#1 Penn State: A Work in “Not Rapid” Progress

If you think Penn State Head Coach Russ Rose is overconfident about his #1 Ranked Penn State Women’s Volleyball team, think again. In an interview with Daily Collegian Staff Writer Bill Landis, posted yesterday on thedailycollegianonline, he sounded a distinctly cautionary note:

“We’re making progress . . . albeit, not a rapid progress right now.”

Sure, the Nittany Lions are 12-0, haven’t lost a set this year and are led by returning AVCA All-Americans Blair Brown, Alisha Glass, Megan Hodge, and Arielle Wilson from the 2008 National Championship squad.

But talented as they are, freshmen Kristin Carpenter and Darcy Dorton and transfer Fatima Balza are not National Player of the Year Nicole Fawcett, 2008’s starting libero Roberta Holehouse, or All American MH Christa Harmotto, as Big Ten Network commentator Elizabeth Moreau notes in this Video Clip: Temple-Penn State Highlights (“These shoes are too big to fill”).

The Nittany Lions will be tested this weekend by Northwestern and Illinois. If Blair Brown’s ankle injury keeps her off the court, those tests will be all the more difficult. We’ll have Match Previews for both of those contests later this week. In the meantime, here’s a link to a VolleyTalk thread on the topic “Will Illinois Upset Penn State.” We’d say opinion (1500 replies as we made this post) is mixed.