The women's volleyball team lost to Hawaii in the NCAA tournament on Friday night. For a program that won the past two national championships the loss could be seen as disappointing. The Lady Lions had a positive run and were it not the juggernaut that it is, the season would be more greatly appreciated. Russ Rose's squad lost six matches after losing only a combined five in the past two years. True to form, following the loss Rose had only classy words to speak about his team and the opponent.
I appreciate the effort of our seniors and players that played this year," Rose said. "We had a game plan but it didn’t materialize very well. They had a lot more confidence. We had some people who weren’t in the mind set to get things done. That’s our fault as coaches. I’m not disappointed in losing, we’ve had a season where we were not having this press conference. We have to keep our heads up. If another team beats you, then you give them the credit they deserve. Hawaii played terrific tonight.
Immediately following the loss SWH felt a sense of dread, knowing it would be the last time we would watch Megan Courtney, Kendall Pierce, Aiyana Whitney and Lara Caraway play for the Lions. The feeling lasted only a few seconds as coach Rose was shown on the television set shaking the hand of Hawaii coach Dave Shoji. Rose had a huge smile and was genuinely congratulating his competitor. The team will be back and ready to go next season.
The women's basketball team is off to a rough 4-6 start including a loss at the hands of St. Bonaventure on Saturday. The women have only one more game, on December 20 versus Sacred Heart, before the tough Big Ten season schedule begins. Coquese Washington's team only managed six wins last season after winning the Big Ten regular season title three seasons in a row prior to that. With six freshmen and only two seniors on the team it looks like this will be a rebuilding year.
The men's basketball team is in a similar position. While it has four seniors and is getting production from each, the majority of the talent is in the underclassmen. The team recently won a close game with Louisiana-Monroe in the second and final return to Rec Hall game of the season. Sophomore Shep Garner's late scoring contribution helped seal the victory. Freshmen Josh Reaves and Davis Zemgulis have shown flashes of the talent that they brought to Penn State. Zemgulis has only hit two three pointers thus far but his smooth stroke is evident. Reaves has shown his athleticism on several occasions with multiple dunks and blocked shots. The squad may be in for a tough Big Ten season but there is finally reason to believe that it is getting over the hump. Recruiting this year and next is at record levels and the team will have a much needed influx of talent next season.
The women's hockey team (4-12-4) is in the midst of a difficult season. It lost to Princeton twice last weekend and has won just one game in the past fourteen chances.
The men's hockey team (11-2-3) is off to the best start in program history. Guy Gadowsky's group has not lost a game in the past nine games, spanning six weeks. Tommy Olczyk was named the Big Ten's second star of the week after scoring a hat-trick versus Princeton. The team is also ranked in the highest spot in program history at No. 14 in the USCHO.com poll. It has also garnered the first ranking in program history in the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine this week, coming in at No. 15.
More importantly the team is also No. 9 in the PairWise rankings, the system that is used to emulated the process that the NCAA Selection Committee will use to select at-large teams for the tournament at the end of the season. Scheduling has worked out perfectly for the Lions this season. The team will face Robert Morris next in the Three Rivers Classic at the end of the month after taking a break for finals and the holidays. Both RMU and PSU are new to division one hockey and each are beginning to gain recognition.
Cael Sanderson's team mixed up the lineup and still was able to dominate No.15 Wisconsin for a 36-7 win last weekend. Here's Cari Greene's full recap. The final match of 2015 will take place this weekend when the boys travel to Lawrence Township, New Jersey to take on Rider. The match will be televised at 4 p.m. on Saturday on TCN. The Southern Scuffle will kick off the new year spanning two days, beginning on January 1.
Odds and Ends
The football team has begun to use the nutrition bar in the Lasch Football Building. The setup is pretty amazing.
Penn State has partnered with Dreamit to form an EdTech program. PSU was one of the ten to fifteen entities that will be chosen out of over 900 applicants for the opportunity.
The creamery will take the chance to do renovations over the December break and will be closed through January. Online orders will still be available in the meantime.
If you want to hear an absolutely glowing review of new Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead, look no further than PennLive, who spoke with his now former running back, Chase Edmonds. Under Moorhead's tutelage, Edmonds went from an unranked prospect who, at the time, had no offers to his name, and turned him into an FCS All-American.