross
Travis - in 2013-14.
"There is a buzz about Penn State," Chambers said. "People want Penn State basketball to be
good...I wish the season started tomorrow."
Chambers, who hails from Newtown Square, shared stories of his childhood trips
to the Reading area and updated the crowd about Reading native Donovon Jack.
O'Brien then took the microphone and told the crowd that Chambers is a tough
act to follow because of his energy and passion with everything he does. But both head coaches spoke with great enthusiasm
about not on their own programs, but Penn State University during Monday's
Heading into his second season at the helm of the Nittany Lion football
program, O'Brien took Monday morning as an opportunity to thank the Penn State
fans for their support of the football program.
He delivered a direct message to the crowd in the room that their
support of the Penn State athletic department has never been more important.
"We wanted to come out and show our appreciation for everything you do,"
O'Brien said. "We need your support more
than ever and we need to be unified."
While he provided an update on the 2013 team as it heads into the summer,
O'Brien's message was to thank the fans for their continued commitment to
support Penn State in everything it does on the field and in the classroom.
"A full Beaver Stadium and a full BJC is a statement about a whole lot more
than just football and basketball," O'Brien said.
Stop II: Philadelphia (Hyatt at The Bellevue) The Coaches Caravan bus drove 65 miles south east to stop No. 2 of the
caravan on South Broad Street in downtown Philadelphia. Coach O'Brien and Coach Chambers participated
in a press conference prior to the dinner program inside the Hyatt at The
VIDEO: Philadelphia Press Conference with Coach O'Brien and Coach Chambers
From the moment they
walked into the Grand Ballroom inside the second floor of the historic Hyatt,
Chambers and O'Brien were fired up to address a crowd of more than 400 Penn
State fans and alums on Tuesday night.
"It is so great to be back in Philadelphia," Chambers said. "What a great place to be right here on Broad
Street; it feels like home. It's great
to be here."
The Philadelphia product addressed the enthusiastic group first with an
energetic and rousing speech about the importance of maintaining a positive attitude
regardless of what circumstances a team faces.
Chambers received several ovations during his speech as he remarked
about his team's fight and ability to continuing pushing forward.
After detailing the returning talent on the hoops squad, Chambers told the
hometown crowd that he borrowed a line from O'Brien's playbook for the upcoming
season, and he said to look for the 2013-14 Nittany Lions to run some
"NASCAR"-paced offense. As he wrapped up
his speech, Chambers earned a well-deserved standing ovation.
"It's always great to come back to the City of Brotherly Love, especially with Coach
Chambers," O'Brien said as he stepped to the microphone.
The leader of Penn State Football again delivered a straightforward,
impassioned speech to the Caravan crowd. O'Brien said that there is no more
important time than now for Penn State fans.
"The success of our students is why we are here," O'Brien said.
Both Chambers and O'Brien share the same vision on the importance of thanking
the Penn State fans for their unwavering support. And both will continue to express the
importance of the Nittany Lion community joining together to support the
University and athletic program they love.
"You win as one team," O'Brien said.
"That's what it is going to take to rise above what we are up against."
Both coaches did a tremendous job engaging the audience with energetic speaking
presentations. Fans who do not have
plans to attend one of the 10 remaining sessions on the Coaches Caravan,
register today. You will not be
disappointed with what you hear and see.
The Caravan rolls into Baltimore for lunch and Washington, D.C. for dinner on Wednesday. Lady Lion head coach Coquese Washington and
three-time defending NCAA champion head coach Cael Sanderson join the Caravan
Miles Covered on Day One - 203 miles
Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
By Michael Renahan, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - At the end of each season, head coaches sit down and
reflect. They think of the ups and downs. They think of the wins, the losses,
the growth of their team and the growth of their players. Whether the team is
preparing for the postseason or not, the coach will still reflect on the
regular season that was.
