Not so Happy Valley this weekend

There’s a ton of people going nutso because of our last second football loss to Michigan on Saturday but they are the ones who usually overreact to everything. Fortunately, I’m one of the few who keeps a broad perspective on things.

So. while the loss was heartbreaking, ending our winning streak at eight which was the third longest in the nation behind USC and Texas, and eliminating our changes to get to the National Championship game, there still much to feel good about the program. For one thing, at the beginning of the season I doubt that many fans realistically thought we would be 6-1 at this point. Secondly, we are still in first place in the conference and we control out own destiny when it comes to winning the league championship and getting to a BCS bowl. If we win out we will hold the tiebreakers on the other B10 schools.

Our others sports are still going quite well too. Friday night the 4th ranked women’s volleyball team beat Michigan 3-0 and then came back on Saturday to knock off Michigan State 3-0. UncleLar niece Kaleena Walters set a PSU career record for digs in the Friday match. Those two matches left Penn State atop the conference with an 8-0 record.

While the VB match was going on here in State College, the women’s soccer team were in Columbus beating Ohio State 1-0. The lone goal was scored by Tiffany Wiemer who has now scored in 15 straight game and has tied Brandi Chastain’s NCAA record. Earlier in the week, the women were voted the #1 team in the country, taking over the top spot from North Carolina. The women also hold down the top spot in the Big Ten conference with a 7-0 record and are the only undefeated team in the conference.

Saturday was a pretty full day for me. At noon, I went to watch our 6th ranked women play and knock off their archrival Michigan State 2-1. That was the women’s 14th in a row, one away from the team record. The win left the Nits undefeated in conference play and atop the league standings. Earlier in the week, UncleLar niece Natalie Berrena earned her second B10 Player of the Week Award for her 2 goal performance against Iowa.

Immediately following the field hockey match I travelled to Tussey Mountain, a small amusement area about five miles south of town. I got their in time to watch a friend of mine, Kevin Becker, finish the Tussey Mountain 50 Mile Ultramarathon. Kevin finished about 8:25:00 which placed him about 10th. I did one marathon once, which is 26.2 miles and it was painful. I can’t imagine running 50 miles but Kevin did and looked just fine. He was even able to join us later in the evening for beers to celebrate his finish. Kevin couldn’t have finished at a better time. The race started at 7AM so 8:25 got him done at 3:25 in the afternoon. I had just enough time to congratulate him and to hightail it home in time to catch the 3:45 football kickoff.

On Sunday our sports teams continued with their winning ways when the men’s soccer team duplicated their sister team’s effort by also knocked off Ohio State 1-0 in Columbus. The men, while not #1 ranked in the country like the women, are like the women in that they are undefeated in league play and sit atop the Big Ten standings.

So while we may have lost the big one, overall the weekend was a success with the five squads going a combined 5-1 with each of them remaining atop the conference and in good shape to win B10 championships.