Sports Roundup: Beginning of Summer Edition
Spring semester has given way to the first summer session at Penn State; however, a few spring sports teams are still making noise and recent news has emerged regarding a few fall sports teams. Below is a roundup of how our Nittany Lions have performed over the last week:
The softball team dropped two out of three games in a home weekend series against Ohio State, losing on Friday 5-2, winning on Saturday 6-5, and then losing on Sunday 4-1. They concluded their season with an overall record of 18-32 and a 9-15 record in conference play. Northwestern and Michigan were the only Big Ten teams to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
Track and Field
Several individuals had successful weekends at the Big Ten Championships. Aaron Nadolsky, Casimir Loxsom, Brady Gehret, and Brandon Bennett-Green combined to win the program’s first ever conference title in the 4 x 400 meter relay. Joe Kovacs set a school record in the shot put competition en route to gold medal honors.
Add baseball to the list of Penn State teams to record big wins against Illinois over the past year. The Nittany Lions swept the Fighting Illini in a three game weekend series at Medlar Field winning by scores of 3-2, 8-6, and 3-2. Senior Jordan Steranka had a monster series with six hits in eleven at bats along with two home runs and three RBIs en route to Big Ten Player of the Week honors.
After a 5-16 start to the season, the Nittany Lions have gone on several winning streaks, including winning seven of their last nine games. With a Tuesday contest against Villanova cancelled due to rain, they carry a 27-24 overall record into East Lansing for a weekend series against Michigan State. Currently tied for second place with Indiana in the Big Ten with a 13-8 conference record, this is a pivotal series with the Spartans, with Nebraska only one game behind.
The Women’s Lacrosse team took full advantage of their first postseason birth since 2005, beating Towson last Saturday by a score of 15-8. Molly Fernandez led the way with a game high four goals as the team moves on to the NCAA quarterfinals facing number one seeded Florida this Saturday. The game begins at 12:30, and a full bracket can be found here.
Matchups for the Big Ten-ACC Challenge were announced, and for a second year in a row, Penn State has drawn Boston College. This time, the game will take place in the Bryce Jordan Center on November 28 as the Nittany Lions look to follow up on their 62-54 victory at Boston College last fall which saw Tim Frazier and Jermaine Marshall lead the way with twenty two points apiece.
Overall, there is not a ton of immediate football news to report. Bill O’Brien has been traveling up and down the East Coast as the featured person on a Penn State Coaches Caravan that is nearing the end of its scheduled 18 stops. Last week it made its way through New York City and will conclude Wednesday night in Buffalo. O’Brien has talked about his desire to beef up the Nittany Lions’ out of conference schedule when flexibility allows for it beginning in 2015. He also said that he expects to name a starting quarterback by the end of May. Do you buy it?