Penn State Men's Volleyball Hosts George Mason
April 1, 2011
By Kelsey Detweiler, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
The 10th-ranked Penn State squad is undefeated in EIVA play with a 9-0 conference record and has only lost one match in State College with an 11-1 record at home this season. The Nittany Lions are 19-5 overall this season and are looking to add another to the win column as they face the Patriots.
The last time the Nittany Lions took on the Mason Patriots was on February 26 in Fairfax, Va., where Penn State dominated in a 3-0 sweep. In that match, the Penn State team recorded a season high .461 hitting percentage and held the Patriots to just a .196 percentage.
George Mason The Patriots are 14-8 overall this season and 6-1 in EIVA match-ups. Expect to see sophomore outside hitter Mark Jones and senior outside hitter Eric Lucas controlling the Patriot offense. Jones leads the team with an average of 4.47 kills per set and Lucas follows behind with a 2.61 average of his own. Redshirt senior setter Brandon Joyner will be guiding the offense as he has tallied 1,696 assists this season for an average of 9.90 assists per set.
On defense, freshman libero Dave Lucas leads Mason with 1.97 digs per set while Lucas is close behind with an average of 1.66. Junior middle blocker Shaun Sibley and sophomore middle blocker Piotr Dabrowski keep things controlled at the net as Sibley has put up a team-high 89 total blocks and Dabrowski has nabbed 73 as well.
The Patriots are coming off a huge win over the No. 12 Lewis Flyers, who they defeated 3-1 to improve their away record to 5-6 this season.
No. 10 Penn State
This is second time this season that the Nittany Lions will face George Mason. With a deep bench and a lot of fresh talent coming out of the sophomore class especially, Penn State will more than likely showcase a number of players.
Most recently, freshman outside hitter Jace Olsen, sophomore outside hitter Tom Comfort, sophomore middle hitter Nick Turko, redshirt junior setter Edgardo Goas, redshirt junior outside hitter Joe Sunder and senior libero Dennis Del Valle have all been playing well for the Nittany Lions.
Sunder tops the offensive leaderboard with an average of 4.72 kills per set and Comfort falls in second with a strong average of 3.34. Goas has guided the Nittany Lion offense for the majority of the season, tallying 950 total assists for an average mark of 11.18 assists per set.
Sophomore middle hitter Ian Hendries leads the team with 58.0 total blocks, but he will not be seeing the court this weekend as he is sidelined with an ankle injury. Turko has been a powerful force at the net as well, putting up 56.0 blocks of his own for an average of 0.74 blocks per set.
As the only Nittany Lion standing shorter than six feet tall, Del Valle has been a menace on defense dishing out 227 total digs this season for a mean of 2.61 digs per set.
Penn State has won its last four straight matches, and will be aiming to make it five come Saturday. Head over to Rec Hall at 7 p.m. on Saturday night and cheer for the Nittany Lions.