It is not hard to see what coach Missy Doherty thinks of her team as she
reflects. You can hear it in her voice; you can see it in her eyes. She's
proud. She looks up and down this roster and can't help but feel proud of her
players. At one point this season, she didn't have a set starting goalkeeper.
Now she has an established, effective goalkeeper for years to come. At one
point, her team was too young and too inexperienced, now they all play like fifth-year
"I think they're a bunch of fighters," Doherty said. "They're competitors. I
think competiveness sometimes has trumped our inexperience. They're in there to
compete and they've continued to get better and learn and learn, but regardless
of that they're going to come out and compete. Thankfully, at the beginning of
the season, you never know how much you're going to be adversely affected by
the lack of experience, but the fact that we have such competitors on the team
has pushed us through some situations where the other team might be older or
more mature than we were. But overall, it's been a fantastic season, pulling
out some big wins against huge teams and we're just really excited about
Doherty has seen her young players like Jenna Mosketti, Maggie McCormick
and Kelly Lechner become phenoms for the program. At the same time, she has seen
her veteran players like Molly Fernandez and Mackenzie Cyr continue their
Individually, the Nittany Lions were recognized numerous times throughout
the 2013 season. Mosketti was named ALC rookie of the week four times. Defender
Colleen Shea was named ALC defensive player of the week. Tatum Coffey was named
WomensLax.com co-player of the week. All in all, five Penn State players were
honored with individual awards.
It took some time to get going in 2013. The team started 4-3 and was still
getting into their groove. They struggled to find their footing defensively and
the offense still lacked synergy. They had setbacks against some of the best
teams in the country, like Maryland and Loyola. The Nittany Lions had a long
way to go in 2013, but they met each challenge and never once backed down.
"Sometimes when players come in they bring their own confidence and we have
a lot of young players that are confident in themselves," said Doherty. "It's
easier to coach them when they bring their own confidence than then it is when
they're always questioning themselves. Thankfully, a lot of our young players
have brought in their own confidence and belief in themselves and we've been
able to move them forward coaching wise to guide them down the right paths."
As the season progressed, they took down teams like Virginia, Florida, Ohio
State and Johns Hopkins. Never once did they not seem prepared for the
challenge or ready to take it on with a full head of steam. They raised their
practice tempo and intensity, as well as their game speed and tenacity. They
started dominating teams at home, never once losing.
An offense that was still working out some kinks early in the season has long
been forgotten. They were scoring, and scoring a lot. They out-ran and
out-worked each of their opponents. It's no surprise Doherty is proud of this
"I'm super proud. I think a goal of a coach is to be able to witness the
team really experience some firsts and really experiencing being the best and
to be able to sit back and watch them come up with big plays and achieve
awesome things, that's the fun part about being a coach," Doherty said.
In February of this year, the leadership of the Nittany Lions was in
question. With only three seniors on the roster and a core of freshman and
sophomore players, the team was expected to lack leadership.
They proved that expectation wrong. All of the younger players, along with the
older players, played crucial leadership roles and stepped up to fill the void.
They worked out problems on the field and adjusted to the way teams played
them. Whether it is a senior to a freshman, or a freshman to a senior, each
Nittany Lion communicated on the field, and communicated loudly.
"Just to know that this team is going to grow up together is an exciting
team. It's not a thing where our team is going to change much for the next two
years, really," Doherty said. "That's our challenge as coaches, we're really
happy with how we've done but how can we get so and so better? How can we get
better for low-D? We don't want to be the same team this year next year and
that's why I love coaching this team, because everyone is really good and it is
a challenge to figure out how we can make things better, because they do things
"We're continuing to grow form the leadership side, were continuing to grow
kind of as a unit," said Doherty. "Thankfully, we have some great players that
individually come up with big plays at big times, but going into post season
you really have to have that complete team effort to talk it up and work
together. That's continuing to grow and I think as our team gets older that
will be easier to do."
