On a night when the unseeded Loyola Marymount Lions swept #6-seeded Stanford in a 2nd-round matchup, the 3-0 win (25-16, 25-8, 25-17) by #7-seed Penn State (27-5) over Howard (18-14) looks pretty good. After the match, Penn State’s Head Coach Russ Rose said he saw some good things from Penn State and some not-so-good things. Oh, and he warned that if Penn State doesn’t play better . . . against its 2nd round opponent . . . . the Nittany Lions season will end.
I’d first like to congratulate Howard on the season they had qualifying for the NCAA Championships. I’d like to thank Penn State for putting in a bid to host it. I thought we played very well in some areas, and a couple areas I thought we were a little sloppy. Every match in the tournament has different challenges. I thought the three seniors [5-5 libero Kendall Pierce (7 digs), 6-4 MB/RS Aiyana Whitney (10 kills, .588 attack %), and 6-2 OH Megan Courtney (7 kills, 5 bocks, 10 digs)] did a nice job — certainly better than the last time we played [a 3-0 loss to Nebraska].
If there was an advantage that we had against Howard, it was that we have size, and by setting the ball higher, we had opportunity to hit the ball over the top [above their blocking point]. Howard does alot of things well. They’d won 13 matches in a row to get themselves to this position. I know how it is: before we were Penn State in the Big Ten we were Penn State in the Atlantic 10, and [people wouldn’t recognize that] it’s hard to win in the conference that you’re in, because everybody’s trying.
It’s a nice win. It’s not our best performance, but you can’t worry about the things you don’t control.
That’s what happened against Howard the last time out — Round 1 of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Here’s hoping this year’s team plays a good match, no injuries, and moves on.
For the complete write-up from 2015, Click Here.