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April 23, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 12 Penn State men's volleyball team (22-6, 13-1) is set to kick off postseason play this week, hosting its 17th consecutive EIVA Championship at home. The top-seeded Nittany Lions take on No. 4 seed George Mason (14-13, 8-6) Thursday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Rec Hall.
WEEK 15 IN REVIEW
With the No. 1 overall seed in the EIVA Championship secured, the Nittany Lions closed out the 2014 regular season slate with a pair of straight set victories on the road last weekend. PSU swept past Rutgers-Newark before finishing the weekend with a 3-0 win at NJIT.
The Nittany Lions improved to 94-14 in the all-time series against the Patriots after recording a straight set victory against George Mason in the Nittany Lions' season home finale to extend the PSU winning streak to 15 consecutive matches against GMU. In the first meeting between the two teams this season, Penn State rallied past the Patriots in four sets on the road in Fairfax, Va.
LOOKING CLOSER AT POSSIBLE EIVA CHAMPIONSHIP OPPONENTS
The Nittany Lions improved to 8-1 all-time against the Crimson with a straight-set victory against Harvard two weeks ago. Penn State claimed 3-0 wins in both regular season matches in 2014 after surrendering their first loss to the Crimson in program history in the final regular-season outing in 2013.
No. 3 seed Princeton handed the Nittany Lions their only conference loss of the season in the first outing between the two clubs. Penn State dropped a closed 3-2 decision to the Tigers on the road at the end of February, but rebounded with a straight-set victory against Princeton at the end of March. Despite the loss earlier in the season, the Nittany Lions own a 50-3 advantage in the all-time series against the Tigers.
GOODELL PICKS UP EIVA OFFENSIVE WEEKLY HONORS
After helping the team to a pair of victories in the final two regular season matches of the year, redshirt junior Nick Goodell has earned his second EIVA Offensive Player of the Week honor this season.
Goodell opened the weekend with a team-high 14 kills on .524 hitting at Rutgers-Newark, adding two aces, two digs and two blocks. He returned to the court the next night to guide the Nittany Lions to their eighth consecutive victory at NJIT. He fueled the offense with another double-digit kill performance, tallying 11 kills to go along with five digs and one ace.
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 62 aces on the year, he's set a new single-season personal best. His 62 aces this year ranks second all-time on the single season list. On the career list, his 127 aces ranks third all-time and is three shy of matching Zeljko Jolijesar (2000-03) for second.
PSU CLINCHES 30TH EIVA/ECVL TITLE IN PROGRAM HISTORY
The Penn State victory at Saint Francis marked Penn State's 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.
Should Penn State defeat George Mason, the Nittany Lions will advance to the EIVA Finals match Saturday, April 26, featuring the winner of the Harvard/Princeton EIVA Semifinal match. A Penn State victory in the EIVA Championship match would mark PSU's 16th consecutive crown and 26th overall. The EIVA Champion will advance to the 2014 NCAA National Championship, hosted by Loyola Chicago.