Feb. 20, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 12 Penn State men's volleyball team (10-2, 3-0) will look to keep its winning streak alive this weekend, welcoming Sacred Heart (5-6, 2-2) and Harvard (4-3, 3-0) to the court for a pair of EIVA conference matchups. The Nittany Lions have won their last 10 consecutive matches, while also remaining perfect in conference action. Penn State and Sacred Heart square off Friday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. before facing Harvard Saturday, Feb. 22 at 3 p.m. Both matches will take place in main gym at Rec Hall.
WEEK SIX IN REVIEW
The No. 12 Penn State men's volleyball team recorded two more straight-set victories last weekend to remain unbeaten in EIVA conference action. The Nittany Lions powered past NJIT and Rutgers-Newark to extend the PSU winning streak to 10 consecutive matches. The stretch of victories stands as the longest active men's volleyball winning streak nationally.
NITTANY LIONS IN THE AVCA COACHES POLL - WEEK SEVEN UPDATE
Following the 2-0 weekend at home, PSU remains No. 12 in the latest AVCA DI-II Top 15 Poll. The Lions have now spent the last six consecutive weeks at the No. 12 position. Additionally, Penn State is the only EIVA team to be ranked within the top 15.
PENN STATE VS. SACRED HEART
The Nittany Lions own a 6-0 advantage in the all-time series against the Pioneers. In the short history between the two squads that dates back to 2004, Penn State has not surrendered a single set to Sacred Heart. The Pioneers improved to 5-6 overall and an even 2-2 in the conference after splitting a pair of EIVA matches last weekend.
After registering double digit kills in both matches, outside Brad Borsay was selected as this week's EIVA Offensive Player of the Week. Borsay's 3.38 kills per set ranks fourth in the conference. As a team, Sacred Heart is leading the conference from behind the service line, averaging 1.71 aces per frame, which also ranks second nationally.
PENN STATE VS. HARVARD
PSU holds a 7-1 lead in the all-time series against the Crimson. In 2013 the Nittany Lions gave up their first loss to Harvard in the 13-year history between the two teams that dates back to the first meeting in 2000. Penn State earned a close five-set victory against the Crimson last season before being upended by Harvard in the final regular-season outing. The Nittany Lions rebounded with a straight-set victory in the EIVA tournament to claim the conference title.
Harvard steps on to the court in Rec Hall looking to keep its conference winning streak alive, as the only other undefeated team in the EIVA other than PSU. Dj White, Casey White and Nick Madden are all leading the offense, averaging more than 2.20 kills per set. Chris Gibbons is anchoring the defense with 1.77 digs per frame, which ranks seventh in the conference.
CALLAWAY TABBED OFF THE BLOCK FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
After helping Penn State to its 10th consecutive victory over the weekend, redshirt freshman Matt Callaway was selected as the Off The Block/Springbak, Inc. National Freshman of the Week. Callaway closed out last week with a team-high 10 blocks, averaging 1.67 per frame.
Callaway opened the weekend with a team-high eight kills and six blocks against NJIT, putting up three solo stuffs. He returned to the court the next evening to lead the Nittany Lions blocking unit for the second consecutive match. He tallied four blocks, including two solo stops to go along with two kills in the win against Rutgers-Newark.
A CLEAN SWEEP
Penn State has earned seven of its victories in straight-sets this season, putting together a 7-0 mark in three-set matches. Having swept its last four consecutive opponents, PSU is looking to extend its streak of straight-set wins this weekend at home. In 2013, the Nittany Lions recorded 15 3-0 wins.
Following a pair of wins against NJIT and Rutgers-Newark, the Nittany Lions stretched their current winning streak to 10 consecutive matches, which presently stands as the longest active men's volleyball winning streak in the nation. Penn State is eight wins shy of matching the longest winning streak in program history. In 2008, Penn State shot out to an 18-match winning streak, tying the longest streak in PSU history that was originally set by the 1981 squad, and matched again by the 1982 team.
The Nittany Lions will travel to Princeton and George Mason to open a seven-match road test. Penn State and the Tigers face off Friday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. before meeting the Patriots Saturday, March 1 at 7 p.m.