Penn State to earn 13th Top 15 finish in Directors' Cup standings

University Park, Pa. — Another outstanding athletic campaign, highlighted by two NCAA Championships and three Big Ten titles, has lifted Penn State to another Top 15 finish in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup.

Penn State will earn its 13th Top 15 finish in the 18-year history of the Directors' Cup, placing in the Top 25 every year, with eight Top 10 finishes.

The Nittany Lions are ranked No. 11 in the next-to-last update for 2010-11, edged by Virginia for 10th place. Penn State (996.05 points) will finish either No. 11 or 12, depending on the number of points Texas (923.75) earns for participating in the College World Series. The final standings will be announced later this summer.

Stanford will win its 17th consecutive Learfield Sports Directors' Cup, having earned 1,526.75 points. The Cardinal are followed by Ohio State (1,277.05), Duke (1,171.05), California (1,141.50), and Florida (1,122.25). North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Florida State, Virginia and Penn State are next in the standings.

Penn State and Ohio State again will be the highest finishers in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup among institutions located in the Midwest and Northeast.

The men's volleyball squad posted the top finish among Penn State teams in the latest release after reaching the semifinals of the NCAA National Championship in Rec Hall. Three members of the team earned All-American accolades as Joe Sunder received first-team honors, while Edgardo Goas and Dennis Del Valle garnered second-team nods. Coach Mark Pavlik's team posted a 24-7 record and earned 25 points in the Directors' Cup standings.

The men's and women's outdoor track & field teams also had good showings during the spring under the leadership of Coach Beth Alford-Sullivan. The men scored their highest finish at the NCAA Championships since 1993, tying for 20th overall, which earned the program 52 points in the Directors' Cup. Joe Kovacs notched a third-place effort in the shot put during the national meet, while Casimir Loxsom, who was named the Mid-Atlantic Track Athlete of the Year, placed fourth in the 800 meters.

On the women's side, Penn State tallied 27 Directors' Cup points. For the fourth consecutive year, the Nittany Lions were buoyed by an excellent performance in the 4x400-meter relay as the quartet of Doris Anyanwu, Shavon Greaves, Ije Iheoma, and Megan Duncan placed fourth in the competitive field. It was the fourth straight time that Penn State recorded a top-four finish in the event at the NCAA meet.

The Penn State softball team surged late in the spring and earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament, where the squad advanced to the final of the University Park Regional. For that performance, Nittany Lions received 50 points in the Directors' Cup. Four members of Coach Robin Petrini's team earned All-Big Ten honors for their efforts, including Lisa Akamine, who was honored for the third straight season. Cassidy Bell, Jackie Hill, and Alyssa Sovereign were all recognized by the conference as well.

The Big Ten Conference leads the nation with six institutions in the Top 25 as the Nittany Lions and Buckeyes are joined by Michigan (14), Wisconsin (23), Indiana (24) and Illinois (25) in the most recent standings.

Penn State has won 21 NCAA Championships since 1993-94, its first full year in the Big Ten Conference, more than double every other Big Ten institution. Iowa and Minnesota are tied for second with nine. The Nittany Lions' 10 NCAA Championships since March, 2007 lead the nation.

Penn State is one of only 10 programs nationwide that has finished in the final Top 25 in every Directors' Cup ranking joining: Arizona State, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, Southern California, Stanford, Texas, and UCLA. The Sun Devils were No. 33 in the latest standings.

The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings are unveiled following the fall, winter and spring seasons. The award was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution's finish in up to 20 sports -- 10 women's and 10 men's.

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Last Updated July 05, 2011