Jan. 3, 2008
HONOLULU, Hawaii -
The fourth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team begins the 2008 season at the Hawaii Outrigger Invitational on Jan. 3-5 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Nittany Lions face the No. 11 Warriors Thursday, Jan. 3 at 7:00 p.m. HT (11:59 p.m. ET) before taking on No. 3 UCLA and Ball State on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 4 and 5, respectively, at 4:00 p.m. HT (9:00 p.m. ET) each day.
Previewing Penn State
The Nittany Lions lost three senior starters to graduation but return 10 players from last season¹s 22-8 EIVA Champion and NCAA Semifinalist squad and also bring in six newcomers to the team. Returning on the outside is
2007 AVCA Second Team All-American Matt Anderson and he will be joined by juniors Jay Stauffer and Ryan Sweitzer. In the middle will be the Maxes, junior Max Holt and sophomore Max Lipsitz, who were both starters on the United States Junior National Team at the World Championships this summer.
At setter will be senior Luke Murray who was the 2007 EIVA Championship Most Outstanding Player and led the squad last year with 12.64 assists per game.
Freshman Dennis Del Valle, a member of the Puerto Rican Youth and Junior National Teams, will anchor the defense and passing game
The Series: Penn State vs. Hawaii
Penn State trails Hawaii, 12-3, in a series that began in 1995. The last meeting was at last season¹s Outrigger Invitational and was a three-game Nittany Lion win (30-27, 30-24, 32-30) on Jan. 27, 2007, and was also Penn State¹s first-ever sweep of the Warriors.
The Series: Penn State vs. UCLA
Penn State trails UCLA, 24-5, in a series that began in 1982. The last meeting was a three-game Bruin win for the national championship (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) on May 6, 2006 at Penn State. The last meeting on a neutral court was a three-game Bruin victory (36-34, 30-26, 30-21) on Jan. 19, 2006 at the Outrigger Invitational. The last Penn State win in the series was a four-game victory (15-11, 15-11, 14-16, 15-5) on Jan. 23, 1997 at the Outrigger Invitational.
The Series: Penn State vs. Ball State
Penn State leads Ball State, 51-19, in a series that began in 1977. The last meeting was a three-game Lion victory (30-19, 30-25, 30-22) on Feb. 16, 2007 at Penn State. The last meeting between the schools at the Outrigger Invitational was a four-game Ball State win (25-30, 30-25, 30-24, 30-20) on Jan. 18, 2003.
Penn State and the Outrigger Invitational
This will be the 14th year of competition for the Nittany Lions at the Outrigger Invitational. Penn State joins only host Hawaii as the only team to compete every year since the tournament¹s inception in 1995.