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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., Mar. 16, 2005 - The fourth-ranked Penn State mení»s volleyball team hosts MIVA-foes Mercyhurst and Ball State this weekend at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions and Lakers square off on Friday, March 18 at 7:00 p.m. before Penn State takes on the Cardinals on Saturday, March 19 at 7:00 p.m. in the south gym of Rec Hall.
Gametracker will be available for the Penn State-Mercyhurst match. Admission to both matches is free.
Last Time Out
Penn State swept IPFW in three games (30-22, 30-24, 30-24) on March 12 to improve to 17-3 for the year. Junior Matt Proper led the Lions with 14 kills on .591 hitting while junior middle hitter Nate Meerstein connected on 10 of his 14 attempts to hit .429. Junior setter Dan Oí»Dell directed the offense for two games, dishing out 34 assists before freshman Luke Murray took over and provided 15 assists in one game. Sophomore Aaron Smith led the defense with six digs and freshman libero Gary Vogel tallied five digs. Senior middle hitter Keith Kowal led all players with nine blocks as Smith recorded six and Proper chipped in four. As a team, Penn State hit .411 with 13.5 blocks.
The Lakers enter the match with a 7-8 overall record and a 4-8 mark in the MIVA after dropping matches to IPFW and Ohio State last weekend. Senior opposite Dave Schmidl leads the team with 4.31 kills per game and junior outside hitter Justin Waas chips in 2.98 kills per game. Junior setter Dan Kick directs the offense with 12.45 assists per game and sophomore libero Dennis Telaak leads the defense with 2.63 digs per game. Senior middle hitter Austin Siewert heads the blocking charts with 1.28 blocks per game. As a team, Mercyhurst is hitting .307 with 14.81 kills per game, 1.38 service aces per game, 8.83 digs per game and 2.60 blocks per game.
Penn State leads the series with Mercyhurst, 2-0. The last meeting was a three-game Nittany Lion win (15-0, 15-7, 15-4) on Jan. 11, 1997.
Scouting Ball State
The Cardinals enter the weekend with a 10-9 record after dropping consecutive matches to Hawaii last weekend in Honolulu. Ball State plays at Juniata on Friday, March 18. Sophomore outside hitter Nick Meyer tops the team with 4.26 kills per game and junior outside hitter Luis Castera adds 3.07 kills per game. Junior setter Dave Carlson dishes out 12.22 assists per game and redshirt freshman Ian Peckler tops the defensive charts with 2.36 digs per game. Senior middle hitter Andrew Braley leads the blocking list with 1.07 blocks per game. As a team, Ball State is hitting .229 with 15.02 kills per game, 1.38 service aces per game, 10.08 digs per game and 2.35 blocks per game.
Penn State leads the series with Ball State, 47-18. The previous meeting this season was a five-game Nittany Lion win (28-30, 21-30, 30-25, 30-23, 25-23) on Jan. 21 in Muncie, Ind. The last meeting in Rec Hall was a five-game Penn State win (27-30, 30-24, 30-28, 27-30, 15-13) on March 20, 2004.
For more information on the Penn State mení»s volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.