Posts filed under ‘Other Penn State sports’
Road to Seattle: Senior women’s volleyball players Deja McClendon, Katie Slay, and Ariel Scott began their Penn State careers with a national title—they were freshmen when the Nittany Lions won the last of their four consecutive national titles in 2010. They’re hoping to end their careers in the same way. The Nittany Lions open NCAA tournament play in Rec Hall at 7:30 p.m. tonight against LIU-Brooklyn. The winner of that game will face Yale or Utah, which play tonight at 5, on Saturday. The Nittany Lions are seeded No. 2 overall, and they’re a blast to watch.
Art and football: What is it with Penn State football players and the art world? Former defensive end Matthew Rice is making a name for himself as a mural painter, and now here’s former defensive end Aaron Maybin, whose NFL career never really took off after he left Penn State early in 2009 with an exhibition at Art Basel, a big-deal festival in Miami that’s going on right now. In this video, Maybin discusses the relationship between football and art, saying he gets the “same joy” creating art as he gets from athletic competition, that he believes an artist is “the truest version of a storyteller that still exists,” and that he’s ready to paint when “I’m tormented by an idea.” There’s some adult language, but it’s an interesting conversation. And you can check out some of his work here.
Yoga with Doug: I love that Onward State decided to write about Doug Hayward, teacher of the only Penn State fitness class that has a name attached to it—yes, Yoga With Doug, which is not to be confused with any other yoga classes around here. I was lucky enough to take an on-campus class from Doug a couple of summers ago, and it is truly an experience. I spent half the time in awe of the way he contorted his body (and he didn’t need a mat!) and the other half learning that my body was capable of way more than I’d realized. If you’re in town, you can always check out the offerings at his State College studio, too.
Big stage: One of the cool things about covering Penn State’s wrestling team is the atmosphere in sold-out Rec Hall, which is always packed with fans who know the sport and who can be loud when the occasion calls for it. We’ll see this weekend what that fan base can do in a larger arena—the Bryce Jordan Center, which is sold out for Sunday’s match against Pitt. That’s 15,000 wrestling fans. This also gives me the chance to quote the most entertaining two paragraphs I’ve read this week, from the last item in the weekly notebook by Centre Daily Times wrestling writer Travis Johnson ’09:
“The plan is to have our guys running out like they do at the nationals and just kind of having fun with it,” Sanderson said. “There’s been talk of fireworks and cannons and those kind of things. I’ve kind of lost track of what they’re doing. We talked about it a couple of months ago. I think that’s the plan.”
A Penn State spokesman said pyrotechnics would not likely be used.
The wrestling team is warming up for that spotlight match in an awesome way—competing tonight at Boston University, which is dropping its team at the end of this season. When Sanderson, who’s been an ambassador and advocate for the sport asked the BU coach if there were anything to he could do to help, the coach asked if Penn State could come up and wrestle them. So Penn State is, and it’s hoping the attention will help to save the program.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
Weekend sports recap: Another home game in Beaver Stadium, another overtime. It’s getting to be routine. This time, however, Nebraska defeated the Nittany Lions, although David Jones of The Patriot-News points out that Penn State always plays hard, and unlike most other teams, it doesn’t have any room for error. … A cross-country flight didn’t bother the men’s soccer team, which advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 1-0 victory over UC-Santa Barbara. Next up: seventh-seed New Mexico, on the road, Dec. 1. … The No. 2 women’s volleyball team won its 17th consecutive match and clinched a share of the Big Ten title over the weekend as it honored seniors Ariel Scott, Deja McClendon, and Katie Slay. … Brandon Taylor’s career-high 25 points led the men’s basketball team over Longwood. … For the third consecutive season, the wrestling team opened its schedule by raising the NCAA championship banner. It then won eight of 10 matches—one by pin, two by tech fall—to beat Lock Haven 34-6.
