Murray Named AVCA National Player of the Week; Lions Move Back Into No. 1
March 17, 2008
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's volleyball senior setter Luke Murray (East Petersburg, Pa.) has been named the AVCA Division I/II National Player of the Week, officials from the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced Monday. It is the first such award for Murray and the second this season for a Lion player as junior outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) earned the accolade on Feb. 11.
Behind Murray, the then-No. 4 Penn State men's volleyball team defeated Cal Baptist in three games and outlasted then-No. 3 Long Beach State in five games at the Active Ankle/Long Beach Guesthouse Classic last weekend in Long Beach, Calif. Named to the all-tournament team, Murray had three players in double-digit kills against the Lancers while the Lions hit .371 as a team. On Saturday against the 49ers, Murray directed the squad to a .375 five-game hitting percentage with four players reaching 10 or more kills. Individually, Murray provided a career-high 11 digs for his third-career double-double and dished out a season-best 63 assists. He also ranked third on the team with five blocks against the 49ers.
For the weekend, Murray averaged 13.75 assists per game as the team hit .373 through eight games. He provided a team-high 16 digs and also recorded the third-highest blocking total on the squad with seven.
Penn State moved back into a tie for the top spot in the AVCA Coaches Top 15 Poll on Monday, along with Cal State Northridge. It is the third time this season the Nittany Lions have claimed the No. 1 ranking in the country as the squad retained the top spot from Feb. 25 until the March 10 poll. This week marks the 12th time in Nittany Lion men's volleyball history that the squad had captured the top spot in the weekly poll. Penn State also became the first school since Stanford in 2001 to have its women's team win the national championship title in the fall and have its men's team ranked No. 1 in the winter.
In the March 17 poll, the Nittany Lions earned six first-place votes while the Matadors earned seven first-place votes, but both squads were awarded with 227 total points. BYU fell from first to third place with 209 total points and two first-place votes and Long Beach State dropped from third to fourth place with 201 total points and one first-place vote. Pepperdine remained at fifth place with 169 total points.
Penn State has a week off before heading to Juniata on March 25 and then returning home to host No. 11 Ohio State and No. 7 Ball State on Friday and Saturday, March 28-29 at Rec Hall at 7:00 p.m. each night. The match with the Buckeyes will be televised live on WPSU-TV in the State College area and the contest with the Cardinals will be Senior Night as the last regular-season home contest of the year, honoring Luke Murray and Travis Foltz for their contributions to Penn State and the men's volleyball team. Admission to both matches is free.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.