The 11-5 record marks the best season under Doherty in her three years in
Happy Valley. As a team, they out-scored
opponents by 36 goals. Nine players scored ten goals or more for the Nittany
Lions, while six players created ten turnovers or more. Penn State was paced by
Maggie McCormick, who finished with 72 points after scoring 40 goals and
assisting on 32 others. On the other end of the field, Katie Guy led the Nittany
Lions with 30 created turnovers.
What were weaknesses had become strengths. They have a steady goalkeeper in
net. They have a solid offensive unit. They have a defense that works
incredibly hard, and of course, they have youth. They use their speed and will-power
to beat you. They won games that came down to the wire, as well as blowouts.
They've won outdoors and inside, on the road and at home.
The Nittany Lions earned a share of the American Lacrosse Conference title.
They now enter the conference tournament as a No. 3 seed behind Northwestern
and Florida. Their first game is on May 2 against Vanderbilt, who they beat
20-14 earlier this season.
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.
- Thanks to three-straight sets of some of the best volleyball that the Nittany
Lions have played all year, Penn State swept Harvard in the conference
tournament final and won its 15th-straight EIVA title on Saturday night.
On their home court
for the last time this season, the Lions came ready to play and literally ran
on all cylinders to out-hit, out-serve and out-dig the Crimson.
Harvard head coach
Brian Baise said that once Penn State got hot, there really was not stopping
"They were just
extremely sharp and focused for the entirety of the game," said Baise. "We
really weren't able to put any pressure on them and they just didn't let up."
After two sets, the
Lions had made just one hitting error and were playing nearly perfect
volleyball. Collectively, the team finished the night hitting at a clip of .474
and dealt seven service aces from behind the line.
Junior Peter Russell
led the team with 14 kills on .875 hitting and said that while he was happy to
have played well as an individual, he was even more impressed at the way
everyone in blue and white performed.
"It's really tough to
stop a whole, well-rounded attack," said Russell. "If you look at the numbers
really the whole team played very well and hit a pretty high percentage. I
wasn't that surprised though - I know that our team is a very, very capable
team of playing like this."
His younger brother
and teammate Aaron Russell followed with 10 kills on .273 hitting and said that
once he and the Lions got rolling, there was no turning back.
"We just played
confidently and we kind of came in and just took care of business," said
Russell. "We knew what we had to do and we just did it. We didn't care how we
did it, we just wanted to win."
The Lions were
relaxed and focused from the opening serve forward. And as fun as winning an
EIVA Championship can be, the team said that what's next is what it's really
looking forward to. The conference championship earns Penn State a bid to the
final contest of the men's volleyball season at the 2013 NCAA Tournament in Los
Angeles, Calif. next week.
Just four teams from
Division I volleyball advance to the semifinal in Pauley Pavilion on May 2nd,
and freshman Matt Seifert said that to be one of those teams is everything he
had hoped for.
"Honestly going from
last year, my redshirt year, and sitting back and watching the team win it and
being a part of it this year and contributing, it's a cheesy cliché but it's
like a dream come true for me," said Seifert. "This is what I wanted when I was
in high school and to be here is pretty awesome."
Penn State will meet No. 1 BYU in the NCAA semifinals on Thursday inside Pauley
Pavilion in Los Angeles (11 p.m. ET).
The winner moves on to face the winner of No. 2 UC Irvine and No. 3
Loyola Chicago in the national title match on Saturday (9 p.m.).
Unlike Seifert, the
Lions' head coach Mark Pavlik has taken the trip to the national tournament
before. Having won the national title in 2008 and knowing what it takes to do
so, Pavlik said that the biggest advantage that his group of athletes have is
"This has been a true
team in every sense of the word throughout the entire year," said Pavlik. "Everybody's
on the same page and everybody's doing a real nice job of controlling what they
can control and that works for us."
Lucas, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Freshman Rachel
Fatherly made her Penn Relays collegiate debut Thursday competing in the shot
put, discus and hammer throw.
