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Comprehensive Penn State Sports Roundup: March 14 To March 26

The end of winter sports has finally come. Men’s basketball, wrestling, and men’s hockey wrapped up their seasons after historic runs, and now spring sports are in full swing.

Let’s take a closer peek at how Penn State’s sports teams performed over the last two weeks.

Men’s Basketball

In the opening round of March Madness, the Nittany Lions dominated Texas A&M in a commanding 76-59 win. In its first NCAA Tournament win in 22 years, Penn State moved on to face No. 2-seeded Texas in the Round of 32.

Despite a second-half comeback, the Longhorns escaped with a 71-66 win to head to the Sweet Sixteen. Celebrations of the exciting run were cut short when reports of head coach Micah Shrewsberry taking the head coaching job at Notre Dame emerged.

Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Pat Kraft confirmed the rumors on Wednesday, March 22, and immediately began the search for a new head coach. In addition to Shrewsberry’s departure, Dallion Johnson and Caleb Dorsey entered the transfer portal, and Seth Lundy opted to enter the 2023 NBA Draft.

There’s no official word on the status of Kraft’s search for a replacement for Shrewsberry, but we compiled a few potential candidates.

Men’s Hockey

After a few weeks off of the ice, Penn State men’s hockey received the No. 2 seed in the Allentown Region in the NCAA Tournament in the group’s first tournament appearance in five years. The Nittany Lions traveled to Allentown, Pennsylvania, to face No. 3-seeded Michigan Tech and absolutely clobbered the competition en route to an 8-0 win on Friday, March 24.

After proving its worth in the tournament on Friday, Penn State moved on to face No. 1-seeded Michigan on Sunday, March 26. While the Wolverines were a familiar opponent, the Big Ten foe is 4-1 against the Nittany Lions this season and perhaps one of the most talented teams in collegiate hockey.

Penn State put up an incredible fight, struck first, and forced overtime in the battle for a Frozen Four bid. Just one minute into overtime, Michigan took care of business and scored to end the Nittany Lions’ postseason run.

Wrestling

To no one’s surprise, Penn State wrestling took home the team title at the NCAA Championships, which took place from March 16 to 18 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Nittany Lions completed three perfect sessions to send seven wrestlers to the championship semifinals. Levi Haines, Roman Bravo-Young, Carter Starocci, Beau Bartlett, Shayne Van Ness, Aaron Brooks, and Greg Kerkvliet moved on to wrestle in the national semifinals.

Bartlett and Van Ness ended up earning third-place podium spots, and the remaining five wrestlers vied for national champion status.

Starocci and Brooks came home with national titles, while Bravo-Young, Kerkvliet, and Haines were runners-up. Starocci and Brooks now have three career national titles.

Men’s Volleyball

Following outstanding performances against three top-10 teams, Penn State men’s volleyball swept Saint Francis 3-0 on March 18. The decisive win helped the team move to No. 1 in the AVCA rankings.

No. 15 Ohio State slowed down the Nittany Lions’ steady pace and forced five sets on Tuesday, March 21. The Buckeyes clinched the two closing sets to serve Penn State its first loss since March 9.

Baseball

A series against Georgetown on March 18 and 19 gave Penn State baseball an additional two wins in the tail-end of its non-conference slate. A solo Tuesday night game against Binghamton brought a blowout 15-1 victory to Medlar Field at Lubrano Field and the season’s first Dollar Dog Night, which some of our staffers bravely participated in.

To open Big Ten play, the team traveled to Michigan for a three-game series on March 24. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions, Rob Cooper’s squad was swept by the Wolverines.

Softball

At the Penn State Softball Invitational, the Nittany Lions gathered two wins against UMBC and Canisius. Their one loss of the weekend came against Cornell in a close 4-3 game.

Penn State hosted Pitt on March 21 when it tacked on a 1-0 win. To open Big Ten play, the Nittany Lions hosted Iowa from March 24 to 26. The weekend resulted in one win and back-to-back losses for Penn State.

