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Spring Sports Media Day - Session One

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Feb. 6, 2018


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – As the spring seasons get underway over the next couple of weeks, the Penn State Athletic Department got things kicked off with the first of two sessions of Spring Sports Media Day. Coaches and student-athletes from six different programs met with the media to talk about their upcoming, or ongoing, campaigns on Tuesday (Feb. 6) inside the media room at Pegula Ice Arena.

The programs represented were men’s and women’s fencing, men’s lacrosse, women’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s track and field. Baseball, softball, men’s tennis and women’s tennis will take to the stage on Tuesday, Feb. 13 from 11 p.m. to Noon at Pegula Ice Arena.

Selected quotes from head coaches and student-athletes can be found below.

A full recap of the day can be found by clicking here.

Fencing
“As a program, we have bid on this [NCAA Championships] for a number of years, and it was great new when we found out we got it. This is what we have been looking forward to, the opportunity to compete for a championship at home. The last time we had the NCAA Championship here we broke the record for victories individual titles [at a single NCAA Championship]. We won four individual titles out of the six. I do not think it is possible to beat this, but we are looking forward to hosting the championships."
Head Coach Wes Glon

"We are going through the process, from weekend to weekend, from competition to competition. We are making adjustments, and so far, we have not had our best team competing at the same time. Someone is always injured or sick, but so far, we have not have a chance to put the whole team together and perform in one place."
Head Coach Wes Glon

It is very exciting to be hosting the NCAA Championships this year. Every time we compete, even in our road dual meets, it is a lot of fun. But, our home meets are a different environment. When we are at home, my family and friends are able to come, so it is a lot more fun.
Freshman Zara Moss

The NCAA Championship is a long event. It is two days [for both the men and women], with bouts going on throughout the day. The big thing for me is that you cannot let one loss roll over into the next bout. You have to refocus and reset and keep you momentum going. It is about extra footwork and extra preparation and keeping your fitness up.
Junior Karol Metryka

Men’s Lacrosse
“I think, first and foremost, these guys put a lot of time and effort into that. It was definitely a bitter ending, but keeping things in perceptive, especially at this point in the season. Every goal that this staff and team have put on the table is still very much relevant, other than maybe an undefeated season. I still feel very confident, our staff still feels very confident, and I get the sense our captains and seniors feel very confident. There were a lot of good things that went on throughout the game. I think, defensively, we feel very good about where we will be moving forward. Obviously, it wasn’t our best performance, but that group has a lot of pride and a lot of talent, and we will be better. I am confident there. Offensively, I thought we showed some life. Without one of our key components in the offensive end, it was nice to see some other guys step up. I think the combination of those two things is positive moving forward.”
Head coach Jeff Tambroni

“We talk to our guys about this a lot; there are going to be opportunities for everyone throughout the course of the season. It’s a long year. Whether it’s a day of practice or it’s a game, and there’s a self-less buy-in from each and every one of our guys. That might mean you don’t play, that might mean you play somewhere different than you are accustom to, but more mentally, than physically, we need you to be there. And Nick [Spillane], without hesitation, was excited about the opportunity. His selfless buy-in before stepping on the field allowed him to have the success that he did.”
Head coach Jeff Tambroni

“I think Mac [O'Keefe] understands his role and it probably needs to continue to change. Last year, he played alongside Grant [Ament] and senior captain Nick Aponte, which allowed him to play more of a complementary role. I think Mac understands his role, and maybe his productivity needs to go up a little bit this year. I think he was pushing it a little bit in the first game, maybe played with higher expectations than we needed. We need him to be Mac O’Keefe, no more, no less, but we need him to be Mac O’Keefe at his best. I think as long as he realizes that, or the sooner he realizes that, the better he’s going to be. When he’s locked in, both mentally and physically, he is an extremely opposing attackman.”
Head coach Jeff Tambroni

“My locker is next to Jack Kelly’s in the locker room, and before the game, on Saturday we had the music going in the locker room, and we were getting ready for the game, he looked at me and said to me ‘this is a lot of fun.’ When that comes from a freshman that is pretty cool to see. It gives you a little boost and reinforces why we all came to Penn State. I know it gave me a boost and you just knew that he was going to have a good day.”
Senior Tripp Traynor

“There are a lot of positives that we can take from our game [against Villanova], but as captains, we have to evaluate how we did as leaders and as a team we have to evaluate how we performed as a unit. We have to look at how we can grow offensively, defensively and overall. We feel like we can learn from last weekend and now we can move forward and gain some momentum by going 1-0 this week.”
Senior Tanner Peck

“One thing we stress as a team is putting some pressure on ourselves in practice so that when game day comes, that is second nature. We are going to face adversity, and we have to understand that we need to play as a unit in order to make an impact. It isn’t going to be one person; it is going to take all of us to accomplish what we what to accomplish this season...We want to be our best no matter who the opponent is.”
Senior Tanner Peck

