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The Penn State women’s basketball team will have an interesting new staff member with the addition of current WNBA player Natisha Hiedeman.

She was announced as director of player development on Monday, a role that likely means a lot of one-on-one coaching time with current Penn State players.

Hiedeman has been with the Connecticut Sun for four years and averaged 9.1 points and 3.3 assists per game during the recently ended season, his first as a full-time starter. The Sun lost in the WNBA Finals to the Las Vegas Aces.

Beyond that, Marquette graduate Hiedeman will be able to clearly communicate the expectations of head coach Carolyn Kieger.

“After playing for Coach Kieger for four years, I am looking forward and excited to work alongside him at Penn State,” Hiedeman said in a press release. “I look forward to having a positive impact on the players and guiding them to be the best athletes and people they can be.”

The Lady Lions will open play on November 9 when they host Norfolk State.

Men’s hockey opens with wins

The Penn State men’s hockey team opened play last weekend with a pair of home games against Canisius.

Three different Nittany Lions totaled five points over the weekend as Penn State walked away with a pair of wins.

Ryan Kirwan had a goal and an assist in the 5-2 opener win at Pegula.

A night later, Penn State held on for a 7-5 victory in a game that saw six total goals scored in the third period. Senior Kevin Wall had a goal and three assists in the win.

Wall, Kirwan and Ture Linden each have five points from two games to lead the now No. 20 Nittany Lions (2-0), who will be at home in Pegula again on Thursday and Friday for games against Mercyhurst.

More Player of the Week honors

Junior defenseman Lyndie Lobdell has been named College Hockey America’s Defensive Player of the Week.

Lobdell scored one goal in a 2-1 loss to Colgate last weekend. Overall, it was a tough weekend for the No. 12 Lions, who lost two games to No. 6 Colgate.

Meanwhile, this is the third time CHA has honored a Penn State player in as many weeks. Courtney Correia (forward of the week) and Tessa Janecke (freshman of the week) were also highlighted by the conference.

Penn State, now 2-4 this season, is on the road this weekend for a pair of games at Boston College.

Big Ten Honors for Field Hockey Standout

Junior Sophia Gladieux was named Big Ten Offensive Co-Player of the Week after scoring not one, but two game-winning goals last weekend.

Gladieux scored the winner in a 2-1 victory over rival Big Ten and No. 4 Iowa, while adding a double overtime winner against Lafayette. The Nittany Lions won by the same score of 2-1.

Gladieux leads Penn State with 15 goals and three assists.

The weekend was also special for the Lions, who inaugurated the structure of their new stadium.

The field hockey team is now 11-2, 5-1 in conference as it leaves the conference for a pair of games this weekend. Both are on the road as they will be at Bucknell on Friday and Kent State on Sunday.

Gymnasts compete with development team

Penn State sophomore Josh Karnes and junior Matt Cormier competed in Turkey last weekend with the United States Senior National Development Team.

Karnes qualified for the final in three categories: pommel horse, parallel bars and high bar. Her best result was a fifth place on parallel bars.

Cormier competed on parallel bars, high bar and floor.

This was the first time Karnes or Cormier had competed with the development team.

Pair of volleyball splits

Penn State’s women’s volleyball team went 1-1 in the Big Ten game last weekend.

On Friday, the Lions fell behind two quick sets on the road at Ohio State, but rallied to push the game to a fifth. Unfortunately for Penn State, the momentum faded as the No. 13 Lions lost that deciding set 15-11 to the No. 6 Buckeyes. Kashauna Williams had 20 kills to lead the comeback attempt.

The Lions rebounded with a clean 3-0 sweep of Illinois at Rec Hall. Williams had 15 kills, while Alexa Markley added 10 for Penn State (14-3, 3-3 Big Ten).

Conference play continues this weekend as Penn State heads west to face Nebraska on Friday and Iowa on Saturday.

Football teams score wins

Penn State’s women’s soccer team ended a modest two-game losing streak with a 2-0 win at Maryland on Sunday.

Natalie Wilson and Cori Dyke had goals for the Lions, who return to action Thursday in a game televised on the Big Ten Network.

Meanwhile, the men went undefeated in conference play with a 4-1 win over Michigan State. Liam Butts scored twice for Penn State.

The Lions are 2-0-2 in conference and are at Indiana on Friday night in a game also televised by BTN.