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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - No. 9 Penn State men's volleyball is set to kick off the 2018 campaign this weekend at Rec Hall.
The Nittany Lions will square off against Mount Olive (0-0) Friday, Jan. 12 at 7:00 p.m. ET, before taking on Alderson-Broaddus (0-0) January 13 at 7:00 p.m. ET. Fans can catch a live video stream of the matchup against Mount Olive courtesy of Lion Vision at GoPSUSports.com.
Live stats for all Penn State matches will be provided as well.
PENN STATE vs. MOUNT OLIVE
Penn State last faced mount Olive last season on Jan. 27 downing the Trojans 3-0 in Rec Hall. Penn State leads the all-time series 10-0 dating back to 2005.
A duo of two-time captains Jeff Yasalonis, a senior setter, and Shane Yeo, a junior setter, lead the returning players for Coach Heller's squad. Joining the two captains are seniors Robert Poole, Josh Donahue, Kian Hollevoet, and Bret Rutledge, juniors Joel Roberts and Brad Monaghan and sophomores Fabian Ramen, Jesiah Orr and Yigit Erkek.
New to the roster this year are nine freshmen from across the globe. The incoming class includes five international student-athletes, Torkil Aarflot, Iyanu Adebisi, Max Cristina, Nikolas Dybkilde Bach, and Joshua Symons, as well as four players from the states, Brian Capp, Jerell Rogers, Eric Visgitis, and Luke Visgitis.
PENN STATE vs. ALDERSON-BROADDUS
Up front, the Battlers return Myles Miller and Terrell Hightower from last year's team. Miller finished with 120 kills and hit .327 on the season in 2016-17. Hightower recorded 69 kills last season.
Sophomore Timothy McIntosh led the Battlers last season in digs with 144. He finished with 2.29 per set during his first season. McIntosh also added 26 kills and 21 set assists.
Also returning includes Jose Ramirez who finished with 33 kills last season. Ramirez hit .174 on the year and finished with 26 digs.
PENN STATE VOTED EIVA PRESEASON No. 1
The Penn State Nittany Lions were unanimously picked as the 2018 favorite in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Preseason Coaches' Poll as announced on Friday morning by the conference office.
Penn State, the reigning EIVA Champions from the 2017 season, received all eight first-place votes and 64 points overall. Princeton, an EIVA Championship Tournament Semifinalist from last season, captured 54 points in the poll to place second while George Mason rounds out the top-three with 45 points. Saint Francis (Pa.), who advanced to the EIVA Championship match last season, earned 40 points to rank fourth in the preseason poll.
NITTANY LIONS TABBED No. 9 IN AVCA PRESEASON POLL
Penn State (RV) Princeton, (RV) George Mason
PAVLIK KNOWS HOW TO WIN
In his 24th year at the helm of the program, head coach Mark Pavlik has amassed
over 500 wins. Pavlik recorded 21 wins in the 2017 campaign totaling 543 for his career.
FRESH FACES ON THE COURT IN 2018
The defending EIVA regular and tournament champion men's volleyball team returns a core group of 15 letter winners and four starters this year while welcoming five freshmen and one transfer to the roster.
The new additions include 6-5 Outside Hitter Will Bantle from Pacific Palisades, Calif., Louis Murray, a 6-2 Libero from Los Angeles, Calif., Mathew Gagnon, a 6-5 Outside Hitter from Cranberry Township, Pa., Jack Goedken, a 6-4 Outside Hitter from Carlsbad, Calif. and Henrik Falck Lauten, a 6-5 Outside Hitter from Drammen, Norway.
The Nittany Lions take a trip to the west coast as they face non-conference opponents UCLA and USC in the PAC-12/Big Ten Challenge Jan.18-20, respectively, in Los Angeles, Calif. at the site of the 2018 NCAA Championships.