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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Top-seeded Penn State men's volleyball (19-10, 11-3) looks to capture their 19th EIVA Championship in the last 20-years this week, kicking off the event with a semifinal match against fourth-seeded Princeton (12-13, 8-6) Thursday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Rec Hall.
No. 2 seed Saint Francis (Pa.) and No.3 seed Sacred Heart will square off in the earlier semifinal match at 5 p.m.
LIVE video and LIVE stats will be available for all EIVA Tournament matches. Links and more information regarding all participating teams can be found on the 2017 EIVA Championship Central page (http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-volley/eiva-championship.html).
* Penn State earned a total of four EIVA postseason honors. Senior Chris Nugent and redshirt freshman Calvin Mende each earned First Team All-EIVA honors, while redshirt junior Aidan Albrecht earned All-EIVA Second-Team accolades. Mende also earned All-EIVA Academic honors for his contributions in the classroom.
* The Nittany Lions clinched their 33rd EIVA/ECVL regular season title in program history with a pair of wins against Charleston (W.Va.) and George Mason. The two wins guaranteed the Nittany Lions the No. 1 seed and home court advantage for the upcoming EIVA Championship April 20 and April 22.
* Penn State is slotted 8th in the latest release of the RPI ranking (4/16). The Nittany Lions are one of three EIVA teams represented in the RPI top 20, with Saint Francis (Pa.) (16), George Mason (18), Princeton (21), Sacred Heart (22), Harvard (25), NJIT (26), Charleston (W.Va.) (36) all coming in behind PSU.
* Calvin Mende and Luke Braswell lead the offense this season pouring in 292 kills and 901 assist, respectively, while Royce Clemens and Kevin Gear have handled things on defense leading the team with 263 digs from Clemens and 107 total blocks from Gear, respectively.
* Penn State is ranked in the top-25 in four different team categories including top-10 rankings in assist per set - 11.57 (10th) and hitting percentage - .285 (10th). Individually, Mende is 27th in the nation in Kills Per Set (3.28), while Kevin Gear is currently 25th in the nation in blocks per set averaging 0.96. Luke Braswell is fourth in the nation in assists per set currently averaging 10.48.
AVCA DI-II COACHES' POLL UPDATE: APRIL 11
Penn State stands as the No. 13 team in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association DI-II (AVCA) poll.
Penn State (19-10, 11-3) is coming off a 2-0 week that included a win over Charleston (W.Va.) paired with a four set win over George Mason in Rec Hall.
Long Beach State remains the top team in the nation receiving 21 of 24 first-place votes with a record of 24-3, followed by Ohio State at No. 2 (27-2), BYU at No. 3 (23-3), Hawai’i at No. 4 (24-4) and UC-Irvine (19-6) rounding out the top-five.
|1||Long Beach State (21)||357||24-3||1|
|2||Ohio State (2)||331||27-2||2|
A LOOK AT POTENTIAL EIVA CHAMPIONSHIP OPPONENTS
Penn State split both regular season contests against the Red Falsh during the 2017 regular season. The Nittany Lions topped Saint Francis (Pa.) in three in at home before dropping a five-set match on the road. PSU is 38-3 in the all-time series against SFU in the series dating back to 1995. Saint Francis (Pa.) posted a 10-4 record in EIVA action and a 15-14 mark on the year.
The Nittany Lions dropped both regular season outings this year against Sacred Heart giving the Pioneers their first win against Penn State in program history. In the all-time series, Penn State owns a 12-2 advantage, having not lost an EIVA Championship match to the Pioneers. SHU finished conference play with a 8-6 mark and a 15-10 overall record.
Should the Nittany Lions defeat Princeton in the EIVA Semifinals, Penn State will advance to the EIVA Championship match, which is slated for Saturday, April 22 at 7 p.m. PSU would meet the winner of the first semifinal match between No. 2 Saint Francis (Pa.) and No. 3 Sacred Heart.
Penn State will await the results of the NCAA selection show Sunday, April 23 at 1 p.m. ET on NCAA.com.