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Weekend Sports Roundup: Volleyball Loses, Hockey Impresses In Overall .500 Showing

An uncharacteristically even weekend for Penn State sports has come and gone. The Nittany Lions went .500 over the weekend, rather than their usual dominant performances. Here are some of the major results.

By its standards, the Penn State women’s volleyball team struggled this weekend. Friday, it outlasted No. 13 Illinois in Champaign in four sets (25-16, 25-18, 24-26, 27-25). After beginning the year with a streak of matches in which it didn’t lose a set, Friday marked the third game of its previous four in which it suffered at least one setback.  Megan Courtney led Penn State with 18 kills, and became the eighth Nittany Lion to join the 1,000 career kills/1,000 career digs club. On Saturday, the Lions fell to Northwestern (18-25, 25-23, 24-26, 25-17, 11-15), its second dropped match of the year. 14 kills from Megan Courtney and Simone Lee weren’t enough for the furious five-set push from the Wildcats. The teams went back and forth, with Northwestern winning the first, third, and fifth set.

Men’s golf traveled to Tennessee to participate in the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate and walked away victorious. After leading the 15-team field throughout the entire tournament, the Nittany Lions were able to clinch the victory thanks to a quartet of golfers. Chris Houston (-6), JD Dornes (-5), Geoff Vartelas (-4), and Charles Huntzinger (-2) finished below par to give Penn State its first tournament win of the season.
Field hockey had a tough task heading into the weekend facing No. 8 Maryland and Lock Haven. On Friday, the Nittany Lions were hosts to the Terrapins and eventually fell 1-0 thanks to a first half deficit. Penn State was outshot for the third time this season, but it held Maryland to only one goal, which impressed Head Coach Charlene Morett-Curtiss. On Sunday, the Nittany Lions stayed in Pennsylvania to take on Lock Haven on the road. The 10-2 Lock Haven squad was able to net one of its two shot attempts in the 15th minute, and kept Penn State in check. The Nittany Lions couldn’t find any rhythm offensively as a team, but out of their nine total shots, freshman midfielder Aurelia Meijer shot six times. Every Penn State attempt came without a score, leading to the 1-0 defeat to Lock Haven.
We all know how the football game went. Penn State shone against Indiana in a 29-7 rout, thanks to some finally great play-calling and four total touchdowns from dual-threat quarterback Christian Hackenberg. The defense stepped up and only allowed a touchdown against a team that just took No. 1 Ohio State to the brink, and Carl Nassib’s performance left him as the nation’s leader in sacks and forced fumbles.
Women’s hockey started off its weekend with an upset of No. 7/8 Boston University, the team’s third win over a ranked opponent ever. The Terriers outshot the Nittany Lions 41-26, but goalie Celine Whitlinger held them to three goals while her team scored five. Penn State fell to 1-3-0 the next night, as Boston University forced a split in the teams’ first meeting. This time outshooting the Lions 37-28, the Terriers sent them away with a score of 3-1.
Men’s hockey opened its regular season on Saturday night in a 6-1 stomping of Canisius on the road. A rare single-game series saw three-point efforts from forwards Curtis Loik and David Goodwin, while three freshmen scored their first career goals. Eamon McAdam got the win, submitting his application to be the team’s starter. The Nittany Lions’ first real challenge of the season comes this weekend, as it opens its home season against Notre Dame.
The men’s soccer team endured one of its biggest tests of the season, playing host to No. 25 Maryland on Friday at Jeffrey Field. The Lions were aggressive offensively during the first half, led by senior midfielder and Onward State staff writer Drew Klingenberg. Klingenberg charged down the right side, cutting in and sending home a rocket in the game’s 17th minute to put Penn State up 1-0. The lead was extended to 2-0 after the Maloney brothers teamed up to send the ball into the net with Austin finding Connor on a cross. Connor Maloney scored two goals during the contest — a season high — but couldn’t propel his team to victory as Maryland found a way to win 4-3.
The 10-2-2 women’s soccer team had no issue taking down a hapless 3-7-5 Indiana squad on Sunday, led by the golden boot of star senior Raquel Rodriguez. The Lions were relentless, peppering the Indiana defense with a litany of shots all game long. The team’s seniors were a bright spot throughout the afternoon, headlined by goals from Rodriguez and Mallory Weber. Goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom recorded a career milestone with her 49th career victory in the shutout win. Next up for the Nittany Lions will be a three-game road circuit against Purdue, Rutgers, and Ohio State.

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