Men’s Lacrosse

After breaking into the top 10 following a handful of ranked wins, the men’s lacrosse team hit a rough patch. A close game against Marquette on March 18 at home resulted in a 12-11 loss. On March 25, the Nittany Lions traveled to face No. 2 Maryland and, despite a strong effort, the group fell 13-10.

Women’s Lacrosse

The women’s lacrosse team is riding through the momentum of five straight wins, including two ranked victories.

In the past two weeks, the No. 20-ranked Nittany Lions tallied a home win over Towson, two road wins over No. 14 Princeton and Pitt, and capped off the stretch with a 13-3 win over Ohio State.

Missy Doherty’s squad is 2-0 in conference play and 9-2 overall.

Men’s Gymnastics

The men’s gymnastics team put up a second win against William & Mary this season by coming out on top 396.400 to 382.750. Penn State will take a short break before heading to Columbus, Ohio, on Friday, March 31, for the Big Ten Championships.

Women’s Gymnastics

Penn State women’s gymnastics competed at the Big Ten Championship in Iowa on March 18. Despite finishing seventh in the conference, the team posted its highest score in the championship since 2015, a 196.200.

The Nittany Lions qualified for the regional round of the NCAA Championship. They will face Towson on Thursday, March 30. Additionally, individual gymnasts Cassidy Rushlow will compete on bars and Maddie Johnston and Ava Piedrahita will compete in the all-around competition.

Swimming & Diving

Nittany Lion Victor Baganha finished in 19th place in the 50 free category and 26th place in the 100 free at the NCAA Championships.

In the diving side of the competition, Penn Stater Daphne Wils competed in the one-meter and three-meter dives. Wils took home 24th in the one-meter preliminaries with a score of 259.50.

Outdoor Track & Field

The Nittany Lions traveled to Philadelphia for the Penn Springtime Invitational to open their outdoor season on March 17. Penn State claimed seven event titles in the invitational.

The following weekend, part of the team traveled to the Raleigh Relays in North Carolina. Notably, Faith DeMars recorded the second-fastest time in program history in the 5,000-meter run. The rest of the team participated in the Miami Invitational in Florida. There, Cecelia Bacon set the third-best high jump in Penn State history with a nearly six-foot jump.

Men’s Tennis

Since returning from spring break and beginning Big Ten conference play, competition has been challenging for the men’s tennis team. Penn State squared off against Cornell on March 18 and lost 6-1.

The Nittany Lions faced Illinois and Northwestern on March 24 and 26, respectively, and each game resulted in 4-0 shutouts against the Nittany Lions.

Women’s Tennis

The Penn State women’s tennis team has had a strong showing over the past two weeks. The Nittany Lions shut out Minnesota 4-0 in a March 17 match at home.

On March 19, the team faced ranked opponent Wisconsin and nearly kept up with the Badgers. Ultimately, it lost 4-2. A match against Indiana on March 26 highlighted the stretch of home games, as Penn State walked away with a 7-0 win.

Men’s Golf

The men’s golf team took part in the Johnnie-O at Sea Island competition on March 13 and 14. Senior Patrick Sheehan tied for sixth place, but the team finished in 12th place. Its next competition will be on April 15 at the Blue and White Courses.

Women’s Golf

At the Briar’s Creek Invitational, the Penn State women’s golf team tied with NC State for fourth place. Like the men, the ladies won’t be back in action until April 15, but they will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to challenge Ohio State.

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About the Author

Haylee Yocum

Haylee is a 2024 graduate of Penn State with a degree in immunology and infectious disease. She relocated to Williamsport but will not be taking any questions about what’s next in her career. Haylee continues to be fueled by dangerous amounts of caffeine and dreams of smashing the patriarchy. Any questions or discussion about Taylor Swift’s best songs can be directed to @hayleeq8 on Twitter if you must.

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