Weekend Sports Recap: Women’s Volleyball Loss Highlights Penn State’s Struggles
Penn State didn’t have a great weekend in sports, as the Nittany Lions posted a 3-4 record that was highlighted by women’s volleyball being knocked out in the Sweet 16 to Hawaii. The Nittany Lions are always a favorite to win the tournament, but Russ Rose’s team could not meet the challenge as it was swept 3-0. Only two wins away from the national semifinals, it was a very disappointing ending to a pretty successful season.
The weekend did have an upside however, which took place in the women’s volleyball team’s usual home venue on Saturday. In the second Return to Rec game, the men’s basketball team beat Louisiana Monroe 54-50 in what Head Coach Pat Chambers called “a gutsy win” for the program. A clutch block from Josh Reaves in the final seconds sealed the victory for the Nittany Lions. Shep Garner started finding his shot in the second half, which propelled the Nittany Lions to victory as he again showed that he could carry the team. The Nittany Lions still have a major problem with free throw shooting — which was proven again Saturday — but for now, a win is a win for Chambers’ squad.
The other upside to the week took place on Sunday in the Bryce Jordan Center as the top ranked Penn State wrestling team took on No. 15 Wisconsin in the first of two BJC Duals. The Nittany Lions cruised to a 36-7 victory, recording falls from Jason Nolf and Zain Retherford to help seal the victory. Although the BJC wasn’t sold out, the crowd was still electric the whole time. For some of the young guys, it was a great experience to wrestle in front of a large crowd which, when the Nittany Lions enter Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament play, they will face more often.
The men’s hockey team also recorded a win against Princeton on Friday night by a score of 6-3. The men’s hockey team continued its climb to gaining respect in the national rankings after another impressive victory sealed with a Tommy Olczyk hat trick. The Nittany Lions will move on toward more Big Ten play in the coming games after the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh, where they will play Robert Morris then either UMass-Lowell or Clarkson.
The women’s hockey team was swept by Princeton over the weekend, losing on Friday by a score of 4-0 and on Saturday by a score of 3-2. The team has struggled all year, and the difficult upcoming schedule won’t help its cause. It may prepare them more for the future, but for now, it’s a struggle.
Finally, the Penn State women’s basketball team fell to St. Bonaventure on Saturday 70-60 to drop to 4-6 on the season. The Lady Lions struggled from the opening tip, giving up a lot of turnovers and playing sloppy all game. Although the first half was bad, the second half was worse, and the Lady Lions fell to the Bonnies in a game that was never actually close.
All in all, it was a forgettable weekend for Penn State athletics. The upcoming week features more of the same sports, minus women’s volleyball. Stay tuned to see if this weekend is an exception or the norm as winter sports shift into the harder portions of their schedules.