Sports

Penn State athletes, coaches set for Olympics

United States' Morgan Brian (14) lands on teammate Ali Kreiger (11) after crashing into Germany's Alexandra Popp, back, during the first half of a semifinal in the Women's World Cup soccer tournament, Tuesday, June 30, 2015, in Montreal, Canada. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)
United States' Morgan Brian (14) lands on teammate Ali Kreiger (11) after crashing into Germany's Alexandra Popp, back, during the first half of a semifinal in the Women's World Cup soccer tournament, Tuesday, June 30, 2015, in Montreal, Canada. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP) AP

There are more than 20 athletes and coaches with ties to Penn State’s University Park campus who are competing at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The group is representing five countries: Ireland, Japan, Mexico, the United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Here’s a look at the former and current Nittany Lions and when they’re set to compete in the Olympics.

Women’s soccer

Athletes: Ali Krieger (United States), Alyssa Naeher (United States)

PSU careers: Krieger earned Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors as a senior in 2006. She was also a first-team All-American selection her final two seasons for the Nittany Lions. Naeher earned All-American honors in three seasons and received the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year award twice.

Rio: The U.S. beat New Zealand 2-0 Wednesday, though neither Krieger nor Naeher played. The team continues play against France on Saturday and Colombia on Tuesday. The quarterfinals are set for Friday, followed by the semifinals Aug. 16 and the gold and bronze medal matches Aug. 19.

Women’s volleyball

Athletes: Alisha Glass (United States), Christa Harmotto Dietzen (United States)

PSU careers: Glass helped Penn State win three straight national championships from 2007-2009 and earned All-American honors three times. Dietzen led the Nittany Lions to back-to-back national titles in 2007 and 2008, and she was named a first-team All-American both seasons.

Rio: The U.S. team faces Puerto Rico (Saturday), the Netherlands (Monday), Serbia (Wednesday), Italy (Friday) and China (Aug. 14). The quarterfinals are set for Aug. 16, the semifinals will be Aug. 18, and the gold and bronze medal matches will be Aug. 20.

Women’s fencing

Athletes: Katarzyna Trzopek (United States), Monica Aksamit (United States)

PSU careers: Trzopek competed at Penn State from 2002-06, going 141-18 in the epee. She was a three-time All-American and won the national title in the epee in 2003 and 2006. Aksamit earned All-American honors three times during her Nittany Lion career. In 2012, she was the national runner-up in the saber event.

Rio: Trzopek and Aksamit are both team replacement athletes. The women’s epee takes place Saturday, and the saber is set for Monday.

Women’s basketball

Coach: Tom Hovasse (Japan, assistant)

PSU career: Hovasse played at Penn State from 1985-89. He averaged 14.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in his career.

Rio: Japan plays Belarus (Saturday), Brazil (Monday), Turkey (Tuesday), Australia (Thursday), France (Aug. 13). Quarterfinals are set for Aug. 16, semifinals will be Aug. 18 and the gold and bronze medal matches will be Aug. 20.

Men’s volleyball

Athletes: Matt Anderson (United States), Carlos Guerra (Mexico), Max Holt (United States), Aaron Russell (United States)

Coaches: Ivan Contreras (Mexico, assistant)

PSU careers: Anderson led Penn State to the 2008 national title and received AVCA National Co-Player of the Year honors that year. Guerra finished his standout career by earning second-team All-American honors in 2003. Holt was an All-American who helped the Nittany Lions to the national championship in 2008. Russell was a first-team All-American in 2014 and 2015 for the Nittany Lions. Contreras played at Penn State from 1994-1997, helping the program win its first national title in his freshman season.

Rio: The U.S. team takes on Canada (Sunday), Italy (Tuesday), Brazil (Thursday), France (Aug. 13) and Mexico (Aug. 15). Mexico faces Brazil (Sunday), France (Tuesday), Italy (Thursday) and Canada (Aug. 13). Those matches will lead to the quarterfinals (Aug. 17), semifinals (Aug. 19) and gold and bronze medal matches (Aug. 21).

Men’s swimming

Athlete: Shane Ryan (Ireland)

PSU career: Ryan set Penn State records in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke. He decided to redshirt last season and lived in Ireland to be able to represent the country.

Rio: Ryan will swim in heats in the 100-meter backstroke (Sunday), 100-meter freestyle (Tuesday) and 50-meter freestyle (Thursday).

Men’s fencing

Athletes: Daniel Gomez-Tanamachi (Mexico), Miles Chamley-Watson (United States)

PSU careers: Gomez-Tanamachi finished his Penn State career (2009-13) with a 120-37 record. He competed for Penn in the 2012 Olympics in London. Chamley-Watson went 83-14 during his college career from 2008-13. He was on the U.S. men’s foil team at the 2012 Olympics.

Rio: Gomez-Tanamachi and Chamley-Watson are both set to compete in the men’s foil Sunday.

Men’s track and field

Athletes: Eddie Lovett (U.S. Virgin Islands), Darrell Hill (United States), Joe Kovacs (United States)

Coach: Erin Tucker (U.S. Virgin Islands)

PSU careers: Lovett is a volunteer coach for Penn State after enjoying a standout career at Florida. He will be coached by Erin Tucker, who is Penn State’s associate head coach. Hill took second in the shot put at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 2015. Kovacs finished third in the shot put at the 2011 outdoor national championships.

Rio: Lovett runs the 110-meter hurdles Aug. 15. Hill and Kovacs compete in the shot put Aug. 18.

Cycling

Athlete: Matt Baranoski (United States)

PSU career: Baranoski is a Penn State student who will return to school for his last semester after the Olympics. He spent his first two years of college at Penn State Lehigh Valley before going to the University Park campus for one year.

Rio: Baranoski competes in the keirin Aug. 16. 

Wrestling

Athlete: Frank Molinaro (United States)

PSU career: Molinaro was a four-time All-American during his Penn State career. He finished his career by going undefeated and capturing the national championship at 149 pounds in 2012. Molinaro is now an assistant coach for the Nittany Lions.

Rio: Molinaro will wrestle Aug. 21 in the men’s freestyle at 65 kg (143 pounds).

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