While the schedule is not yet set in stone by the conference or Penn State, details are emerging about a very tough challenge for the four-time defending national champion women's volleyball team. Already playing in a difficult conference, the addition of Nebraska to the mix alone makes for a very hard schedule. However, there is more.â†µ
The Centre Daily Times reports that Penn State will be involved in three tournaments in three consecutive weeks during early season play. First, Penn State will play host as Southern California, Oregon and Minnesota in the AVCA Showcase (due to conference regulations, Penn State will only play USC and Oregon). A week later, the Nittany Lions will travel to Pittsburgh for their Invitational Tournament (additional invitees are not known as of yet). Finally, on September 9, Penn State will travel to Stanford and either Texas or Florida in the Big Four Classic. Not exactly an easy start to the year.
Russ Rose will have a hard enough time with the schedule, let alone the fact that he must say goodbye to four excellent players, members of four straight national championships. Alyssa D’Errico, Cathy Quilico, Blair Brown, and Arielle Wilson have all moved on to greener pastures.â†µ
Finally, some good news from spring practices: it appears that Darcy Dorton has healed from the torn ACL that forced her to miss the entire 2010 season. Dorton's return will go a long way to filling the void left by Brown and Wilson.â†µ