April 17, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - After securing the No. 1 overall spot in the upcoming EIVA tournament, the No. 12 Penn State men's volleyball team (20-6, 11-1) will hit the road to close out its 2014 regular season slate. The Nittany Lions travel to Rutgers-Newark for a 7 p.m. matchup Friday, April 18 before heading to NJIT for a 3 p.m. tilt Saturday, April 19.
WEEK 14 IN REVIEW
The Nittany Lions secured the No. 1 overall seed and home court advantage heading into the upcoming EIVA tournament with a 3-1 win on the road at Saint Francis. Redshirt junior Nick Goodell powered the Penn State offense to victory with his third 20-kill performance of the season, while senior Peter Russell and junior Aaron Russell also added double-digit kills.
PSU CLINCHES 30TH EIVA/ECVL TITLE IN PROGRAM HISTORY
The Penn State victory against the Red Flash marked the Nittany Lions' 30th EIVA/ECVL regular season title in program history, marking the 19th time that head coach Mark Pavlik has guided his team to a regular-season title. Since joining the EIVA in 1986, Penn State has surrendered just 11 matches to a conference opponent during the regular season.
NITTANY LIONS IN THE EIVA COACHES POLL - WEEK 15 UPDATE
PENN STATE VS. RUTGERS-NEWARK - LAST TIME OUT
Following a win on the road last weekend, PSU remains in control of its No. 12 ranking in the latest AVCA DI-II Top 15 poll after tying for 12th two weeks ago. Penn State was 13th three weeks ago after having spent two weeks at No. 14. Five weeks ago, PSU moved back to No. 12 after spending one week at No. 10. Prior to the No. 10 positioning, the Lions were slated No. 12 for six consecutive weeks.
The Nittany Lions rolled past Rutgers-Newark in straight sets in the first meeting of the season to improve to 86-24 all-time against the Scarlet Raiders. The win also marked Penn State's ninth consecutive victory against Rutgers-Newark. Using a balanced attack, redshirt junior Nick Goodell
led the offense with seven kills, while senior Peter Russell
followed close behind with five kills and four digs.
PENN STATE VS. NJIT - LAST TIME OUT
Penn State improved its winning streak to 18 consecutive matches with a straight set victory against the Highlanders on Valentine's Day. Surrendering just 39 total points in three sets, Penn State moved to 33-1 all-time against NJIT. Redshirt freshman Matt Callaway led the squad in both kills and blocks, registering eight kills and a season-high six blocks, including three solo stuffs.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
Following two wins against Princeton and George Mason March 28-29, the Nittany Lions moved to 13-0 on the year at Rec Hall, marking their first undefeated home season since 2012. PSU has been unbeaten at home in four of the last seven years, including consecutive unblemished home slates in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Additionally, Penn State has surrendered just four matches to an opponent at home in the seven-year span.
AMONG THE BEST SERVERS IN THE NATION
Junior Aaron Russell continues to impress from the service line, as his 0.65 aces per frame currently ranks second nationally. His team-high mark also leads the conference. In 2013, Russell tallied 40 aces on the year, which ranks 10th all-time on the single-season record list. With 58 aces on the year, he's set a new single-season personal best. His 58 aces this year is tied for second-most all-time on the single season list. On the career list, his 123 aces is just three shy of matching Carlos Guerra (2000-03) for third all-time.
Penn State kicks off post season play next weekend, hosting its 17th consecutive EIVA tournament at home in Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions host two matches of the EIVA Semifinals Thursday, March 24 before crowning the EIVA Tournament Champion in the finals, Saturday, March 26 at 7 p.m.