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April 11, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 13th-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team heads west this weekend to visit Concordia and No. 4 UC Irvine. Both matches are set for 10 p.m. ET starts.
Nittany Lion Preview
The Nittany Lions played their first home match since February on April 5 turning in a 3-0 sweep of Lees-McRae. Sophomore Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) and redshirt sophomore Nick Goodell (Ambridge, Pa.) each had 3.33 kills per set. Redshirt junior Scott Kegerreis (Honeybrook, Pa.) and senior Kyle Mars (Rochester, N.Y.) posted 2.33 kills per set apiece. Redshirt freshman Taylor Hammond dished out 10.00 assists per set, while redshirt sophomore Connor Curry (Newport Beach, Calif.) had a match-high 2.33 digs per set. Senior Ian Hendries (Cardiff, Calif.) led the team in blocks with 1.33 per set.
Against Lees-McRae Penn State hit .388 and averaged 12.33 kills, 11.67 assists, 1.67 aces, 8.00 digs per set and 3.33 blocks per set.
Penn State vs. Concordia
This is the first meeting between Penn State and Concordia.
Scouting the Eagles
Concordia owns a 21-6 record this season. Prior to their recent 3-0 loss at UCSB, Concordia was on a 12-match winning streak dating back to March 4. Concordia enters NAIA National Invitational Pool Play on April 18 with matches against Saint Ambrose and Missouri Baptist.
Junior opposite Naseri Tumanuvao leads the Eagles with 3.40 kills per set and junior setter Kevin Fiske paces the offense with an average of 9.43 assists per set. Defensively junior outside Dillon Auxier, Fiske and Tumanuvao average 1.22 digs per set or better. At the net, junior middle Mark Metrakos averages a team-high 1.05 blocks per set.
Penn State vs. UC Irvine
UC Irvine leads the series with the Nittany Lions 6-4. The squads last met in the 2012 NCAA National Semifinals. The Anteaters won the match 3-1 before eventually taking the NCAA title. Penn State's last win against UCI was in the 2006 NCAA National Semifinals with the Lions defeating the Anteaters, 3-2.
Scouting the Anteaters
The No. 4 Anteaters are 20-6 overall this season. Between Jan. 23 and Feb. 27, the Anteaters won 11 matches in a row before then No. 2 BYU dealt them a 3-2 loss. The Anteaters have won four of their last five matches most recently defeating UCSD, then No. 8 Stanford and Pacific.
Senior outside Kevin Tillie leads the Anteaters offensively averaging 3.87 kills per set on .343 hitting. Junior Daniel Stork and senior Chris Austin share setting duties dishing out 9.96 and 9.13 assists per set, respectively. Sophomore libero Michael Brinkley is UCI's top back row player with 2.57 digs per set, while junior middle Collin Mehring is a wall at the net with 1.26 blocks per set.
Penn State returns home to close out the regular season with matches against EIVA foes Rutgers-Newark and NJIT on April 19-20. Both matches are set for 5:30 p.m. starts in the South Gym of Rec Hall.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State men's volleyball 2013 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.