|Follow PSU Men's Volleyball:||Follow @PennStateMVBALL|
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - No. 14 Penn State men's volleyball is set to square off against Mount Olive (3-3) Fri., Jan. 27 and Coker (3-0) Sat., Jan. 28 with first serve slated for 7 p.m. ET both nights at Rec Hall.
PENN STATE VS. MOUNT OLIVE
Loyola carries a record of 3-3 and will be playing their final game on the road since beginning the season in Santa Barbara, Calif. on Jan. 6 against Stanford.
Mount Olive’s most recent match was against Belmont Abbey. The Trojans handed the Crusaders a 3-1 defeat on Jan. 24.
Robert Poole leads Mount Olive with 73 kills hitting .289, adding 12 digs on the defensive side.
Penn State carries a record of 9-0 against the Trojans dating back to the first match in the series in 2005, looking to improve to 10-0 having never surrendered a set in the all-time series.
PENN STATE VS. COKER
Coker comes to Happy Valley sporting an unblemished record with three wins and zero losses on the season.
Coker has only lost one set entering this match with Penn State in a 3-1 win at North Greenville.
This is the first match up between Penn State and Coker in men’s volleyball.
Joao Victor Santos leads Coker with 40 kills hitting .303 averaging 4.00 kills per set for the Cobras.
PENN STATE IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
Penn State is currently ranked in the top-25 in five different team categories including top-10 rankings in Kills per Set - 12.08 (18th) and Digs per Set – 8.88 (10th).
Individually, Chris Nugent is ranked 19th in the nation in Points per Set (4.10) and 14th in the nation in Kills per Set (3.68), while Royce Clemens is fifth in the nation in Digs per Set averaging 2.80. Luke Braswell is 12th in the nation in Assists per Set averaging 10.08.
NITTANY LIONS 14TH IN LATEST AVCA POLL
Splitting the weekend against nationally ranked teams No. 9 Loyola and No. 8 Lewis, Penn State men's volleyball moved up one spot to No. 14 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll.
Penn State (3-4) is coming off a weekend split with No. 9 Loyola and No. 8 Lewis in their first home games of the season followed by a Tuesday matchup against No. 1 Ohio State.
Defending national champions Ohio State remained the number one team in the nation receiving all 24 first-place votes, followed by UCLA at No. 2, BYU at No. 3, Long Beach State at No. 4 and Hawai'i rounding out the top-five.
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 525-166 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.
Penn State stays put at Rec Hall for a 7 p.m. ET matchup against the Red Flash of Saint Francis (Pa.) Friday, Feb. 3 at in University Park, Pa.