Weekend Sports Recap: Wrestling, Women’s Volleyball Dominate

The football team got off the schneid with a win over the Indiana Hoosiers in Bloomington, snapping a four-game losing skid and moving one win closer to bowl eligibility. While the football team earned the headlines, Penn State’s athletics put together a solid weekend across the board.

Here’s a recap of this weekend’s action:

Wrestling

No. 5 Penn State opened up the 2014-15 season with a convincing 24-10 win over No. 17 Lehigh on Sunday in front of a sold out Rec Hall crowd of 6,237.

Penn State had four wrestlers making their dual meet debuts, all redshirt freshmen. All-Americans Nico Megaludis and Zain Retherford will redshirt this season, opening the door for a crop of new talent. No. 8 Jimmy Gulibon, a redshirt sophomore, looked impressive with a dominating 8-3 win over No. 2 Mason Beckman at 133.

The Nittany Lions won the takedown battle by a close 12-8 margin, and No. 3 Matt Brown’s pin at 174 was Penn State’s only bonus point decision.

Up next for Penn State is a road match at No. 18 Pittsburgh on Friday, Nov. 21 in Peterson Events Center at 7 p.m.

Women’s Volleyball

No. 6 Penn State women’s volleyball earned its 20th and 21st sweeps of the season, blanking Big Ten newcomers Rutgers and Maryland on back-to-back nights in Rec Hall on Friday and Saturday.

The Nittany Lions (24-3, 12-2 Big Ten) racked up 91 total kills during the weekend and posted a .470 hitting percentage. Freshman Haleigh Washington posted a game-high 13 kills on .688 hitting against Rutgers, while freshman Ali Frantti led the team with 13 kills, adding three digs, one block and one ace against Maryland.

Penn State has now won eight straight, and will wrap up its four-game homestand with a match against Iowa on Wednesday and Minnesota on Saturday before starting a three-game conference road trip.

Field Hockey

After defeating Michigan State on Thursday in round one of the Big Ten Tournament, No. 5 Penn State (15-5) fell to No. 2 Maryland (18-2) in the semifinals, 1-0.

In a tight defensive game, the Nittany Lions held the Terrapins to 14 shots, almost eight less than their season-average of 21.9 coming in. But just 2:50 into the second half, Maryland broke the scoreless contest with a goal from Emma Rissinger off a penalty corner.

Amanda Dinunzio led the Nittany Lions with five shots, while leading goal-scorer Taylor Herold fired four shots on net to no avail.

On Sunday, Penn State learned that it will square off with Big Ten Tournament champion Northwestern in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Nov. 15. This marks the fifth-straight season the team has clinched an NCAA berth.

Men’s Soccer

The 23rd-ranked men’s soccer team looked to avenge its regular-season loss to No. 21 Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals, but the Spartans came out on top yet again, winning 1-0 on Sunday afternoon at Jeffrey Field. Tim Kreutz scored in the 54th minute to put the visitors ahead, and despite many offensive chances towards the end, the Nittany Lions couldn’t equalize.

The team will have to wait until Nov. 17 to find out its NCAA Tournament fate.

Swimming

Penn State’s swimming and diving teams hosted a two-day meet at the McCoy Natatorium on Saturday with the Virginia Cavaliers and Michigan Wolverines, finishing with mixed results.

The No. 16 Penn State men’s team (5-2) bested Virginia, 212-136, but fell to Michigan, 212.50-140.50. Nate Savoy from Reading, Pa. set two pool records during the weekend in 100m and 200m backstroke.

The No. 20 Penn State women’s team (8-1) overcame a day-one deficit to defeat Virginia, 183-170, but fell to No. 6 Michigan, 178-175. The 200-yard medley relay team and the 400-yard freestyle relay team each set pool records.

Women’s Ice Hockey

The Penn State women’s hockey team produced the first road series sweep in program history, defeating Colgate 6-4 on Friday night and 3-1 on Saturday night in Hamilton, New York. The Nittany Lions’ (5-4-3) nine goals during the weekend was a two-game high this season.

Texas native Hannah Hoenshell recorded three points (2G, 1A) in Friday’s win, while last year’s leading goal-scorer Laura Bowman added two goals of her own. Bowman tallied another two goals on Saturday, including the game-winner on an assist from Amy Petersen in the second period.

Goaltenders Hannah Ehresmann and Celine Whitlinger combined to make 53 saves, with Ehresmann improving to 2-1-3 on the season.

Football

In what James Franklin called the “prettiest” game he’s ever seen, Penn State escaped Bloomington with a 13-7 win over the Indiana Hoosiers. After a Christian Hackenberg pick-six gave the Hoosiers an early lead, Bill Belton ripped off a 92-yard touchdown run, the longest rushing touchdown in Penn State history, to tie the game at 7. Two Sam Ficken field goals proved to be the difference, as Penn State looks to become bowl eligible with a win over Temple on Saturday at noon in Beaver Stadium.

Tennis

The Penn State men’s tennis team wrapped up its fall schedule on Sunday, the final day of the William & Mary Invitational. Three Nittany Lions earned singles wins on Sunday, and sophomore Aws Laaribi from Rye, N.Y. was named to the All-Tournament Team. The Nittany Lions, who finished 24th in the final ITA poll last spring, begin their spring dual match schedule as part of the ITA Kickoff Weekend on Jan. 23 and 24.

On the women’s side, the second day of the Kitty Harrison Hidden Dual wrapped up Saturday as Penn State’s doubles duo of Emily Rivers and Lisa Petruzillo defeated Cappanolo/Zaytoun of North Carolina State and Taylor Shukow defeated Kristen Ward of Elon. The spring season begins Jan. 18 when the ladies open with Tulane.

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About the Author

CJ Doon

CJ is a senior journalism major from Long Island and Onward State's Sports Editor. He is a third-generation Penn Stater, and his grandfather wrestled for the university back in the 1930s under coach Charlie “Doc” Speidel. Besides writing, one of his favorite activities is making sea puns. You can follow him on Twitter @CJDoon, and send your best puns to [email protected], just for the halibut.

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