December 16, 2009
Posted by Joe Chuba
The Penn State women’s volleyball team arrived in Tampa last night to prepare to defend their national title yet again. This would make three-in-a-row for the Nittany Lions.
The team is going through their first practice in the St. Pete Times Forum, home of the Tampa Lightning, this afternoon. The press conference with head coach Russ Rose and players was loose as ever with coach in a pleasant mood. One reporter took a dig at Rose’s and opposing coach of Hawaii Dave Shoji’s age, to which he responded that he was in fact much younger than Shoji, but had lived a harder life. The rest of his team reflected his relaxed mood.
The lack of tension comes from experience, after all, this is a familiar stage for Penn State. Of all of the key contributors for the Nittany Lions only freshman Darcy Dorton and junior college transfer Fatima Balza haven’t had a taste of the Final Four atmosphere. In fact for the corner hitters for Penn State, Blair Brown and Megan Hodge, have been instrumental in both the 2007 and 08 championships. Setter Alisha Glass has been the court quarterback since arriving on campus. This experience should help pick up any areas of freshness.
The light mood and fun loving nature of the team is refreshing. Sometimes this kind of enjoyment can be perceived as a lack of focus, but for this group is the key ingredient to success.
Look for some former players to be in attendence, and more posts. I’ll be updating things from Tampa as the tournament proceeds.
Author: Joe Chuba
Bio: Sports Producer for WPSU-TV
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