Born to help children: In the wake of the Sandusky scandal, the university made a commitment to increase its research on child abuse and outreach to victims. The result: the Network on Child Protection and Well-Being, which is led by Jennie Noll, who came to Penn State as part of a group hire to beef up the university’s experts in the field. Jack Small, a Penn State journalism student who is writing for the Centre Daily Times as part of an advanced news writing class this semester (and, full disclosure, one of my former students), did a great job profiling Noll and tracing her path to Penn State. “Part of the reason I decided to join Penn State is because of the efforts I saw the school making after the scandal,” she said. “The only silver lining out of that terrible situation is that we now have a great opportunity to do some good.”
Final bow for feature twirler: Matt Freeman’s high school principal told him there was no way he could ever achieve his goal—becoming the feature twirler for the Penn State Blue Band. Goes to show what that principal knew. Freeman gave his final Beaver Stadium appearance Saturday, and Sue Snyder of The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote a nice piece about his rise to prominence—and a world championship.
Oldsey named to presidential selection council: A surprise announcement began Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting: Bill Oldsey ’76 was named to the Trustee Presidential Selection Council, meaning another trustee elected by alumni and another trustee with experience in higher education will be part of the group that interviews finalists for the president’s job. The search has been extended, but trustees say a new president will be hired before Rod Erickson retires June 30, 2014.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
BOT updates: It’s the second day of committee meetings for the Penn State Board of Trustees. Senior editor Lori Shontz ’91 reported on yesterday’s topics of discussion, which included potential changes to the presidential search process, the structure of the board, and alumni trustee elections. Check the blog for more updates this afternoon, and to watch the meeting live, visit WPSU‘s live stream starting at 1:30 pm.
Big save: Recognize that little guy? He’s quarterback Christian Hackenberg. The photo was part of a fantastic piece featured on Grantland yesterday, in which Hackenberg’s parents, Erick and Nikki, talk openly about their son’s decision to commit to Penn State in the wake of the Sandusky scandal—and his role in helping to revitalize the program. Coach Bill O’Brien describes the moment when, after the NCAA sanctions were announced, Hackenberg and his teammates lined up outside O’Brien’s office to tell him they were committed to Penn State: “‘That,” says O’Brien, staring off into space, lost in the memory, ‘was an emotional deal.’”
Remembering JFK: Today marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and this morning, The Patriot News posted a collection of archival photos from JFK’s visit to Harrisburg in September 1960, and asked readers to identify themselves or others in the crowd. Recognize any Penn Staters?
Dancin’ on a Stair: If you haven’t been out to the Pegula Ice Arena for a hockey game, GoPSUTV‘s video of student Devon Fields dancing up a storm to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” at last Friday’s game just might be the best advertisement for the new arena ever. The Nittany Lions lost to UMass-Lowell that night — but I think we all know who won the unofficial dance contest.
Mary Murphy, associate editor
Jordan Lucas makes good: When we profiled Jordan Lucas in our Nov./Dec. 2012 issue, he was best known as the first recruit to commit to Bill O’Brien. He played sparingly as a true freshman last fall, and it was hard to say how much he’d be able to contribute to the Nittany Lions this season, or beyond. Happily—even as the Lions’ defense has struggled this fall—Lucas has been one of the bright spots. He’s the subject of an ESPN.com feature that shows a kid with lots of personality, a terrific work ethic, and a “competitive toughness” that has made him one of O’Brien’s favorite players.
100 Days ’til THON: As THON has grown, so has the significance of hitting the century mark in the annual countdown to THON weekend. This year, that’s today. Onward State is all over it, from a busy schedule of events to a list of “100 Reasons Why We Dance.”
Internationally known: A survey by the Institute of International Education lists Penn State 10th among all U.S universities in international student enrollment. A record 6,693 international students were enrolled at University Park in 2012–13.