“Playing with my brother (Brayden) has been a lot of fun. We played together in high school and to share my experience with him here at Penn State has been something truly special. It’s been special for my family and me. We are all lucky to be at Penn State, so to be able to share that with my brother is a truly humbling experience. It has also been fun to watch him start his own experience here at Penn State.”
Senior Tanner Peck

Women’s Lacrosse
“We’re really excited for the 2018 season. Every year is a little bit different here and that’s what makes it really fun as a coach. Every year it is so fun to see different leaders emerge and we are already seeing that. It’s going to be another exciting season, our schedule is super strong again, which I think is important to get you ready to compete in the NCAA Tournament.”
Head coach Missy Doherty

“I think it’s been a learning experience for a lot of people. We have a bigger freshman class coming in this year and we have a lot of returners who are ready to step up and earn starting positions. We graduated a lot of defenders, but it’s so great to see people stepping up into not only playing positions, but leadership positions. That’s the fun of sports, every year you have different stars emerging and so far so good for us when it comes to different people stepping up.”
Head coach Missy Doherty

“We have amazing captains Kayla Brisolari, Maggie Gallagher and Katie O’Donnell, but I really think in any great team you have more than just your captains being leaders. We look for anybody who is stepping into one of those starting lineup positions to serve as a leader in some capacity. Thankfully those leadership roles are emerging from a lot of different people and that’s what makes the game fun and will lead to some success.”
Head coach Missy Doherty

“I just love the players, I love the atmosphere our team creates, they always work hard and as coaches we are able to focus on other things because [the team] is taking care of work ethic and taking care of pushing each other and they make it fun for us to coach.”
Head coach Missy Doherty

“As a younger defense it is awesome to see everyone stepping up and how we are growing. We worked really hard in the fall to establish relationships, on and off the field. Those relationships are starting to show and we are really working well together.”
Junior Lucy Haubold

“It is always fun going to practice and competing against one another, but playing against another team is just a different feel. You can’t tell how much you have grown [during the offseason] until you play someone else and this weekend will be a great test for us.”
Junior Lucy Haubold

“It’s been a good competitive environment between Lucy [Lowe] and Maddison [Cunningham]. Both have come in and made an impact and they are working hard each day. They both make plays and they have put in the work, so it will be exciting to see who emerges as the season goes on. They are really good goalies and they are tough in practice.”
Sophomore Maria Auth

Track and Field
“As we finish up the regular season, the men are ranked seventh in the country, we currently have seven athletes currently ranked in the top-10 of the country with Dan Chisena in the 400-meters, Isaiah Harris in the 800-meters, and both the 4x400-meter relay and Distance Medley relays are ranked in the top-10. Bryce is ranked third in the triple jump still after this past weekend as well as David Lucas and Morgan Shigo in the weight throw.”
Head coach John Gondak

“On the women’s side, we have a lot of our sprint, jump and throw areas who have competed so far this year. Currently top-10 athletes are Danae Rivers in the 800-meters and Maddie Holmberg in the pentathlon. We have a lot of our top kids distance-wise competing this weekend so it should add to our rankings total. We go into the Big Ten indoor championships with the men who finished second last year indoors and the women are the defending champions and I think we’re in a good spot to make a title run on both sides again.”
Head coach John Gondak

“It is a lot of pressure trying to defend a title, but right now we are not the top ranked team in the Big Ten, so that kind of takes the target off our back and can help us relax and compete. We have a lot of younger people on our team that are talented and our seniors know what it takes [to win a Big Ten title], so we have to help them understand that it is going to be tough, but rewarding. It is going to be a lot of fun to go and try to defend our title from last year.”
Senior Lexi Masterson

“[Being selected team captain] is kind of an awesome way to end my five years on campus. Coming in as a freshman, I didn’t know what to expect, but this has been a great journey. To have my teammates put their faith in me to be one of our captains and help lead this team, it makes me want to work harder and help them continue to grow our program’s legacy here at Penn State.”
Senior Lexi Masterson

“It felt great to finally grab that school record. It is something you strive for from the time you get on campus. When you go into our team lounge each day, there is a school record board and you just want to have you name up there. To actually achieve that was awesome, but the bigger goal is always to compete for a Big Ten championship in both the indoor and outdoor seasons. It is a great feeling to have the record, but there is more work to be done.”
Junior Bryce Williams

“To be part of the first Penn State team to win a Big Ten title in track and field was pretty amazing. It is about much more than just winning, now we can look at one another and we all know that we can do this again. It is something you want to keep doing, and you can see that with the returning guys and in our newcomers. We want to that feeling again and the younger guys want to be a part of that, as well.”
Junior Bryce Williams

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