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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - No. 14 Penn State men's volleyball is set to square off against No. 15 Ball State (2-1) Friday, Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET, before taking on IPFW (0-4) Jan. 14 at 7:00 p.m. ET. Fans can catch a live video stream of the matchup against Ball State on ESPN3 and IPFW at Mastodon All-Access. Live stats for all Penn State matches will be provided as well.
PENN STATE vs. BALL STATE
In their last match up, Penn State won 3-0 in University Park at Rec Hall on Jan. 22, 2016.
The Cardinals are coming off a 2-1 finish in the Outriggers Resorts Volleyball Invitational hosted by the university of Hawaii, Ball State defeated Princeton (3-2) and Erskine (3-0), but fell to host No. 7 Hawaii (3-1). Freshmen Matt Szews and Nick Lavanchy were named to the All-Tournament Team.
PENN STATE vs. IPFW
In their last matchup, Penn State grabbed a 3-0 win over the Mastodons in University Park on Jan. 23, 2016.
A freshman, Pelegrin Vargas is starting off his freshman campaign with Fort Wayne on a strong note. He is the Mastodons' kill leader, totaling 42 through four matches. Vargas had a career-high 15 kills against CSUN at the UCSB ASICS Invitational.
Fellow freshman Richie Diedrich has 24 kills, while also chipping in eight blocks, good for second best on the Mastodon squad.
Michael Keegan is Fort Wayne's assist leader through four games with 66, averaging 7.33 per set. Keegan is ranked eighth in the MIVA in assists and eighth in assists per set. Graydon Schroeder is ranked third in the MIVA in blocks per set with 1.30. Schroeder had five blocks against No. 8 UC Irvine.
PENN STATE IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Penn State finished 2016 ranked in the top-25 in five different team categories including top-10 rankings in Kills Per Set - 13.11 (6th), Blocks Per Set – 2.36 (10th) and Assists Per Set - 12.38 (6th). Individually, Chris Nugent was ranked 13th in the nation in Points Per Set (4.43) and 12th in the nation in Kills Per Set (3.80), while Matt Callaway finished 21st in the nation in Blocks Per Set averaging 1.01. Taylor Hammond finished fifth in the nation in Assists per Set averaging 10.97.
PENN STATE VOTED EIVA PRESEASON No. 2
The Penn State men's volleyball team, 18-time defending Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) champions, were selected as the preseason No. 2 as voted by the league's eight head coaches Monday afternoon. The Nittany Lions, who finished the 2016 season 19-10 advancing to the EIVA Semifinals, received 54 points and one of the eight first-place votes. George Mason, led by former Nittany Lion assistant coach Jay Hosack - the reigning EIVA Champions from the 2016 season - received seven of the eight first-place votes. The Patriots captured 63 points as voted by the league's eight head coaches. Rounding out the top-three is Saint Francis (Pa.), who fell to George Mason in the EIVA Championship match last season in Rec Hall, taking home 49 points in this year's poll. Princeton and NJIT were separated by one point as the Tigers earned 33 points to place fourth and the Highlanders secured 32 points to claim the fifth spot in the preseason poll. Harvard is sixth with 29 points; Sacred Heart has 19 points in seventh, while Charleston (WV) rounds out the poll with nine points in eighth-place.
NITTANY LIONS 14th IN LATEST AVCA POLL
Coming off a 1-1 weekend against perennial powerhouses at the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge, Penn State men’s volleyball checked in at No. 14 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll.
Penn State (1-1) is coming off a weekend split with UCLA and Southern California. The Nittany Lions opened the season with a straight set defeat before taking USC down in a five-set thriller at St. John Arena in Columbus, OH.
Ohio State, defending national champions, remained the number one team in the nation receiving all 24 first-place votes, followed by UCLA at No. 2, Long Beach State at No. 3, BYU at No. 4 and Pepperdine rounding out the top-five.
Anderson, Holt, and Russell Captured bronze medals for team USA at 2016 Rio Olympics
Earlier this year Nittany Lion alums Matt Anderson, Max Holt, and Aaron Russell earned bronze medals as a part of the U.S. Men’s Volleyball National Team at the summer Olympic games in Rio.
PAVLIK KNOWS HOW TO WIN
In his 23rd year at the helm of the program, head coach Mark Pavlik has amassed over 500 wins. Pavlik currently stands at 523-163 for his career.
FRESH FACES ON THE COURT IN 2017
The defending EIVA regular season champion men’s volleyball team returns a core group of eight letterwinners and four starters this year, while welcoming five freshmen to the roster.
The new additions include 6-10 MB/OH Cameron Bartus from West Seneca, N.Y., Declan Pierce, a 5-10 Libero from Buffalo, N.Y., Kyle Mackiewicz, a 6-8 OPP/MH from Edison, N.J., Bobby Wilden, a 6-8 OH/MH from Ashburn, Va. and Nathan Smith, a 6-5 setter from Los Altos, Calif.