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Penn State Sports Roundup: Current WNBA Player Added to Lady Lions Staff

New coaches, conference awards, and more

WNBA: Finals-Las Vegas Aces at Connecticut Sun Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State’s womens basketball team will have an interesting new staff member with the addition of current WNBA player Natisha Hiedeman.

She was announced as Director of Player Development on Monday, a role that likely means a lot of individual workout time with current Penn State players.

Hiedeman has been with the Connecticut Sun for the past four years and averaged 9.1 points and 3.3 assists per game in the recently concluded season, her first as a full-time starter. The Sun lost in the WNBA Finals to the Las Vegas Aces.

Beyond that Hiedeman, a Marquette graduate, will be able to clearly communicate the expectations of head coach Carolyn Kieger.

“After playing for Coach Kieger for four years, I’m eager and excited to work alongside of her at Penn State,” Hiedeman said in a press release. “I’m looking forward to making a positive impact on the players and guiding them to be the best athletes and people they can be.”

The Lady Lions open play on Nov. 9 when they play host to Norfolk State.

Mens Hockey Opens with Wins

Penn State’s mens hockey team opened play last weekend with a pair of home games against Canisius.

Three different Nittany Lions tallied five total points on the weekend as Penn State came away with a pair of wins.

Ryan Kirwan tallied a goal and an assist in the 5-2 opening win at Pegula.

A night later, Penn State held on for a 7-5 victory in a contest that saw six total goals scored in the third period. Senior Kevin Wall had a goal and three assists in that win.

Wall, Kirwan, and Ture Linden each have five points through two games to lead the now No. 20 Nittany Lions (2-0), who will be home again at Pegula on Thursday and Friday for games against Mercyhurst.

More Player of the Week Honors

Junior defenseman Lyndie Lobdell was named College Hockey America Defensive Player of the Week.

Lobdell scored a goal in a 2-1 loss to Colgate last weekend. Overall, it was a tough weekend for the No. 12 Lions, who dropped a pair of games to No. 6 Colgate.

Meanwhile, it’s the third time that CHA has honored a Penn State player in as many weeks. Courtney Correia (forward of the week) and Tessa Janecke (freshman of the week) have also been highlighted by the conference.

Penn State, now 2-4 on the season, is on the road this weekend for a pair of games at Boston College.

Big Ten Honors for Field Hockey Standout

Junior Sophia Gladieux was named Big Ten Offensive Co-Player of the Week after scoring not one, but two game-winning goals last weekend.

Gladieux scored the winner in a 2-1 victory over Big Ten rival and No. 4 Iowa, while adding a double overtime winner against Lafayette. The Nittany Lions won that by the same 2-1 score.

Gladieux leads Penn State with 15 goals and three assists.

The weekend was also special for the Lions, who broke ground on their new stadium structure.

The field hockey team is now 11-2 and 5-1 in conference play as they go out of conference for a pair of games this weekend. Both are on the road as they’ll be at Bucknell on Friday and Kent State on Sunday.

Gymnasts Compete with Developmental Team

Penn State sophomore Josh Karnes and junior Matt Cormier participated in Turkey last weekend with the United States Senior National Developmental Team.

Karnes made the finals in three categories: pommel horse, parallel bars, and high bar. His top finish was a fifth-place spot on the parallel bars.

Cormier competed in the parallel bars, high bar, and floor.

It was the first time that either Karnes or Cormier competed with the developmental team.

Volleyball Splits Pair

Penn State’s womens volleyball team went 1-1 in Big Ten play last weekend.

On Friday, the Lions fell behind two quick sets on the road at Ohio State, but rallied to push the match to a fifth. Unfortunately for Penn State, the momentum faded as the No. 13 Lions lost that decisive set 15-11 to the No. 6 Buckeyes. Kashauna Williams had 20 kills to lead the comeback attempt.

The Lions rebounded with a clean 3-0 sweep of Illinois at Rec Hall. Williams had 15 kills, while Alexa Markley added 10 for Penn State (14-3, 3-3 Big Ten).

Conference play continues this weekend as Penn State heads west to face Nebraska on Friday and Iowa on Saturday.

Soccer Teams Score Wins

Penn State’s womens soccer team snapped a modest two-game losing streak with a 2-0 win at Maryland on Sunday.

Natalie Wilson and Cori Dyke had goals for the Lions, who return to action on Thursday in a game televised on the Big Ten Network.

Meanwhile, the men stayed unbeaten in conference play with a 4-1 victory over Michigan State. Liam Butts had two goals for Penn State.

The Lions are 2-0-2 in conference play and are at Indiana on Friday night in a game also televised by BTN.