Jan. 17, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The third-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team takes to the road to face Ball State and No. 9 Ohio State this weekend. The Nittany Lions and Cardinals square off on Friday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Muncie, Ind., before the Lions head to Columbus, Ohio, for a Saturday, Jan. 19 meeting with the Buckeyes, slated for 7:00 p.m. Livestats for both matches can be found at www.GoPSUsports.com.
Previewing Penn State
The Nittany Lions enter Friday's match with a 4-0 record after defeating Lewis in four games (30-28, 28-30, 30-26, 30-22) last weekend at home. Junior outside hitter Matt Anderson leads the squad with 5.77 kills per game as junior opposite Ryan Sweitzer contributes 3.58 kills per game, junior middle hitter Max Holt adds in 2.71 kills per game on .439 hitting and sophomore middle hitter Max Lipsitz provides 2.43 kills per game on .403 hitting. Senior setter Luke Murray directs the offense with 13.43 assists per game and freshman libero Dennis Del Valle leads the defense with 3.29 digs per game while junior outside hitter Jay Stauffer adds in 1.93 digs per game. Holt tops the blocking list with 1.43 blocks per game while Murray contributes 1.21 blocks per game, Sweitzer chips in 1.17 blocks per game and Lipsitz provides 1.14 blocks per game. As a team, Penn State is hitting .347 with 15.57 kills per game, 1.07 service aces per game, 10.07 digs per game and 3.54 blocks per game.
Scouting Ball State
The Cardinals enter Friday's contest with a 1-3 overall record after sweeping MIVA?opponent Quincy (30-28, 30-15, 30-18) last weekend on the road. This will be the home opener for the team. Senior outside hitter Patrick Durbin leads the squad with 5.67 kills per game as freshman outside hitter Marcus Imwalle chips in 4.18 kills per game. Sophomore setter Ethan Pheister dishes out 10.54 assists per game and senior libero Ian Peckler tops the defense with 2.54 digs per game. Junior middle hitter Matt McCarthy heads the blocking list with 14 total blocks (1.08 bpg) while Pheister chips in 0.77 blocks per game and has 10 stuffs for the season. As a team, Ball State is hitting .201 with 14.07 kills per game, 0.93 service aces per game, 9.93 digs per game and 2.18 blocks per game.
The Series: Penn State vs. Ball State
Penn State leads Ball State, 52-19, in a series that began in 1977. The two teams have already met this season, with the Nittany Lions capturing the three-game victory (30-20, 30-17, 30-19) on Jan. 5 at the Outrigger Invitational in Honolulu, Hawaii. The last meeting in Muncie, Ind., was a three-game Penn State win (30-28, 30-22, 30-22) on Jan. 12, 2007. The Nittany Lions have claimed the last four meetings between the teams.
Scouting Ohio State
The Buckeyes come into the weekend with a 1-0 record after outlasting then-No. 9 IPFW (25-30, 30-28, 25-30, 30-21, 15-6) last weekend at home. Junior outside hitter Robbie Klein led the squad against the Mastodons with 20 kills while senior outside hitter Brett Versen tallied 16, junior middle hitter John Albertson recorded 15 kills on .700 hitting and sophomore middle hitter Ben Spurlock chipped in 12 kills. Senior setter Daniel Mathews directed the offense with 68 assists and senior libero Conor Martin picked up 17 digs in the contest. Mathews topped the blocking list with 11 total blocks while Albertson added in 10 and Spurlock tallied seven. As a team, Ohio State is averaging 15.00 kills per game on .338 hitting with 0.40 service aces per game, 9.40 digs per game and 3.90 blocks per game.
The Series: Penn State vs. Ohio State
Penn State leads Ohio State, 56-22, in a series that began in 1978. The last meeting between the two schools was a five-game Buckeye victory (20-30, 30-27, 19-30, 30-20, 30-15) on April 4, 2007 in Columbus, Ohio. The last Penn State win was a four-game victory (30-32, 31-29, 30-27, 30-26) on Feb. 1, 2007 in University Park, Pa.. The last Penn State win in Columbus was a five-game victory (30-24, 30-21, 28-30, 34-36, 15-12) on April 4, 2006. The last seven meetings between the two schools have gone either four or five games, with Penn State owning a 5-2 record in those contests.
Last Time Out
The Nittany Lions defeated Lewis last weekend in four games (30-28, 28-30, 30-26, 30-22), led by Max Holt with 14 kills, Matt Anderson with 13 kills in only two and a half games, and Jay Stauffer with 10 kills. Anderson arrived at Rec Hall mid-way through the second game of the match as he had been at home in Rochester, N.Y. all week due to a death in the family. Anderson led the squad with two service aces and Luke Murray dished out 46 assists to lead the team to a .254 hitting percentage. Dennis Del Valle recorded his fourth consecutive double-digit dig match with 12 as Max Lipsitz led the team with six blocks and Holt added in five.
Penn State faces its first EIVA opponent when it travels to Saint Francis on Friday, Jan. 25 for a 7:00 p.m. matchup with the Red Flash in Loretto, Pa. The Nittany Lions then return home to host Mount Olive College on Monday, Jan. 28 at 7:00 p.m. at Rec Hall.
Holt Named EIVA Player of the Week
Junior middle hitter Max Holt was named the EIVA Player of the Week on Jan. 14 after leading the Lions to the four-game win over Lewis on Jan. 11. Holt recorded a team-high 14 kills on .391 hitting with four digs and five blocks. It is the second career conference weekly honor for Holt, as he also earned the accolade on March 21, 2006.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.