Comprehensive Penn State Sports Roundup: April 11 To April 23
Football is in the air, folks.
While Penn State football returned with its annual Blue-White Game, several spring sports are still rolling through their seasons. While the likes of men’s volleyball and men’s lacrosse are gearing up for postseason runs, baseball and softball are trying to close their regular seasons strong.
It’s not technically football season yet, but we’d be silly to forget the annual Blue-White Game. Led by rotations of Drew Allar and Beau Pribula, the Blue Team captured a 10-0 victory over the White Team.
A two-game series against Charleston helped men’s volleyball close out its regular season. April 14’s game was a 3-0 sweep for Penn State. The Golden Eagles took a set off of the Nittany Lions in the following evening’s game, but Penn State still won 3-1.
The Nittany Lions earned a first-round bye in the EIVA Tournament and played George Mason in the semifinals on April 20. Penn State snagged a 3-1 win and a spot in the EIVA Championship.
On Saturday, April 22, No. 15 Princeton traveled to Rec Hall to compete with the Nittany Lions for the EIVA title. It would be difficult to guess that it was a championship game, as Penn State swept the Tigers 3-0.
The men’s volleyball team will enter the NCAA Tournament as the No. 3 seed. It will receive a first-round bye and play the winner of Ohio State/King (TN) on May 2.
Yet another Tuesday night game against West Virginia on April 11 resulted in an 11-6 win for the Nittany Lions. The following weekend, the team traveled to Indiana for a three-game series with Purdue but only came home with one win.
Then, it was time for a run with Ohio schools. Penn State hosted Youngstown State on April 18 and secured a comeback 10-8 victory. The Nittany Lions remained at home for the weekend, as Ohio State traveled to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for a three-game series from April 21 to 23.
The Nittany Lions faced the Buckeyes in a doubleheader on April 11, but neither game proved successful for Penn State. The team lost 9-5 and 4-1, respectively.
To continue Big Ten matchups, Rutgers traveled to University Park for three games from April 14 to 16. The Nittany Lions won all three matchups, giving the team a much-needed boost in conference play.
April 18’s game against Bucknell brought a slew of successes. The game was cut short after five innings, as Penn State had shut out the Bisons 9-0. Star pitcher Bailey Parshall became Penn State’s all-time strikeout queen, too.
From April 21 to 23, the Nittany Lions played a total of three games against Maryland. Penn State picked up two wins over the weekend, improving its Big Ten record to 7-10.
Heading into the postseason, men’s lacrosse is looking great. Ranked No. 5 in the nation, the team took down fellow ranked Big Ten opponent No. 16 Michigan 11-9 in a close game on April 16.
The Nittany Lions played No. 11 Rutgers in the final game of the regular season. A dominant victory allowed Penn State to down the Scarlet Knights 14-5 on April 21. Friday night’s win also secured at least a share of the Big Ten regular-season title for Penn State.
No. 18 women’s lacrosse has also finished the regular season strong. On April 13, Penn State upset No. 10 Maryland in a definitive 12-7 victory. In the last conference game, the Nittany Lions traveled to Baltimore to clash with No. 22 Johns Hopkins. Though Penn State held an early lead, the Blue Jays overpowered the Nittany Lions to surge to a 16-12 win.
The 2023 NCAA men’s gymnastics championships were held at Rec Hall from April 14 to 16, and Penn State did not disappoint. With their second-highest score of the season, 412.057, the Nittany Lions brought home sixth place in the team finals.
Sophomore Josh Karnes placed fourth in the all-around, while junior Matt Cormier placed fifth in the same event.
Cassidy Rushlow and Ava Piedrahita competed in the NCAA women’s gymnastics championships on April 13 on vault and uneven bars, respectively. Rushlow posted a score of 9.825, while Piedrahita recorded a score of 9.875, which secured her sixth place in the event. Since the entire team did not compete in the championships, the gymnastics season for both teams is officially over.
Outdoor Track & Field
Penn State’s track & field team traveled to nearby Bucknell for the Bison Outdoor Classic on April 15, when a handful of athletes recorded impressive numbers. Faith DeMars recorded the third-fastest time in program history in the steeplechase, while Kileigh Kane set the fourth-fastest time in the 1500m run.
The following weekend, April 22, the Nittany Lions headed to Charlottesville for the Virginia Challenge. There were several top-five finishes in the meet, including both men’s and women’s shot put competitors.
The men’s tennis team has been continuing in Big Ten play, most recently facing off against Ohio State. The Buckeyes defeated Penn State 4-0 on April 15.
The Nittany Lions hosted Indiana at home on April 22. A 4-3 win for Penn State snapped a seven-game losing streak. The next day, a match against Purdue resulted in a much-needed 4-2 win for Penn State and concluded the team’s regular season play.
While Beaver Stadium was filled with fans watching the Blue-White Game, the women’s tennis team took a trip to Michigan for matchups with the Wolverines and the Spartans. Michigan took down Penn State 4-0 on April 15. The Nittany Lions put up a fight against Michigan State the next day, but they still fell 4-3.
The following weekend brought two more road games against Maryland and Rutgers. April 22’s game against the Terps resulted in a 4-2 loss for the Nittany Lions. Penn State was able to finish its season on a high note, though, securing a 4-0 win over the Scarlet Knights the next day.
At the Rutherford Intercollegiate Championship, hosted at the Penn State golf courses, the Nittany Lions brought home first place against schools such as Georgetown, Rhode Island, and Appalachian State, among others. This win also marked head coach Greg Nye’s 75th tournament championship at Penn State.
Penn State tied with Dayton at the Kepler Intercollegiate, located in Columbus, Ohio, for fourth place out of 16 teams. Patrick Sheehan placed in the top 15 for the fifth time in his senior season.
At the Lady Buckeye Invitational on April 15 and 16, the Nittany Lions finished in third place, only behind Ohio State and Michigan. The performance was Penn State’s best at any Lady Buckeye Invitational, despite challenging winds throughout the weekend.
In the Big Ten Championships, held in Pittsburgh, Penn State tied for 12th place out of 14 teams.
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Kotelnicki’s hiring was first reported Thursday afternoon.
The Nittany Lions survived a late Minnesota comeback attempt to split the series.