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Feb. 6, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Fresh off a 3-1 victory against No. 14 Ohio State, the No. 12 Penn State men's volleyball team (6-2) is back in action, welcoming Erskine and Pfeiffer to Rec Hall for a pair of non-conference matchups. The Nittany Lions will square off against the Flying Fleet Friday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. in main gym, before taking on the Falcons Saturday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. in south gym at Rec Hall.
NITTANY LIONS BEAT THE BUCKEYES 3-1 IN MIDWEEK MATCHUP
No. 12 Penn State men's volleyball battled to a close 3-1 (29-27, 22-25, 31-29, 25-15) victory against Big Ten foe, No. 14 Ohio State (4-5) Wednesday evening in Rec Hall. With the win, the Nittany Lions stretch their current winning streak to six consecutive matches.
Redshirt junior Nick Goodell fueled the Penn State offense with a season-high 20 kills on .533 attacking. He also added a season-best four aces to go along with three digs and three blocks. Junior Aaron Russell and senior Peter Russell also registered double-digit kills, notching 16 and 10, respectively. Aaron continued his stellar performance from the service line, tallying a career-high five aces, as well as seven digs. Redshirt freshman Matt Callaway recorded his seventh consecutive multi-block performance, anchoring the defense with a career high seven blocks, including three solo stuffs, while also logging seven kills.
NITTANY LIONS IN THE AVCA COACHES POLL - WEEK FIVE UPDATE
Following a 2-0 weekend at home, PSU remains No. 12 in the latest AVCA DI-II Top 15 Poll. The Nittany Lions have now spent the last four weeks at the No. 12 position. Additionally, Penn State is the only EIVA team to be represented in the AVCA poll.
PENN STATE VS. ERSKINE
The Nittany Lions and the Flying Fleet will square off for the first time in program history this weekend. Erskine enters the first meeting between the two teams riding a three-match winning streak, paced by setter Corey Marks, who leads the nation in assists per set. Mike Kawa and Mike Michelau are at the helm of the offensive, as both rank within the nation's top 10 in kills per set. As a team, the Flying Fleet are leading the Conference Carolinas with 13.35 kills per set.
PENN STATE VS. PFEIFFER
PSU claimed a straight set victory against the Falcons in the only meeting between the two teams in 2013. Last year, then-No. 6 Penn State swept past Pfeiffer 25-15, 25-22, 25-18, led by 11 kills from former Nittany Lions Scott Kegerreis. Current redshirt-junior Nick Goodell also tallied eight kills in the first-ever program victory.
Pfeiffer hits the court in Rec Hall looking to extend a three-match winning streak, having captured a five-set win against Barton and a four-set win at Belmont Abbey last weekend. Sonny Hirini is at the helm of the Falcon offense, having recently earned the NCAA DII Conference Carolinas Men's Volleyball Player of the Week honor. Averaging a team-high 3.72 kills per set, he recently posted a career-high 20 kills against Quincy, before registering a .476 hitting clip in a win against McKendree.
RUSSELL EARNS ANOTHER EIVA WEEKLY HONOR
After helping the Penn State men's volleyball team to an undefeated weekend at home, junior Aaron Russell was named the EIVA Offensive Player of the Week. The honor is his second conference offensive player of the week award of the 2014 season.
Against Mount Olive, he registered five kills, two digs, two blocks and two aces. The next night, Russell played a key role in the Nittany Lions' 3-1 EIVA conference opening victory against Saint Francis. Russell notched his second double-double of the season with 16 kills and 11 digs. He also added a team-high four aces in the win.
The Nittany Lions will remain home next weekend, hosting a pair of EIVA conference matches. Penn State will square off against NJIT Friday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. in main gym, before taking on Rutgers-Newark Saturday, Feb. 15 at 4 p.m. in south gym at Rec Hall.
Fans can catch Friday's match streamed live with a paid subscription to Penn State All-Access.