UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
The No. 9 Penn State men's volleyball team hits the road for the first time since the season began with visits to EIVA foes Harvard and Sacred Heart. The Lions face the Crimson on Friday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. before challenging the Pioneers on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m.
Links to live stats and live video are available on GoPSUsports.com.
Nittany Lion Preview
The Nittany Lions went 1-1 over the weekend with a 3-0 sweep of Saint Francis, but a 3-0 setback to then No. 9 Ohio State. Sophomore Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) led the Lions with 3.83 kills per set on .425 hitting, while senior Tom Comfort (Orchard Park, N.Y.) was second on the squad with 3.67 kills per set. Redshirt freshman Taylor Hammond (Mission Viejo, Calif.) paced the offense with 12.83 assists per set and Comfort was Penn State's top server with 0.67 aces per set. Redshirt sophomore Connor Curry (Newport Beach, Calif.) recorded 3.00 digs per set and Russell was not far behind averaging 2.67 per set. Senior Nick Turko (Lewisberry, Pa.) was the Lions' top blockers with 1.00 per set.
For the weekend, Penn State hit .293 and averaged 14.17 kills, 13.33 assists, 2.00 aces, 9.83 digs and 2.08 blocks per set.
Penn State vs. Harvard
The Nittany Lions are a perfect 6-0 against the Crimson dating back to 2000. This is the second meeting in 2013 between the two EIVA foes. Harvard visited Penn State earlier this season on Jan. 26 with the Nittany Lions coming out on top, 3-2 (25-23, 20-25, 25-14, 16-25, 25-6).
Scouting the Crimson
Harvard is 5-2 this season and 1-1 in the EIVA. The team was last in action on Feb. 5 vs. Rivier where it earned a 3-1 victory. The Crimson's Feb. 9 match with MIT was postponed due to weather. Freshman outside Branden Clemens leads the Crimson offensively with 3.04 kills per set, while senior setter Rob Lothman is averaging 9.81 assists per set and has led Harvard to a .238 hitting percentage. Junior libero Chris Gibbons leads the Crimson in the back row with 2.42 digs per set and sophomore middle Caleb Zimmick is a wall at the net with 1.27 blocks per set.
Penn State vs. Sacred Heart
Penn State has never lost a match and owns a 5-0 record against the Pioneers. Sacred Heart visited the Nittany Lions on Jan. 25 and Penn State came away with a 3-0 win. The Pioneers host Saint Francis on Friday, Feb. 15 before taking on the Nittany Lions.
Scouting the Pioneers
Sacred Heart is 1-6 overall with an 0-2 record in the EIVA. The team's lone win this season was a 3-0 sweep of Ramapo on Feb. 2. Junior outside Brad Borsay is Sacred Heart's leader in kills with 2.93 per set, while freshman setter Benjamin Thomas guides the offense with 9.79 assists per set. In the back row, Borsay and senior libero Adrian Fernandez are each averaging a team-best 2.11 digs per set, while at the net freshman middle Raymond Satagaj has a squad-leading 0.61 blocks per set.
Penn State returns home to host George Mason and Princeton on Feb. 22-23, respectively. Both matches are set for 7 p.m. starts. The Nittany Lions are on the road for eight straight matches during the month of March, returning home to host Lees-McRae on April 5.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State men's volleyball 2013 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.