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Reppin’ In Rio: Penn State Alums See Action In Soccer, Volleyball, Fencing, Swimming, and Basketball in First Week of the Olympics

With nearly a week’s worth of Olympic action in the books, it’s time for an update on how your Penn State Olympians are faring, thus far.

USA Indoor Volleyball Portrait Shoot Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

We’re just about a week into the Olympics, and already we’ve seen several Penn Staters in action, whether it’s on the playing or coaching front. That reminds me: Please check out our primer on all Penn Staters participating in the Olympics if you haven’t already done so.

Any who, here’s a quick update on what you may or may not have missed, thus far:

Women’s Soccer

Ali Kreiger and Alyssa Naeher’s U.S. squad shut out New Zealand and France 2-0 and 1-0 respectively, while drawing 2-2 with Colombia, thanks to a last-minute goal by the Colombians when it appeared the U.S. was going to make it three wins in three games. Nonetheless, it was enough for the Americans to win Group G and advance to the quarterfinals, where as of the time this post is being published, they will be in the midst of taking on Sweden. Should the U.S. be victorious, they will face the winner of Brazil-Australia on Tuesday.

Women’s Volleyball

Alisha Glass, Christa Harmotto Dietzen, and the U.S. women’s team currently sit atop Pool B, having dispatched the likes of Puerto Rico (3-0), The Netherlands (3-2), and Serbia (3-1). They have already clinched a berth in the elimination rounds, despite having two matches remaining, including one against Italy later today before finishing with China on Sunday.

Men’s Volleyball

The U.S. team, led by a PSU alum trio of Matt Anderson, Max Holt, and Aaron Russell, have gotten off to a rough start, dropping straight sets to the Canadians and then getting beat 3-1 by the Italians. However, the Americans got a much-needed win over the hosts Brazil, beating them 3-1 last night. Anderson and Russell were especially active at the net for the U.S., with Anderson spiking home the set point in the second set.

Erstwhile, Carlos Guerra and the Mexican team find themselves basement buddies with the Americans in Pool A after suffering a 3-1 defeat to Brazil, and getting swept by France and Italy in subsequent matches.

With two games remaining in pool play, the U.S. will face France and Mexico will face Canada this Sunday before they face each other on Tuesday. There is a good chance that Tuesday’s U.S.-Mexico match could act as an elimination match of sorts.


Mexico’s Daniel Gomez-Tanamachi and USA’s Miles Chamley-Watson unfortunately saw early exits, with both foil fencers being eliminated in the second round. Meanwhile, on the women’s side, Katarzyna Trzopek and the U.S. women’s epee team finished in fifth place while Monica Aksamit will see her first glimpse of action as a member of the women’s sabre team competition beginning tomorrow

Men’s Swimming

Shane Ryan completed his stint with Team Ireland, reaching the semifinals of the 100-meter backstroke while also competing in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle events. He will return to Happy Valley to complete his final year of eligibility as a Penn State swimmer, looking to use his experience in Rio as a springboard to success this upcoming season.

Women’s Basketball

Japan’s assistant coach Tom Hovasse surely has to be a happy camper with his team having already clinched a spot in the quarterfinals, being one of the top four finishers in Pool A at 2-2 overall. In a heartbreaker of a game yesterday, Japan led the mighty Australians through three quarters before succumbing to them late in the fourth quarter in a 90-86 loss. Had Japan held on, it would have marked arguably the biggest upset in the Olympic women’s basketball tournament. Japan has one final game against France tomorrow before the move on to the knockout stage on Tuesday.


Wrestling doesn’t actually get underway until Sunday, but in case you missed it earlier this week, Frank Molinaro had some wonderful news to share with us via his Instagram page:

We here at BSD congratulate Frank on the new addition to the family and wish him the best of luck as he attempts to go for the gold in the 65kg class.