Posts tagged ‘Russ Rose’
Snow what?! Is it snowing where you are? It’s snowing where we are. Man, it will not stop snowing. State College got somewhere between 7 and 11 inches of snow on Thursday, and based on how much time I spent shoveling in front of my house Thursday morning, Thursday evening, and again this morning, I’m going with the high number. It was enough for the university to cancel afternoon and evening classes on Thursday, but we’re back running at full steam today.
Yeezy does it: About the only thing that did happen as scheduled Thursday night: The traveling hip-hop art project known as Kanye West performed at the Bryce Jordan Center. By all accounts, Kanye gave the crowd what it came for: lots of possibly unhinged rants interspersed with some often compelling music. The Collegian was in the building.
Setting up a return: Penn State volleyball legend Salima Davidson Rockwell ’94 is coming back to her alma mater. A three-time All-America setter for Russ Rose and former captain of the U.S. national team, Salima was a Penn State assistant when I moved back to town in 2007, and her son and mine became best buddies in preschool. She left in 2009 to become associate head coach at Texas, one of the Lions’ chief rivals; now, she’s back in Happy Valley with the same title. Salima, if you read this: Welcome back! Let’s get those kids together soon.
Too much of a good thing: As every music hipster knows, it’s good to be a little bit popular, but not too popular. Seems that logic applies to technology, too. So says S. Shyam Sundar, distinguished professor and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory in the College of Comm. Sundar led a study that found new technologies benefit from being deemed “cool” by tech-savvy subcultures, but once they get popular in the mainstream, they lose that initial coolness, which ultimately hurts their appeal with the mainstream.
Ryan Jones, senior editor
Playing for a … six-peat? The women’s volleyball team pounded Washington—and I mean pounded Washington, which was basically playing a home game—late Thursday night, 25-14, 25-13, 25-16, in the NCAA semifinals. The Nittany Lions will play conference foe Wisconsin (which upset top-ranked Texas) for the NCAA title at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. The Nittany Lions have won five national titles, their last when current star seniors Deja McClendon, Ariel Scott, and Katie Slay were freshmen. Safe to say, those ladies want to go out as they came in—as NCAA champs. In this Centre Daily Times story, McClendon said, “This is the fire I think that you need to win it all.” Play-by-play announcer Beth Mowins called Penn State’s performance “one of the most dominant we’ve seen in the NCAA semifinals.” But Coach Russ Rose, named national coach of the year for the fifth time before the game, was, as usual, a little more laid-back: “I believe the seniors have a pretty good handle on what we need to do. We’ll see if we can do it one more time.”
And a big wrestling match, too: It’s a good thing my in-laws are awesome and my husband is a sports writer, because otherwise I’d be in trouble Saturday night, when I need to watch not only the NCAA volleyball title match, but the wrestling team, which will be competing at Iowa at 9 p.m. on Big Ten Network. If you remember, the match was “scheduled on Twitter” after the Big Ten schedule didn’t have these two powerhouses wrestling a dual. (Iowa coach Tom Brands has tweeted once since the early September scheduling flurry, and that tweet was two words: Tony Ramos.) Iowa would like to regain the NCAA dual attendance record, but even if it doesn’t, it’ll be a raucous Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Get ready with this match preview from Jim Carlson for PennLive.com.
Semester’s end: Graduation is Saturday—5,133 people will be receiving degrees, including one student who will travel about 6,000 miles to receive her degree—Hiroko Tanako of Japan, who has earned a master of education degree in curriculum and instruction, children’s literature, from World Campus. Tanako said: “I have watched American university graduations on television. I would like to experience commencement with the cap and gown. It will be my first time wearing it.”
Happy Holidays: The university will close for the holidays at the end of business today. We’ll be back publishing The Daily on Jan. 2, 2014.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
The Godfather: The big story on the front page of today’s Collegian is a profile of women’s volleyball coach Russ Rose, who in addition to being a terrific coach is just an entertaining character. Which is why my favorite quote in the piece by Zach Neiner is the one at the end from assistant coach Steve Aird: “Penn State has let Russ be Russ, which has translated into him having the best program in the country.” The Nittany Lions have a big rematch this weekend against Big Ten foe Michigan State, which beat them in five sets in the conference opener. This match is on the road and follows a Friday match-up with Michigan.
Another Day, Another Honor: This is a prestigious one for offensive guard/math whiz John Urschel ’12, ’13g: as a National Football Foundation scholar-athlete, he’ll receive an $18,000 scholarship for post-graduate studies. Which should help on the way to a possible Ph.D. in math … as will his most recently scholarly publication, “A Space-Time Multigrid Method for the Numerical Valuation of Barrier Options.”