However, Fatherly isn't a rookie when it comes
to the prestigious games. At last year's event she took the women's high school
title in the shot put with a toss of 47-5.
"Coming in, I took an indoor mark, so
coming in I wasn't seeded very high," said Fatherly. "It was good to
come out as an underdog. It was one of the best competitions of my life."
"We literally went back and forth,"
said Fatherly of the competition between her and Theresa Picciallo of
Immaculate Heart in New Jersey. Picciallo was one of the top high school
throwers in the nation in 2012.
"It showed competitiveness and who wanted it more," added Fatherly.
This year in the shot put, Fatherly wasted no
time showing she'll be a force to reckon with the next few years. Last year's
Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state champion captured third-place
with a toss of 47-11.25.
The Williamsport, Pa. native's success began
earlier in the day when she placed sixth in a field of 24 girls in the hammer toss.
Not bad for an event she's still learning to master. Fatherly's best throw came
in at 173-0.
"It was very interesting because I didn't
grasp the concept very well," Fatherly said about learning the weight toss,
and indoor event similar to the hammer toss. "I started out with hammer
pretty well and I'm excited to see where I can be because I had a good start.
Just listening to my coach and following him, I think the sky is the
In her final event of Thursday's action,
Fatherly finished at No. 11 in the discus with a recorded throw of 151-0.
Fatherly attributed her ability to find
success so early in her career to a smooth transition into college. With her
hometown being roughly an hour away, for her it feels like she never left.
"It feels like home, so I don't have to
worry about thinking about my parents because they can easily come up,"
she said. "I feel like the Williamsport community is behind me and
supporting me 100 percent of the way."
It has helped her focus in on her goal of
hitting the 50-foot mark in the shot put and qualifying for the NCAA first
rounds in all three of her events.
Coaches Caravan Registration - Click Here
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - With spring practice in the books, head coach Bill
O'Brien, along with seven other Penn State coaches, are set to embark on the
2013 Coaches Caravan beginning April 30.
Building on last year's successful road tour, O'Brien and Nittany Lion
basketball coach Patrick Chambers will kick off this year's 12-stop excursion
in front of a sold out lunch crowd on the Penn State Berks campus in Reading on
April 30. The bus will then travel to
Philadelphia for an evening session featuring O'Brien and Chambers.
"I'm really excited. We decided to do
the Caravan again because we thought the turnout last year was excellent,"
O'Brien said. "We are looking forward
again to getting out there and connecting with the alums and fans and all the
people who support our athletic program, and obviously the football program."
"I'm fired up. It's going to be great to
get to Reading and Philly; I'm going back home," Chambers said. "It's going to be great to see a lot of the
alums, a lot of the fans. I thought it
was great last year. We had such a good
Day two (May 1) of the Coaches Caravan kicks off in Baltimore with a lunch stop
with a full lineup of leaders - O'Brien, Chambers, three-time defending NCAA
champion wrestling coach Cael Sanderson and two-time defending Big Ten women's
basketball champion coach Coquese Washington.
The quartet will also be the headliners at the May 1 evening reception
in Washington, D.C.
The first week of the Caravan will conclude with a lunch stop in Lancaster and
an evening stop in Camp Hill (Harrisburg) with O'Brien, Sanderson and five-time
women's volleyball national champion head coach Russ Rose on May 2.
Among the coaches slated to join O'Brien on the road during week two of the
Coaches Caravan are field hockey's Char Morett, men's volleyball's Mark Pavlik,
Chambers and men's hockey's Guy Gadowsky.
"These people reach out to us all the time - they come to our games, they send
us letters, they e-mail us," O'Brien said.
"I think it is really important for us to return the favor, so to speak,
to get out there to meet them and talk to them and to reiterate all the things
that are great about Penn State and its athletic program."
