Pickin' Nits Plays for Titles

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

We demand excellence. Or something similar to excellence.

The past few weeks have mostly been Big Ten Title weeks for most of the Penn State sports athletic teams. Most of the teams have been competing in various Big Ten tournaments, and if they want me to love them, then dammit, they better win. Let's get into this, with music by music by Sacramento Kings guard/Seattle rapper Ben Macklemore.

Women's Soccer

  • The 24th ranked women's soccer team wrapped up its regular season two Fridays ago against Sparty in East Lansing. They won, 2-0. NOW ONTO IMPORTANT STUFF.
  • The team made it to the Big Ten Tournament, but got bounced in the second round by Iowa, 1-0. So...um...that's unfortunate. This has been a down yea for the women's soccer team, which sucks big time.
  • The Week (Or So) Ahead: The team picked up a #4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, which starts on Friday in Happy Valley. Penn State is 1-5-0 against teams in their region, so, um...pessimism.

Men's Soccer

  • It wasn't much better for 12th ranked men's soccer squad. They had two matches to end their season and went 0-2 with both losses coming on the road in double overtime. The team lost 1-0 to Ohio State, then four days later lost 2-0 to Akron. Bill Simmons would call this a stomach punch or a kick in the balls or a BAHSTAN SPECHAIL or something not funny anymore.
  • The Week (Or So) Ahead: The team takes on either Indiana or Michigan in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday, and the finals are on Sunday. Come on Penn State, score a goal, it's really f'in siiiiiimple...which reminds me, come watch USA/Scotland with American Outlaws: State College on Friday.

Field Hockey

  • Ninth ranked field hockey's winning streak finally came to an end. After winning an insane 12 matches in a row, the team lost to Michigan in its final match of the season, 2-1 in overtime. That sucks. TOURNEY TIME!
  • The team lost its first Big Ten tournament match to Iowa, 4-3 in overtime. Well, that's just the most unfortunate thing, isn't it?
  • The Week (Or So) Ahead: The team starts its run at a National Title begins on Saturday, when they take on #5 Princeton in Maryland. I believe in you, field hockey. I believe.

Cross Country

  • Cross country did their best Forrest Gump impressions in that they were an overrate movi...I mean they did lots of running...yeah...that's it. The team went to the Big Ten tournament in Indiana, where the women came in 4th and the men came in 9th. However, the best finisher for either team was Matt Fischer, who came in 3rd overall, three seconds off the winning time.
  • The Week (Or So) Ahead: Select runners will attend the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional in Bethlehem on Friday before traveling to the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana next Saturday. Keep runnin', runnin'. Keep runnin', runnin'.

Tennis

  • No women's tennis players qualified for the National Indoor in Flushing, New York, from what I can tell. That's unfortunate. Anyways, their season is over for a few months when the spring campaign picks up. Payce.
  • As for the men's team, they went to the William & Mary Invitational. Several Penn Staters put up solid performances, with Russell Bader, Mike Reilly, Marc Collado Castells, Nika Dolidze, and David Kohan all winning singles matches, and Reilly/Roman Trkulja, Bader/Matt Barry, and Kohan/Christian Lutschaunig winning doubles matches. Go team.
  • The Week (Or So) Ahead: Tennis is over for a bit. Good bye, friends.

Women's Volleyball

  • Second ranked women's volleyball is still insanely good. What else is new? They're cyborgs.
  • Anyways, after picking up wins in its last four matches since we last picked nits, the team has won 13 in a row and 20 of its last 21. I submit that they are playing well.
  • Here are their results. They dropped one set in four matches because of course: AT Michigan, 3-1 (16-25, 25-22, 25-20, 20-16); AT Sparty, 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-20); VS. Purdue, 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-21); VS. Indiana, 3-0 (25-16, 25-11, 25-11). They held teams under 20 points in a set seven times. Mother of God.
  • The Week (Or So) Ahead: Russ Rose's Travelin' Volleyball Murdin' Tour heads to Wisconsin and Minnesota this weekend, then hosts Northwestern and Illinois next weekend. Now, let's add some new people, shall we?

Women's Basketball

  • Why hello there, 13th ranked Lady Shootyhoopers! How've ya been? It's been a while, miss u.
  • The team started off its season by obliterating one team and easily skating by another. The Lady Basket Sport Athlete People beat up on St. Francis (PA) 117-77, then smacked Fordham 78-61 two days later. It's early, but Maggie Lucas is already averaging 28 points per game on the season, because she's better at basketball than you are.
  • The Week (Or So) Ahead: The ladies host UConn on Sunday and Bucknell on Wednesday before traveling to Grand Bahama Island for something called the Junkanoo Jam against Oregon State, then either Florida or Illinois State. Meanwhile, I'm spending my Thanksgiving break in Central Pennsylvania. I hate athletes sometimes.

Swimming and Diving

  • Hey guys! You smell like chlorine. I miss that smell <3
  • Both Penn State swimming teams are ranked 24th in the country, which is lovely symmetry, if I say so myself. The men's team swam thrice, beating West Virginia, 153-129, and Buffalo, 155-137, then competing in a dual meet against Virginia and Texas. They beat UVA, 191-162, but lost to Texas, 185-168.
  • As for the women, they swam twice. They defeated WVU, 152-102, but lost to both UVA (226-127) and Texas (242-111).
  • The Week (Or So) Ahead: Both teams swim at the Texas Invitational from Dec. 5-7, then they're done until 2014. They're probably not gonna be in here the next time we pick nits together. I am sad.

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