The Hayride Saga: We had no idea that hayrides had become a popular part of the fall social scene around here until one of our interns pitched a story on them. Just our luck, right at the time, this turned from a fun story into a more serious one—the owner of Nittany Mountain Trail Rides suspended hayrides after several alcohol-related incidents. The latest, from Onwrad State: The hayrides are back on, but they are now alcohol-free (even if students are 21 or older), and they’re being held at a church camp near Milroy, Pa.
Oh, those Gen Eds: I’ll admit it: For one of my science gen ed requirements, I took the infamous “Rocks for Jocks.” But my art history class turned me into someone who can happily spend all day in a museum, someone who appreciates not just the beauty of the exhibits, but the intellectual and aesthetic theories of the artists. And COMM 150, The Art of the Cinema, has made me a more intelligent consumer of the movies. (That said, when my brother and I happened to take the class the same semester, our dad wasn’t thrilled: “I paid for six credits of movie watching?!?”) Those perspectives—and more—were apparent Thursday when faculty gathered to discuss the future of general education. The Collegian’s piece gives a broad overview of the issues, and this Storify put together by Christopher Dean, associate dean for the College of the Liberal Arts, gives you a sense for how faculty reacted on social media. It’s really interesting.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
From news to features, your daily dose of everything Penn State.
Winning weekend: Another football bye week put the focus on the rest of Penn State’s fall teams, and they sure seemed to enjoy the attention. Where to start? The fourth-ranked women’s volleyball team posted weekend road wins at Illinois and Northwestern, the second of which gave coach Russ Rose his 1,107th career victory. That total is second-best all-time in college women’s volleyball, second only to current Hawaii coach Dave Shoji.
The field hockey team went the dramatic route for its weekend win. Trailing Michigan State 3-1 in the second half on Saturday, the Lions rallied to force overtime and then pull out a 4-3 victory over the Spartans. It was the 10th straight win for Penn State, which improved to a flawless 4-0 in Big Ten play. Oh, and the drama we mentioned:
That was senior defender Brittany Grzywacz with the game-saving dive. Grzywacz is the defending Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, and she’s won the league’s weekly defensive award three times this season. At this point, they should probably just name those awards after her and be done with it.
The men’s soccer team chose a similar script—late drama against Michigan State with its Big Ten lead on the line—in its 2-1 OT win Sunday in East Lansing. Junior forward Jordan Tyler scored the game-winner and junior goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton made a career-high nine saves for the Lions, who improved to 4-0 in the league and need just a draw in one of their final two games to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten regular-season title.
For the women’s soccer team, the weekend theme was dominance, not drama. It started with a 4-2 win Thursday over Ohio State and ended Sunday, on senior day, with a 5-0 thumping of Illinois. After the team’s final home game of the season, Coach Erica Walsh called her graduating class, which played a huge role in getting Penn State to the national title game last fall, “program changing.”
Larry Foster remembered: The Star-Ledger of New Jersey has an obituary of Garden State native Larry Foster ’48, the former Penn State trustee, Alumni Association president, and public relations industry giant who died last week. (more…)
Penn State announced today that a search committee has been formed as a first step in naming a replacement for Joe Paterno, who was fired Nov. 9 during the most dizzying and distressing week in the University’s history.
As expected, acting athletic director Dave Joyner ’72, ’76g heads the six-member committee, which also includes two faculty members, an athletic department administrator, a coach, and an alumnus. It’s a small group, which could be a good thing; a search committee with, say, 15 members on it would’ve just screamed “bureaucracy.”
Three names on the committee stood out for me: women’s volleyball coach Russ Rose, retired faculty member John Nichols, and alumnus Ira Lubert ’73.
Russ Rose is, of course, one of Penn State’s most prominent and successful coaches. He also is a straight shooter; I suspect the committee will benefit from his candor (and sense of humor). John Nichols is a longtime faculty member in the College of Communications, a former chair of the Faculty Senate, and current chair of a reform group called the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics.
As for Ira Lubert, he has worked for years in the financial sector in Philadelphia. He is both an Alumni Fellow and a Distinguished Alumnus of Penn State and is a current member of the Board of Trustees. He and Joyner were wrestling teammates at Penn State in the early 1970s and have stayed friends ever since. Lubert has given a good bit of money to Penn State, including the wrestling program.