You look like a guy I know…: Tommy Olczyk gets that a lot. The Daily Collegian profiles the ice hockey team captain, the son of former NHL standout and NBC hockey analyst Ed Olczyk, whose face appears prominently on the hockey schedule posters that are in storefront windows all over town. Of course, it’s possible that alumni who’ve seen our Sept./Oct. issue also recognize him from our cover.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Twenty years later, a “marvelous” tribute: George Dickie, emeritus professor of landscape architecture, is the subject of a Centre Daily Times feature looking back on his role in the creation of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. Dickie helped choose the location for the memorial and designed the setting for the sculpture, which was unveiled on Veterans Day in 1993.
State-wide advocacy: Jennifer Storm has been nominated to head the Pennsylvania Office of the Victim Advocate. Storm ’02, an abuse survivor who has spent her career working on behalf of crime and abuse victims, was nominated for the state post by Gov. Tom Corbett. She currently serves as director of the Dauphin County Victim/Witness Assistance Program.
Mixed results: The club field hockey team beat Delaware to win its second straight national championship over the weekend, the highlight of an up-and-down weekend for Penn State teams. The Nittany and Lion Lion basketball teams opened their seasons with victories, while six Penn State wrestlers won titles at the season-opening Binghamton Open.
In postseason news, the varsity field hockey squad earned a date with Princeton in the first round of the NCAA tournament, and the women’s soccer team will learn its NCAA fate when the tournament bracket is announced Monday afternoon. The men’s soccer team, Big Ten regular season champs, will open conference tourney play later this week.
As for the football team, there’s not much worth remembering from Saturday’s trip to Minneapolis, but the loss has inspired some thoughtful assessments of where the Nittany Lions stand right now. Of those I’ve had a chance to read, I thought the best came from Frank Bodani of the York Daily Record. It’s worth a read.
Rice rumors confirmed: The office of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice confirmed over the weekend that Rice was contacted by the search firm working on the university’s behalf in its presidential search. Rice turned down Penn State’s interest to stay at Stanford, where she serves on the political science faculty.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Until September 2010, when Penn State announced that historic gift of $88 million from Kim and Terry Pegula ’73, ice hockey was a club sport, and it was played on a rink that had audience seating on one side only. (The folklore is that there simply hadn’t been enough money to build a facility with grandstands on both sides.) And while the Icers, under head coach Joe Battista ’83, were among the finest club teams in the country—winning six national club championships—the idea of upgrading to varsity status was just out of the question. Too expensive.
And then, maybe five years ago, in part because of a relationship formed between Battista and Pegula, rumors started swirling that the Icers’ dream might actually come true. Our senior editor Ryan Jones ’95 tells the tale of how the dream finally did come true in the cover story of our Sept./Oct. issue.
I have a clear memory of waiting to cross College Avenue over lunch hour one day a few years back and seeing Joe (who by then was a fundraiser for Penn State) stopped at the stoplight. He rolled down the window, we exchanged hellos, and I said, offhandedly, “What are you up to these days?” And he replied with a big grin, “I’m trying to get us a hockey arena!”
Today, less than three weeks after the opening of the 6,000-seat Pegula Ice Arena, Penn State announced that Battista—who came here as a freshman in 1978 and, except for a four-year stint after his graduation in 1983, has been associated with Penn State ever since—is leaving the university. Effective Nov. 8, he’ll step down from his current role as associate athletic director for the Pegula Ice Arena and hockey development in order to go work for Pegula’s company, East Management Services, as its vice president of hockey related businesses. (Pegula owns the Buffalo Sabres and is also developing two public rinks in Buffalo, among other hockey ventures.)
In the news release today, Battista talked about the Pegula Arena and the launching of men’s and women’s ice hockey as the culmination of a dream for him. ”While this dream has come true,” he said, “it is now time for me to set new goals and dream new dreams.”
Speaking on behalf of his wife, Heidi, and himself, he added: “We will continue to proudly support Penn State and wear the blue and white forever.”
Tina Hay, editor
This past summer, as we all started to get excited about the opening of the Pegula Ice Arena, I started to get even more excited about the prospect of photographing collegiate ice hockey.
