Wild weekend ahead in Happy Valley

University Park, Pa. — Penn State Athletics is preparing itself for the busiest weekend of sports this semester, highlighted by numerous postseason events, home openers and pivotal contests. Penn State will also be hosting two NCAA events and a Big Ten Tournament. The Nittany Lions will host the Big Ten men's soccer tournament, the NCAA Regional Cross Country Championships, and the opening rounds of the NCAA Field Hockey Championship this weekend. Nittany Lion and Lady Lion basketball are both home for the first time as is the nationally ranked wrestling team. Women's volleyball and fencing also host pivotal contests in Happy Valley this weekend.

The weekend kicked off Thursday with the men's soccer team playing host to the Northwestern Wildcats at 5 p.m. at Jeffery Field in a Big Ten Championship opening round match. A late surge gave Penn State a 3-1 victory. Friday features the second day of men's soccer action, the home opener for men's basketball and a Big Ten showdown for women's volleyball. The return of the men's basketball team to the Bryce Jordan Center highlights the slate of games Friday. The Nittany Lion basketball team tips-off its season against Lehigh at 7:30 p.m.

In other action, the No. 9 women's volleyball team remains at home for the first of a weekend double-dip at Rec Hall against Wisconsin at 7 p.m. The Nittany Lions look to continue their success after defeating Michigan State 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-16, 25-19) and Michigan 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-21) last weekend to improve to 21-4 overall and 11-3 in league play this season. Freshman middle hitter Katie Slay will look to continue her strong play this weekend as well after winning Big Ten Defensive Player and Freshman Player of the week last weekend.

Thursday's win means the men's soccer team advances to a semi-final match at Jeffery Field against No. 1 seeded Indiana at 3:30 p.m. on Friday/.

Saturday boasts three is another action-packed day for Penn State teams as well. Action begins Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. with men's and women's fencing at the White Building. First round NCAA field hockey action begins with the Nittany Lions facing Syracuse at 11:30 a.m. at the Penn State Field Hockey Complex.

Across campus at noon, the Penn State men's and women's cross-country teams begin their run at glory at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Cross Country Championships.

Finally, Saturday evening the women's volleyball team looks to continue their strong play this season at Rec Hall against the Illinois Fighting Illini. The crucial Big Ten contest begins at 6 p.m.

The weekend finishes with a bang on Sunday, as Penn State will play host to five events. Fencing kicks-off the home slate for the second day in a row at 8:30 a.m. A weekend of action at Jeffery Field concludes at noon with the Big Ten Men's Soccer Championship match. If the men's soccer team can win its matches Thursday and Friday, the team will make the championship game Sunday afternoon. The frantic pace of the weekend continues when Nittany Lion fans get their choice of three marquee contests at 2 p.m. The Lady Lion basketball team comes back to the Bryce Jordan Center for their home opener against Rider. Wrestling will begin its home slate by hosting Lehigh. Finally, the field hockey team could advance to play an NCAA Second Round game with a win on Saturday. That game would also begin at 2 p.m.

PENN STATE ATHLETICS SCHEDULE, NOV. 11-14

Thursday:
Big Ten Men's Soccer Tournament: Michigan State vs. Michigan - Noon
Big Ten Men's Soccer Tournament: Wisconsin vs. Ohio State - 2:30 p.m.
Big Ten Men's Soccer Tournament: Penn State vs. Northwestern - 5 p.m.

Friday:
Big Ten Men's Soccer Tournament: Michigan/MSU vs. Wisconsin/OSU -1 p.m
Big Ten Men's Soccer Tournament: Penn State/Northwestern vs. Indiana - 3:30 p.m.
Women's Volleyball: Penn State vs. Wisconsin - 7 p.m.
Men's Basketball: Penn State vs. Lehigh 7:30 p.m.

Saturday:
Men's and Women's Fencing - 8:30 a.m.
NCAA Field Hockey Championships First Round: Penn State vs. Syracuse - 11:30 a.m.
NCAA Cross Country Regional Championships - Noon
Women's Volleyball: Penn State vs. Illinois - 6 p.m.

Sunday:
Men's and Women's Fencing - 8:30 a.m.
Big Ten Men's Soccer Tournament: Championship Game - Noon
Women's Basketball: Penn State vs. Rider - 2 p.m.
Wrestling: Penn State vs. Lehigh - 2 p.m.
NCAA Field Hockey Championships Second Round: TBD - 2 p.m.

Contacts: 
Last Updated November 18, 2010