Tina Hay, editor
To put it mildly, the Penn State women’s volleyball team was in a tough spot Saturday night.
The four-time defending NCAA champions entered the season with the top ranking again, and then they lost to Oregon on Friday night at the AVCA Showcase at Rec Hall, snapping an NCAA record 94-game home match winning streak.
And there they were the next night, down 0-2 to No. 2 USC.
The spectacular crowd—6,165 strong, including Graham Spanier, a chunk of the men’s basketball team, two guys wearing matching blue and white mouse heads, respectively, and a baby girl in the balcony that my mom would have described as “just hatched”—was beginning to file out.
Then things got fun. (more…)
We just got our office copies of the March/April issue, so those of you who live in the Mid-Atlantic states should be receiving yours shortly. I can guarantee it’ll stand out in your mailbox because of the cover–a stunning photo of a Rabari Indian girl, one of the images on the world’s last roll of Kodachrome film shot by Steve McCurry ’74. It reminded all of us of of McCurry’s famous Afghan girl photo.
Inside, you’ll find more McCurry photos from that last roll of Kodachrome, a profile of Bobby Braun ’87, who as NASA’s newly named chief technologist is responsible for trying to rejuvenate innovation in the space agency, and a piece on women’s volleyball coach Russ Rose, who just led the Nittany Lions to their fourth consecutive NCAA title.
The Rose piece was particularly fun for Ryan Jones, the other senior editor, and me. We talked to players, coaches, even Rose’s wife, trying to figure out exactly what makes him such a great coach. Both of us knew Rose is a character, so we weren’t surprised when every interview started with some version of this: “Wow, I’m not sure I can tell you the best Russ Rose stories.” Even with that caveat, I laughed so hard when I talked with Bonnie Bremner Pettigrew ’00 that our class notes editor, Julie Nelson, peeked into my office to see what was going on.
“Oh my God,” Pettigrew said at one point, “if you find out what makes him tick, you’ve got to let me know.”
We think we did. Check out the story, and let us know what you think.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
Senior Alyssa D’Errico is president of Penn State’s Student-Athlete Advisory Board, which is the sort of thing you might put at the top of your resume if it didn’t mean bumping “four-time NCAA champion.” A co-captain last season with the women’s volleyball team, D’Errico is a back-row specialist who also possesses one of the nastiest jump serves on the squad. We caught up with her in January and asked her to explain that serve — and give us a shot at returning it. She said yes. Ouch.
“I may have shanked that.”
That’s me trying to handle a couple of those serves. Alyssa says that she and sophomore setter Kristin Carpenter have had their serves clocked at 62 mph — tied for fastest on the team — and that they average in the mid-to-high 50s. It’s all about momentum: Alyssa starts with her weight on her right foot, bounces the ball twice, takes three steps (left, right, left), tosses the ball nearly 20 feet in the air, leaps, and swings. In baseball parlance, she can aim for a spot and drill it (fastball), hit a “floater” that acts a bit like a knuckleball, or make it slice like a curve.
As for returning that serve? (more…)
Three consecutive NCAA women’s volleyball titles was unprecedented. And now Penn State is on the verge of its fourth in a row.
The Nittany Lions dominated Texas last night in a three-set sweep, and they’re playing Cal for the national title on Saturday night.
And this was supposed to be a rebuilding year. How did the Nittany Lions find themselves near the top again? There’s plenty of credit to go around:
Setter Kristin Carpenter, who explained her terrific serving performance by quipping that she “ate her Wheaties.” The Nittany Lions’ All-American seniors, Blair Brown and Arielle Wilson. A fantastic freshman class, led by National Freshman of the Year Deja McClendon. And of course coach Russ Rose, who has my Facebook friends debating whether he’s the best coach in Penn State history.
Women’s volleyball, regrettably, doesn’t get a lot of national coverage. You can learn all you need to know here and here from the Collegian’s beat reporters, who are still, unbelievably, cranking out copy during finals week. (They also provide in-match updates at Collegian_WVB.) For a national perspective, you can’t get better than Mechelle Voepel from ESPN.com, who checked in with this story.
Tune in to ESPN2 at 8:30 Saturday night to watch the final.
Lori Shontz, senior editor
Alumni Council members got to see that second side of Rose on Friday afternoon, when he made a special guest appearance at their meeting. Sometimes Rose’s humor can be dry and deadpan, but he was laugh-out-loud funny standing at the podium in Robb Hall. The guy has the expert timing of a first-rate stand-up comic, and I can’t reproduce that here. But I hope you can still tell from these highlights that he did bring his A game: