Jan. 30, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - After a week without competition, the No. 12 Penn State men's volleyball team (3-2) is back in action, welcoming Mount Olive and EIVA foe, Saint Francis to Rec Hall this weekend. The Nittany Lions square off against the Trojans Friday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m., before taking on the Red Flash in its conference opener, Saturday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m.
PENN STATE TO PARTICIPATE IN "EIVA RALLIES" CAMPAIGN
Beginning this weekend, Penn State head coach Mark Pavlik will help raise awareness for the EIVA's "EIVA Rallies" campaign by wearing a fedora in the Nittany Lions' matchup against travel partner, Saint Francis. He will put on the hat once more, when PSU visits the Red Flash Saturday, April 12. The annual campaign benefits the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. The Nittany Lions will also host a silent auction during Saturday's match on the west mezzanine level in the main gym at Rec Hall. All proceeds from the exciting items will be donated by coach Pavlik to the cause.
The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is one of the largest and oldest private cancer centers. Throughout its history, the center has dedicated more than 100 years to patient care and innovative research. For more information on the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and information on donating to the official EIVA Rallies Giving Fund, please visit http://bit.ly/MvDay4.
HOME OPENER IN REVIEW
Last weekend, Penn State opened an 11-match homestand with a pair of victories to improve to 3-2 on the year. The Nittany Lions powered past No. 14 IPFW in straight sets, before rallying from behind by one set to defeat Ball State in four.
PENN STATE VS. MOUNT OLIVE
The Nittany Lions own a perfect 6-0 record in the all-time series against the Trojans. In the short six-match series between the two teams, Penn State has swept Mount Olive in each outing. The Trojans are also a fairly familiar opponent, having faced off against the Nittany Lions in the last three consecutive seasons.
Mount Olive enters the weekend looking to snap a four-match losing streak, having lost to Limestone and Erskine last weekend at home. Angel Dache is the center of the Trojan offensive, averaging 4.84 kills per set on .326 hitting. He's also averaging 0.37 blocks per set, which is tied for third on the team. Josh Donahue is anchoring the defense, averaging 2.53 digs per frame.
PENN STATE VS. SAINT FRANCIS
The Nittany Lions hold an unblemished 32-0 mark in the all-time series against the Red Flash. The series stretches back to 1995, when the two teams first met in the Hall of Fame Classic in Springfield, Mass. Penn State claimed a 3-0 win in the first outing. Within the last 10 years, the Nittany Lions have dropped just five sets to Saint Francis.
Saint Francis dropped to an even 2-2 on the year after losing a close five-setter at Lees-Mcrae last weekend. Offensively, the Red Flash is led by Colin Sherwin, Kyle Beatty and Logan Patterson, who all are averaging at least two kills per set. Patterson is at the helm of the talented trio, hitting at .276, while also averaging 0.67 aces per set, which leads the squad.
RUSSELL EARNS EIVA OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
After helping the Penn State men's volleyball team to an undefeated opening weekend at home, junior Aaron Russell was named the EIVA Offensive Player of the Week.
In the season home opener against then-No. 14 IPFW, Russell registered his first double-double of the season, posting 12 kills and 10 digs in the victory. The next evening, Russell returned to the court to lead the Nittany Lions to a 3-1 comeback victory against Ball State. He led the offense with a season-high 21 kills, adding four digs and one block. Russell averaged 4.71 kills per set on the week, hitting higher than .425 in each match.
Penn State welcomes Ohio State to the court in Rec Hall for a midweek matchup set for Wednesday, Feb. 5th. First serve against the Buckeyes has been moved to 7:15 p.m. in main gym. The Nittany Lions will also host Erskine and Pfeiffer Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7-8 at 7 p.m. in the south gym at Rec Hall.
LIMITED BAG POLICY
Penn State has implemented a limited bag policy at all home athletic events this season. One clear plastic one-gallon plastic bag per person will be permitted for medical needs, child care needs and general items as needed. Items that can fit in a pocket should remain in patrons' pockets (i.e. keys, cell phone, wallet, glasses, camera, sunscreen, lip balm, make-up). General items of this nature, including those that don't fit in patrons' pocket, can also be placed in a clear plastic one-gallon plastic bag.