On the eve of finals week, some of the best teams in the nation are set to compete in Happy Valley as Penn State will host the third annual American Lacrosse Conference Championships. The top-seeded, and four-time defending national champion, Northwestern Wildcats prowl into town, having never lost a game in the ALC tournament since its inception two years ago. Penn State holds the #2 seed a field that also includes John Hopkins, Vanderbilt, and Ohio State. The Lady Lions will face #3 seed Ohio State today at 5:30.
The defending NCAA Champion Men’s Volleyball team advanced to the final round of the EIVA playoffs this Saturday at Rec Hall, sweeping George Mason 3-0. The fifth-ranked Nittany Lions boast a 26-3 record into Saturday’s championship game again an upstart St. Francis team. In all, the Lions have a 20-3 record in EIVA conference playoff since 1986 and are 38-1 conference play under coach Mark Pavlick. Freshman Joe Sunder was truly a force of nature last night, tallying 15 kills against the Colonials.
Head coach (and living legend) Joe Paterno spoke to alumni this week in New York. Following a thorny Rose Bowl at the hands of Southern Cal, expect to see a newly rejuvenated Paterno roaming the sidelines as usual this season. Commenting on a season that resulted in a Big Ten Championship and a Rose Bowl berth, the coach said, “I coached this spring. That may be the kiss of death…Now I can grab a kid and say, “You can’t do it that way.”
In other news, former Penn State running back Curt Warner (not to be confused with the quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals) was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. A crucial member of the 1982 national championship team, Warner rushed for 3,398 yards in his Penn State career.