Feb. 13, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
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The second-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team (12-0) hosts EIVA foes No. 13 George Mason and Princeton this weekend at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions and Patriots square off on Friday, Feb. 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the South Gym of Rec Hall while Saturday, the Lions meet up with the Tigers at 4:00 p.m. in the Main Gym of Rec Hall.
Gametracker and free live video will be available at www.GoPSUsports.com for the Princeton match. The George Mason match will be played in South Gym, which is without internet access, due to wrestling in main gym.
Previewing Penn State
The Nittany Lions enter the weekend with a 12-0 overall record after sweeping both No. 12 Loyola-Chicago (30-26, 30-19, 30-22) and No. 10 IPFW (30-20, 30-22, 30-20) last weekend at Rec Hall. Defending AVCA/Sports Imports National Player of the Week junior outside hitter Matt Anderson leads the squad with 5.43 kills per game as junior opposite Ryan Sweitzer and junior middle hitter Max Holt add in 3.70 and 3.13 kills per game, respectively. Senior setter Luke Murray directs the Lion offense with 13.62 assists per game and freshman libero Dennis Del Valle tops the team and ranks third in the nation with 2.97 digs per game. Holt heads the blocking list with 1.31 blocks per game and sophomore middle hitter Max Lipsitz chips in 1.13 blocks per game. As a team, Penn State is hitting a nation-leading .375 with 15.97 kills per game, 1.38 service aces per game, 9.31 digs per game and 3.14 blocks per game.
Scouting George Mason
The Patriots come into Friday's match with a 6-3 record after falling to Ball State in five games (35-33, 24-30, 30-26, 26-30, 15-17) before outlasting No. 7 Ohio State in five games (30-27, 25-30, 33-31, 27-30, 15-13) last weekend at home. Five of George Mason's last six matches have been extended to five games, with the Patriots winning two of them. Kyle Gramit and Hudson Bates lead the squad with 4.91 and 3.42 kills per game, respectively. Ryan Kwiatkowski directs the offense with 11.70 assists per game and Eric Lucas leads the defense with 69 total digs, good for an average of 1.97 digs per game. R.J. Goubeaux heads the blocking chart with 1.53 blocks per game. As a team, George Mason is hitting .272 with 13.85 kills per game, 1.18 service aces per game, 8.44 digs per game and 3.49 blocks per game.
The Series: Penn State vs. George Mason
Penn State leads George Mason, 79-13, in a series that began in 1977. The last meeting was a four-game Nittany Lion victory (32-30, 19-30, 30-25, 30-20) in Fairfax, Va., on April 7, 2007. The last meeting at Rec Hall was a four-game Penn State victory (31-29, 23-30, 30-19, 30-25) on Feb. 10, 2007.
The Tigers enter the weekend with a 3-3 record after defeating NYU on Tuesday in four games (25-30, 30-20, 30-24, 32-30). Peter Eichler leads the squad with 4.09 kills per game and Phillip Rosenberg adds in 3.00 kills per game. Brandon Denham directs the offense with 12.68 assists per game and Ka'ohu Berg-Hee tops the defense with 2.32 digs per game. Mike Vincent and Jeff McCown each have provided 17 blocks for the squad this season, an average of 0.77 blocks per game. As a team, Princeton is hitting .282 with 14.82 kills per game, 1.59 service aces per game, 9.09 digs per game and 2.18 blocks per game.
The Series: Penn State vs. Princeton
Penn State leads Princeton, 34-2, in a series that began in 1977. The last meeting was a three-game Nittany Lion victory (30-16, 30-22, 30-22) on April 26, 2007, in the EIVA Semifinals. Penn State has claimed the last 20 meetings between the two squads, dating back to the 1999 season. The Nittany Lions last fell to the Tigers in the EIVA Semifinals on April 16, 1998.
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Penn State has a split week, traveling to East Stroudsburg on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 7:00 p.m. before returning home to host Saint Francis on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7:00 p.m. at Rec Hall.