GoPSUsports.com will again board the modified Fullington Trailways motorcoach
for all 12 stops on the Caravan. Look
for photos, video and written content from all 12 locations as the Penn State
Coaches Caravan hits the road for six days in the coming two weeks.
Watch O'Brien and Chambers preview the 2013 Coaches Caravan. Register today for a stop near you, and we
look forward to seeing you on the road.
2013 Coaches Caravan Schedule Week One:
April 30 Penn State Berks; Reading (lunch-SOLD OUT)
Coaches: Patrick Chambers, Bill O'Brien
Philadelphia (evening reception)
Coaches: Patrick Chambers, Bill O'Brien
May 1 Baltimore (lunch)
Coaches: Patrick Chambers, Bill O'Brien, Cael Sanderson, Coquese Washington
Washington, D.C. (evening reception)
Coaches: Patrick Chambers, Bill O'Brien, Cael Sanderson, Coquese Washington
May 2 Lancaster (lunch)
Coaches: Bill O'Brien, Russ Rose, Cael Sanderson
Harrisburg/Camp Hill (evening reception)
Coaches: Bill O'Brien, Russ Rose, Cael Sanderson
Week Two: May 7 Penn College of Technology; Williamsport (lunch-SOLD OUT)
Coaches: Char Morett, Bill O'Brien, Mark Pavlik
Allentown/Breinigsville (evening reception)
Coaches: Char Morett, Bill O'Brien, Mark Pavlik
May 8 New York City (lunch)
Coaches: Patrick Chambers, Char Morett, Bill O'Brien, Mark Pavlik
Scranton (evening event)
Coaches: Patrick Chambers, Bill O'Brien, Mark Pavlik
May 9 Penn State DuBois (lunch)
Coaches: Guy Gadowsky, Bill O'Brien, Mark Pavlik
Pittsburgh (evening reception)
Coaches: Guy Gadowsky, Bill O'Brien, Mark Pavlik
GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony
By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
PARK, Pa- Even after taking college gymnastics by storm all season, Penn State
freshman Trevor Howard managed to save his best performance for last.
in the NCAA Championships for the first time, Howard put on a dazzling display during
the floor exercise to earn a score of 15.800 and claim the individual national
championship on the event.
before I began I said my prayers and was just hoping to rock it," said Howard.
"When I stuck my first landing, I felt great and then I just carried [the
momentum] on through the routine stick by stick."
performance, which topped Howard's previous best of 15.400, gave the Nittany
Lions their first national champion on floor exercise since 1963.
coach Randy Jepson, who joked that he was only three years old the last time
Penn State had a national champion in the event, was thrilled to see Howard win
finally get another national champion on floor [exercise] is outstanding and
I'm absolutely thrilled for him," said Jepson. "Having to come out in the NCAA
finals as a freshman is a lot of pressure and he crushed [his routine]."
a season in which he was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week a conference record
eight times, Howard entered the weekend knowing he could hold his own with the
country's best gymnasts.
the Columbus, Ohio native said he didn't necessarily expect to finish first in
an event after he was forced to miss several weeks in the middle of the season
because of a concussion.
pushed myself after my injury to make sure I was where I wanted to be at the
end of the year," said Howard. "Coming out as a national champion when there
are guys out there who hit equally difficult routines is just crazy."
a day after the Nittany Lions finished in fourth place in the team finals,
Howard stated that he was extra motivated to perform at his highest level
to his fuel was the fact that four members from the national champion Michigan Wolverines
had also qualified in the event.
I was looking to get back at those Wolverines [for winning the NCAA team
championship]," said Howard. "It felt great and I feel a lot better [on Sunday]
than I did on [Saturday] night."
the Penn State fans in the crowd at full throat, Howard had plenty of energy
and excitement behind him as he took the mat.
excitement only increased after Howard's score was announced, which sent the
Nittany Lion faithful into a frenzy.
was great to be in Rec Hall with such a great crowd," said Howard. "There's no
feeling like it and I can't explain it."
reaction from the fans was rivaled only by Howard's teammates, who took turns
mobbing him in celebration after his routine was finished.
he may have been the Nittany Lions biggest star of the afternoon, the freshman
made sure that his teammates also received their fair share of credit.
was awesome to see so many guys from Penn State come through on multiple
events," said Howard. "To see Parker (Raque), Adrian (Evans), and everyone else
was just awesome."