I’ve written before about the challenges and rewards in photographing volleyball, wrestling, and a football practice. But, except for one time in the late 1970s when I took my now-antique Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic to a Johnstown Jets game at the War Memorial, I had never tried to shoot hockey.
To get ready for the Penn State games, I did what I always do to educate myself on such things: I went to Google. (Full disclosure: I own exactly one share of Google stock.) I searched “how to photograph ice hockey” and found an enormous amount of advice. Some of the best came from a guy by the name of Don Smith, who is the team photographer for the San Jose Sharks and whose article on the subject was especially helpful.
Among the advice that stood out for me:
All that ice. The game is played on a virtually all-white surface, which can mess up your camera’s exposure metering, but on the other hand, it helps illuminate the players’ faces. It’s way better than, say, wrestling, where the action often takes place on a dark mat.
Need for speed. Hockey is one of the fastest-moving of all sports and thus one of the toughest to photograph. It requires you to set your camera’s ISO to at least 800 to 1000 and use shutter speeds no slower than 1/400 of a second. Luckily, the Pegula Arena is exceptionally well-lit, and in the two games I’ve shot so far, I’ve been able to use shutter speeds as high as 1/1250 or even 1/2500 of a second.
Keep shooting. As is true in virtually every sport, the secret to getting a few good photos is to take a lot of photos. Or, as one guy online said: “Don’t hesitate to shoot a ton of frames; by sheer blind luck some will be great.”
At the men’s opener against Army, I shot nearly 300 images and ended up with about 20 that I thought were half decent. At the women’s game against New Hampshire this past Saturday night, I took about 185 images—and identified seven that I like. My ratio might improve as I get more experience, but still, that’s just the nature of photography.
Watch the knees. This was an interesting tip: If you’re trying to get photos of the action in front of the goal, train your camera on the goalie and wait for his or her knees to flex—a sign that the puck is headed their way—then start shooting like crazy. I tried to remember that on Saturday night, and sure enough, I was able to get a shot of a goal being scored. Unfortunately, it was a goal for UNH:
Through the looking glass? The plexiglass that protects fans from flying pucks can really be annoying to a photographer: It can cost you at least an f-stop in exposure, and the scuff marks and hand prints can mar your photos. Some photographers take a rag with them to the games and do what they can to clean off their little section of the glass.
Luckily, the people who designed the Pegula Arena included a few portholes for photographers to stick their camera lenses through. Two of the portholes are reserved for Sports Information photographers Mark Selders and Steve Manuel ’84, ’92, but that leaves one or two for the media photographers to take turns with.
Part of the reason I went to the women’s game this past Saturday night (and not, for example, the rematch on Sunday afternoon) was that I figured Mark and Steve would be out in Columbus shooting the football game. Likewise, I assumed that few, if any, news media would cover a women’s hockey game scheduled opposite that football game. I was right: I had the Pegula portholes to myself all night.
I suspect that those portholes will become more important as the season goes on. Take a look at how scuffed the glass has become after just a few games:
Below are a couple more of the photos I got on Saturday night. Here’s a scrum in front of the UNH goal (note the Penn State chipmunk on the puck):
And here’s a shot of some action along the near-side boards:
That’s sophomore forward Micayla Catanzariti trying to dig out the loose puck.
You can see that the stands were, unfortunately, pretty empty on Saturday night—there’s a big discrepancy in attendance so far between the men’s games and the women’s games, and being up against the Ohio State game obviously made it worse. Official attendance was listed at 493. But it was a great game: The two teams traded goals all night, until UNH finally pulled away and won 8-5.
I’m looking forward to lots more hockey in that magnificent arena throughout the season and in the years to come.
Tina Hay, editor
P.S. If I’m not mistaken, somewhere around my house I have a few photos from that Jets game I shot, including one or two of the Carlson brothers, the Johnstown players who served as the model for the nerdy, goon-squad Hanson brothers in the Paul Newman movie Slap Shot. Someday if I run across them, I’ll post them.
