Nittany Lion Depth Tested

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By Jack Milewski, student staff writer 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Depth is one of the biggest weapons a team can have. It often separates out the true contenders when the season nears its stretch run.

Penn State men's volleyball has already had its depth tested this season with starting setter Luke Braswell out of the lineup with an injury. Braswell has been tremendous this season for the Nittany Lions, but in his wake, true freshman Nathan Smith has been just as promising.

Smith led the Nittany Lions to back-to-back wins on the road in Penn State first conference road test this past weekend. The five-set victories at NJIT and Princeton showcased setter talents as well as the team's resiliency.

"Nathan is very talented and he wasn't fazed by anything on the court," head coach Mark Pavlik said. "I think our team as a whole is at the point where we believe in ourselves no matter where the match is." 

That belief was at the forefront of comeback victories in both five setters as Penn State proved to be road warriors in New Jersey.

Despite a minor setback on the road at Saint Francis Tuesday, the Nittany Lions are still positioned at number two in the EIVA standings and sporting lots of confidence.

"I don't think we need much mental reset with this team, they take things one set at a time and don't get too carried away," Pavlik said.

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