Howard, the most memorable moment of the afternoon was having the opportunity
to stand on the top of the podium in front of his own school's fans after being
named national champion.
Penn State's fight song was played over the loudspeakers, the freshman took a
moment to let it all sink in.
definitely took a picture of it in my head," said Howard. "Having the banner
raised behind me and being on top was an incredible experience."
who nearly broke into a sprint to congratulate Howard after his routine, didn't
hesitate to declare the new All-American as one of the most impressive freshman
to come through the program in his time as head coach.
also qualified for the individual finals on the parallel bars and the vault,
Jepson stated that he sees an extremely bright future ahead of Howard.
had some great freshman over the years but there's no question that he ranks
amongst [the best]," said Jepson. "He's competition savvy and he's clearly demonstrated
that he has an innate ability to perform on the biggest stages."
By Mike Esse, GoPSUSports.com Student Staff
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State enters their three-game weekend series at
Ohio State (25-13, 9-6) with an 11-25 overall record and a 2-10 mark in the Big
Ten. However, there are a lot of things that record might not tell you as the
Nittany Lions look to win their second straight Big Ten series.
For the first time all season, numerous Nittany Lions are contributing, whether
it is in the field, on the mound or at the plate.
It's not just one or two guys, it's six or seven guys each day, and that is
what has allowed them to turn the page and play better baseball.
"Anytime you look at teams that are having success they have several guys
throughout the lineup that are contributing and we [have had] that," said
assistant coach Eric Folmar. "Now you are starting to see [production] from
different guys offensively and on the mound and there is no question when we
have that kind of production throughout the lineup, it's a great thing."
The stats can prove Folmar's point true as in Penn State's last five games,
which they are 4-1, Penn State has at least seven hits in each game and at
least six different players have gotten a hit in each of those games.
Head coach Robbie Wine is now seeing players like sophomore's Aaron Novak and J.J.
White produce from the bottom of the lineup and combining that with the
production Penn State has seen from the top of its lineup via James Coates,
Elliott Searer and Luis Montesinos, the offense is rolling at the right time.
Continuing to get this production against Ohio State is very important,
especially against a Buckeyes pitching staff that has been very efficient this
Ohio State's pitchers boast a 2.94 ERA, which is third in the Big Ten behind
only Indiana and Minnesota. The Buckeyes have also struck out 261 batters, the
second most in the conference, and that makes getting timely hits even more
important this weekend.
"They're going to be around the plate, so when we get guys in scoring position
we are going to have to execute," said Folmar. "They have been really good on
the mound so when we get a guy one base and move him into scoring position, we
have to execute."
On the other side, Folmar is also looking at the pitching staff to produce this
weekend, which is something they have done as of late. Cody Lewis has been
strong out of the bullpen along with Ian Parvin and a host of other Nittany
If they can throw strikes and get help defensively, Folmar believes Penn State
will be in each game of the series.
"It's pretty simple on the mound for us. I think our guys are very capable and
are going to go out and throw strikes for us," he said. "Defensively we have to
be clean and we have to make the plays."
Arguably the biggest positive for Penn State as they are set to open the series
with Ohio State on Friday is that its mindset hasn't changed at all this
Even when they were struggling, Wine's team was positive. Now, with wins in
four of its last five games, they still aren't satisfied and that in itself is
a good thing.
"The record is not at all what we want it to be, but the one thing that has
been constant is that they have battled," said Folmar. "They have worked from
day one in the fall to today. They continue to get after it in practice and
work hard. There is no quit in these guys."