MVB: Penn State Looks To Use Weekend Sweep As Momentum

Story posted January 30, 2017 in Sports, CommRadio by Ron Redden

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Nittany Lions had a successful weekend sweep of Mount Olive and Coker College this past weekend, only dropping a single set between both matches. The Nittany Lions displayed their athleticism and speed advantage against both teams, which were fine tune-ups as the Nittany Lions head into stiffer competition.

Both Mount Olive and Coker College expressed their gratitude for playing a team like Penn State in the environment of Rec Hall. When asked what he would do to make his team better going forward, Coker coach Eric Snyder simply said, “Schedule Penn State.”

While the two games this weekend were not particularly challenging for the 14th-ranked Nittany Lions, they gave the younger, smaller schools a chance to improve their programs, with Coker College’s volleyball program only being in its sixth year of existence.

When asked how important it is to end on a high note going into a deep stretch of conference play, Coach Pavlik for Penn State said, “It’s always nice to end on a high. Ending on a high allows us to hit the ground running.”

Coach Pavlik also referenced a stretch a couple of seasons ago, where the Nittany Lions went 0-6 heading into conference play and it caused them to not have much momentum to build on.

“It’s not a feeling you want to have,” Pavlik said.

The Nittany Lions having a weekend of winning will most certainly be conducive to their success going forward.

The Nittany Lions’ next opponent is Saint Francis in Rec Hall next weekend. Coach Pavlik also pointed out that while these two wins were nice, there will be no overlooking of upcoming opponents.

“I think this team enjoys a win, and then it’s over with. They’ll enjoy the wins and then on Monday they’ll be back in the gym to get ready for Saint Francis.”

With Saint Francis coming up on the schedule, the weekend stats may be a sign of things to come against a sneaky opponent this upcoming weekend.

The duo of Lee Smith and Chris Nugent proved to be pivotal in both matches this weekend, with both players combining for 47 kills over the weekend.

Both schools the Nittany Lions faced were not huge names, but they had huge players. Due to the fact that the programs aren’t as big, a lot of their recruiting is international. This placed a tough challenge for the Nittany Lions as they faced extremely tall competition.

Luca Berger and Joao Victor Santos for Coker were 6’9 and 6’7 respectively. The Nittany Lions being able to take taller competition will be key as they face more teams whose average height may be taller than the Nittany Lions.

Where the Nittany Lions did not look very solid was in the serve aspect of the game. The Nittany Lions combined for 22 total service errors over the weekend, which is much too high if they want to continue the success against Saint Francis this upcoming weekend in Rec Hall.

 

Ron Redden is a junior broadcast journalism major. To contact him, email him at rredden96@live.com.