Despite football season being over, this weekend was still full of action in the world of Penn State athletics. The abundance of Nittany Lions sports over the past three days was highlighted by Penn State’s wrestling team taking on Pitt in front of an NCAA record 15,996 fans at the Bryce Jordan Center. Here’s a full recap of what went down:
Women’s Ice Hockey:
This weekend was not a fun one for Penn State women’s hockey — or the hockey program in general — as the team suffered consecutive shutout losses — 7-0 and 8-0 — at the hands of Mercyhurst. Nothing seemed to go the team’s way, especially offensively, as the team struggled to put shots on goal and didn’t find twine once in the series. The blowouts margins on the losses are partially to blame on the defense too, of course, as goalies Nicole Paniccia and Celine Whitlinger had a rough weekend. Here’s hoping the Nittany Lions can get back on track against Ohio State after the New Year.
Men’s Ice Hockey:
Like the women’s team, Penn State Men’s hockey team was flattened in a two-game series over the weekend. The Nittany Lions were trounced by the Wisconsin Badgers in their Big Ten opener. The first game on Friday wasn’t close after Tommy Olczyk cut Wisconsin’s lead to one in the first period. The floodgates opened following the score as Penn State netminder Matthew Skoff got shelled as the game progressed. The offense couldn’t find the back of the net after its first goal as Wisconsin blew out Penn State 7-1. The second game was much closer, with the score being tied for most of the game. Wisconsin’s Nic Kerdilles scored a heartbreaker in the third period that put the game away 4-3.
Penn State wrestling rolled this weekend, starting out with a 34-6 beatdown of Boston University on Friday. The team followed that up with dominant dual victory in the much-anticipated showdown with Pittsburgh at the Bryce Jordan Center. The attendance set an NCAA record for wrestling as 15,996 fans showed up to watch the Pitt beatdown, which also happened to be a BJC sports record. Penn State won the BJC dual 28-9.
True freshman Zain Retherford continued his impressive rookie campaign, winning his match on Friday by way of technical fall. All-American David Taylor shined in the spotlight as usual, dominating his way to a technical fall victory against Boston. Against Pitt, All-American Nico Megaludis got the crowd going early with a solid win in the first match. David Taylor’s huge pin may have been the highlight on a very successful weekend for Penn State wrestling.
Penn State’s men’s squad beat Marshall 90-77 at the Bryce Jordan Center in a game that was not nearly as close as the score implied. Ross Travis and Donovon Jack led Nittany Lions in scoring, with 20 and 18 points respectively. Jack added seven rebounds and a whopping seven blocks as he was the best player on the court for the Lions. Tim Frazier flirted with a double-double, posting a cool 11-9-4 on the stat sheet with four steals to go along with it. Penn State started the game on an 11-1 run, Marshall cut the lead the two, and the Nittany Lions took off from there and never looked back.
The Lady Lions took on the Hoyas in Washington, D.C. this weekend, pulling out an exciting 77-68 win. Maggie Lucas was on fire from beyond the arc and Tori Waldner was a force down low, pulling down ten boards to go along with three blocks. The Lady Lions looked solid all across the board against Georgetown, which is encouraging after they were beaten by a talented Notre Dame squad on Wednesday.
The Penn State women’s volleyball team advanced through the first and second round of the NCAA Tournament over the weekend, defeating LIU Brooklyn and Utah in straight sets to make it to the Sweet 16, the regional semifinals. Ariel Scott and Katie Slay continued their hot streaks as the pair looked quite impressive in both matches, highlighted by their kills against LIU Brooklyn. The Nittany Lions square off against Michigan State in Lexington, Kentucky for an NCAA regional matchup on December 13.
The men’s fencing team went undefeated in tournament competition this weekend, knocking off Princeton, Harvard, Sacred Heart, Vassar, and NYU. Results from the matches were strong all across the board as the team continues to impress. The tournament was highlighted by the Nittany Lions’ victory over a solid Princeton side.
The women’s side was very strong in competition this weekend although Penn State could not pull off the tournament sweep as the team fell to Princeton. Just as was the case with the men, the women fencers posted generally encouraging results despite the tournament loss as the Nittany Lions walked away with some impressive victories.
The Nittany Lion swimmers looked very solid at the Texas Invitational. Junior Nate Savoy led the way with very impressive results in the 200 meter backstroke on the final day of competition. Senior John Hauser also looked great with his NCAA “B” qualifying 100 meter freestyle time.
The Penn State women’s team was successful at the Texas Invitational as well, highlighted by four Top-5 performances on the second day of competition. Alyson Ackman tied a program record in the 100 meter freestyle with a time of 48.74 seconds.