No. 9 Mení»s Volleyball Hosts Important EIVA Contests
University Park, Pa., Feb. 23, 2006 -- The ninth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball hosts an important two-match EIVA homestand this weekend at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions (7-4) take on Rutgers-Newark (6-7) on Friday, Feb. 24 at 7:00 p.m. before hosting No. 14 George Mason (12-2) at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25.
The three teams hold the top three spots in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA), with Penn State atop the standings, holding a 4-0 mark, George Mason second with a 3-0 league record and Rutgers-Newark sitting in third with a 2-1 record. The winner of the EIVA, along with the conference winners in the MIVA (Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) and MPSF (Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) and one at-large team will all advance to the 2006 National Collegiate Championship, to be held May 4 and 6 at Rec Hall.
Previewing Penn State
Senior opposite Matt Proper leads the Lions with 4.08 kills per game as senior middle hitter Nate Meerstein posts 3.05 kills per game on .528 hitting to lead the nation and freshman outside hitter Matt Anderson chips in 2.89 kills per game.
Senior setter Dan Oí»Dell sat out last week to rest injuries, but he leads the squad with 9.86 assists per game. Sophomore Luke Murray provides 8.04 assists per game (185 total) for the Lion offense, as junior libero Aaron Smith tops the team with 2.42 digs per game, good for 16th in the country.
Freshman middle hitter Max Holt leads the team and ranks seventh in the nation with 1.49 blocks per game as Meerstein provides 1.18 blocks per game, including a team-leading 12 solo efforts.
As a team, Penn State is hitting .322, good for seventh in the nation, while averaging 15.62 kills per game, 1.23 service aces per game, 8.62 digs per game and 3.46 blocks per game.
? Penn State leads George Mason, 76-12, in a series that began in 1977. The last meeting was a four-game Lion win (30-20, 30-18, 30-32, 30-24) on April 30, 2005, in the EIVA Championship match. The last regular-season meeting was a three-game Penn State win (30-24, 30-26, 30-28) on April 16, 2005.
A printable ticket brochure and more information on the three mení»s volleyball conferences and the State College area can be found online at http://www.gopsusports.com/VolleyballM/NCAA_2006.
For more information on the Penn State mení»s volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.