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O-H, oh no: Let’s get it out of the way: Saturday night was ugly. The Nittany Lions’ 63-14 loss in Columbus was the worst-case scenario for a team operating under NCAA sanctions. On the road against a top-five opponent, and with just 57 scholarship players suited up, Penn State had to play a near-perfect game to beat Ohio State. Instead, the Lions committed early turnovers, struggled to cope with the Buckeyes’ talent, (and, no, didn’t get any help from the refs) and took a historic beating. The fact that OSU fielded a couple of players who were expected to come to Penn State before the sanctions hit made it that much more frustrating to watch.
The challenge now for Penn State fans? Perspective. It’s probably a good time to remember that the Buckeyes weren’t hindered by scholarship reductions when the Lions beat them by the same score back in 1994, and that program has done pretty well for itself since. The sanctions made it inevitable that there would be days like this for Penn State. But with those scholarships coming back sooner than expected, and with Bill O’Brien and his staff making great progress in recruiting, the program is already making its way back to equal footing. In the meantime: patience.
B1G wins: A blustery Sunday afternoon at Jeffrey Field proved a perfect palate cleanser for the fans who stuck around to see the men’s soccer team clinch the Big Ten regular-season title with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Northwestern. The Lions trailed the Wildcats 1-0 in the final two minutes before Jordan Tyler’s header was deflected in to tie the game, and Tyler scored again with 1:30 left in the second overtime period to win it. The Lions moved to 5-0 in conference play, earning the Big Ten championship outright. Enjoy the highlights below.
We are … incredibly diverse: Check out the photos from students in John Beale’s advanced photojournalism class, who captured international students posing with their countries’ flags—and sometimes wearing traditional dress—at the Nittany Lion Shrine. It’s tough to pick a favorite, but Dan Griswold’s image of Vusal Hasanov, an undergraduate from Azerbaijan (above) is awfully striking.
So, where were you? The athletics department commissioned these excellent high-resolution, 360-degree panoramas of both the Michigan game and the opener at the Pegula Ice Arena. Click here for the football game; click here for hockey. Check them out, and tag yourself, too.
A fresh start: It should be an interesting season for the women’s basketball team with an influx of freshmen and an awesome home schedule featuring UConn and Notre Dame. One constant: senior guard Maggie Lucas. Asked Tuesday at preseason media day if opponents might gang up on Lucas because there will be so many young players in the lineup, coach Coquese Washington responded: “Well, people have been trying to take Maggie since she walked through the door, so that won’t be a change for us.” For media day highlights, check out this page from sports information which has everything from a transcript of Washington’s news conference to photos of media members—including the legendary Mel Greenberg—interviewing players. Lots of video, too.
Embarrassment of riches: There was way too much going on between 7 and 8 p.m. Tuesday night. LZ Granderson, an openly gay sports journalist, discussed the importance of straight allies in the LGBT movement (and was introduced by Bill O’Brien). Crisis communicator and author Steven Fink ’71 delivered a lecture called “What to do (and not to do) when things go wrong,” and of course a chunk of his talk was devoted to Penn State’s handling of the Sandusky scandal. You can get details by clicking here to see how my journalism class tweeted the highlights of his speech. And punk rock icon Patti Smith received the Medal for Distinguished Achievement from the Institute for Arts and Humanities—and was apparently even more awesome in a women’s studies class earlier Tuesday.
And, on a less serious note: You might think you know everything about John Urschel. Terrific offensive lineman. Math genius. Etc. And then BTN’s The Journey did this hard-hitting interview in which Urschel—and his mom—discuss how he was potty trained. Or, rather, how Urschel outsmarted, so to speak, his mom’s efforts to get him potty trained. It involves Barney diapers. You’ll get a laugh, probably. But honestly, my favorite part of the interview: Urschel’s baby pictures.
Lori Shontz, senior editor