One of the all-time great dynasties in college sports is back at it again — continuing its run for a record eighth NCAA title this weekend at Rec Hall. The Penn State women’s volleyball team hosts Missouri for a Sweet 16 matchup Friday at 2 p.m.
Yep, you read that right. Unfortunately, for TV purposes, one of the biggest games in Happy Valley in years will be played in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday.
That’s why it’s important for folks in Happy Valley, especially students wrapping up their final day of classes, to do everything they can to get to Rec Hall for this game. The top-ranked Nittany Lions have earned that raucous home-court advantage that comes with a match of this magnitude.
As Penn State found out the hard way last year in the tourney, it’s not impossible to create a tough atmosphere despite an inconvenient match time. Nebraska, hosting the Nittany Lions at 11 a.m. on a similar December Friday, played in front of a sell-out crowd — an arena filled with 8,240 that invigorated the Huskers to a 3-2 comeback win.
NCAA Match at 11 AM on Friday?
Not a problem!
Husker Nation straight 💯! pic.twitter.com/nVlkmrHIOS
— Husker Volleyball (@Huskervball) December 9, 2016
The Nittany Lions deserve this kind of crowd Friday afternoon.
For a team that’s posted its best regular season record since 2009 and is in the midst of its longest Final Four drought (which is incredibly just two years) since 2006, it’s earned a packed Rec Hall cheering it right back to the college game’s biggest stage.
For the group of legendary seniors — Penn State’s “most fun” athlete Haleigh Washington, Big Ten Player of the Year Simone Lee, and six others who’ve helped build the program back to No. 1 — they deserve to play their final Rec Hall matches in front of huge crowds.
If you need another excuse to make it out to the game, Penn State’s got you covered.
We know Friday's 2 p.m. start time is slightly inconvenient, but we want you in Rec Hall!
Check out parking and ticket info here: https://t.co/3SBmSUaKwd
And if you need an excuse*, use the letter 😉 pic.twitter.com/UsiOPBDrPz
— Penn State Women’s Volleyball (@PennStateVBALL) December 6, 2017
There’s no reason the building shouldn’t be packed Friday afternoon, as well as for the Saturday night Elite Eight match. This team’s done all it can to represent our school well. We should be there to do the same and support this team through the next two games on its way to Kansas City for the Final Four.