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Penn State Women’s Volleyball’s Emily Sciorra Ready For New ‘Adventure’ At THON 2020

After spending four years with Penn State women’s volleyball, Emily Sciorra is certainly no stranger to THON. This weekend, though, the senior defensive specialist will dance alongside 706 other students for 46 hours to put an exclamation point on her THON career.

“I’m actually super excited about it,” Sciorra said, laughing. “The closer it gets, though, I’m getting a little nervous.”

THON 2020 won’t be Sciorra’s first trip to the 46-hour dance marathon, but it will be her first time dancing. Her team has competed in THON’s annual Pep Rally every year, which helped give her a taste of everything the event has to offer.

“The team, we always perform during the Pep Rally and compete with other teams, but this will be my first time experiencing the whole thing, which will be really cool,” Sciorra said.

Sciorra will represent Penn State’s Student-Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB) when she dances this time around. She’ll be joined on the floor by three other SAAB representatives — Penn State men’s soccer’s Pierre Reedy and Penn State women’s soccer’s Sarafina Valenti and Kerry Abello — at the Bryce Jordan Center this weekend.

“Our team is always very involved in THON and we love to play with the kids and do whatever we can, do Athlete Hour, all that kind of stuff. It’ll be fun to just expand on that and do my own little adventure with THON.”

To get ready for the weekend, SAAB’s representatives joined dozens of other dancers for an unlimited pasta buffet Thursday night. After all, they’ll need all the carb-loading they can get to help them through the long weekend ahead of them.

Sciorra added that she’s received plenty of tips and pointers from Valenti, who will dance in THON for a third time this weekend. The THON veteran is focused on helping her friends get through the marathon and take in every single moment.

“[Valenti] has been helping us a lot with preparation, what to bring, and how to get through all 46 hours,” Sciorra said.

Sciorra also noted she’s personally focused on staying hydrated and avoiding caffeine in the days leading up to THON. That’s no problem for her, though, as coffee just isn’t her thing. Additionally, she’s worked on breaking in a new pair of sneakers to get them ready for the long weekend.

One aspect that’s been especially helpful to Sciorra’s THON preparation is the time she’s spent with Penn State women’s volleyball. Led by college volleyball’s unanimous G.O.A.T. coach, Russ Rose, the team is known for its strenuous workouts and gritty mindset.

“If I can get through preseason with Penn State women’s volleyball for four years, then I can get through this weekend for sure,” Sciorra said.

And now, with mere hours until dancers stand, she’s put in the work and is prepared. All Sciorra is looking forward to now is living it up in the BJC.

“I’m just excited to see all the people and see how it fluctuates between hours, and kind of have fun all weekend. I think it’s just going to be like one big, long party.”

Once that 46-hour party is done, though, she’s looking forward to a long, peaceful sleep come Sunday night.

“I’m going to sleep as long as possible [when THON is over],” Sciorra said. “I’m just going to get off my feet and sleep, and I’ve got two exams coming up that next week, so hopefully I’ll wake up on Monday and study and get ready for that.”

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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