UNIVERSITY PARK — U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., served accolades to the Penn State women’s volleyball team Monday.
The senator visited Rec Hall on campus to present the ladies with a resolution he brought from Washington, praising the team for bringing home the program’s sixth NCAA championship.
“I’m here really to say congratulations on behalf of all Pennsylvania,” Toomey said.
The resolution was jointly sponsored by Toomey and his Democratic counterpart, Sen. Bob Casey.
“We want to thank you very much, because we appreciate the support of the institution in general,” said university Vice President and Provost Nick Jones. Jones came on board in 2013, just in time to see a variety of athletic opportunities at Penn State, from the volleyball championship to the opening of a new hockey arena to the women’s basketball team’s Sweet 16 appearance.
“I’ve watched more sports on TV and in person in the last year than I have in my life,” said Jones, making the senator smile.
“They make it fun,” Toomey said.
The girls were definitely having fun, with big smiles, springy dresses and spikes they don’t usually show on court — tippy-toeing stiletto heels.
“It’s pretty amazing,” said sophomore Kendall Pierce. “I’m a little star-struck.”
“It’s surreal,” said junior Dominique Gonzalez. “This isn’t something a lot of people get to do.”
It was also a little bittersweet for senior Erica Denney, one of the last events she will share with her team. Denney bookended her volleyball career with championship titles as a freshman and a senior.
“There couldn’t be a better way to do it,” she said. “You couldn’t ask for a better team, better people, or a better outcome.”