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Aaron Russell is the first Nittany Lion to earn a selection to the first team since Joe Sunder in 2011
April 24, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Junior Aaron Russell and redshirt junior Nick Goodellhave both earned AVCA All-America honors, as announced by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) this afternoon. Russell has been selected as a first team AVCA All-American, while Goodell has earned honorable mention honors.
Russell is the first Nittany Lion to earn a selection to the first team since Joe Sunder in 2011. Goodell marks the first honorable mention selection for PSU since 2001, when Carlos Guerra and Zeljko Koljesar each earned the distinction. The duo of accolades improves Penn State's total number of AVCA All-Americans to 81 since 1971.
Russell currently leads the Nittany Lions in kills (367), kills per set (3.95), aces (62) and aces per frame (0.67). In the national standings, his 0.67 aces per set ranks second and his 3.95 kills per set ranks ninth. In addition to earning back-to-back Uvaldo Acosta Memorial EIVA Player of the Year honors, the All-America nod is the first career AVCA postseason honor for the three-time First Team All-EIVA selection. While also leading the EIVA in kills and digs, his 1.92 digs per set ranks 10th in the league, making him the only conference player to rank within the top-10 in kills aces and digs.
Russell has also climbed through the Penn State record book with his outstanding presence from the service line. In 2014, he's amassed 62 aces, which ranks second all-time on the single-season list. On the career record list, his 127 aces ranks third all-time and slots him just three shy of matching Koljesar (2000-03) for second.
Goodell's honorable mention also marks the first All-America honor of his career. Garnering his second career All-EIVA award with a first team selection, Goodell has helped the Nittany Lions to a 22-6 overall record this season, including a 13-1 mark in the EIVA. After opening the year with Outrigger Invitational All-Tournament team honors, he has continued to surge, as his 3.72 kills per set currently ranks second on the team, while also ranking second in the conference and 14th nationally.
From the service line, his 0.36 aces per set ranks sixth in the conference. Slotted second the team with 34 aces in 2014, he cracked into the Penn State record book with 75 career aces. His career mark is good for 16th overall and just one shy of tying Zach Slenker (2000-03) for 15th in program history.
Russell, Goodell and the rest of the Penn State men's volleyball team are in action tonight, taking on fourth-seeded George Mason in the EIVA Semifinal at 7:30 p.m. in Rec Hall. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for youth ages 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased at the door.
Should the Nittany Lions defeat the Patriots, PSU will play the winner of the Harvard/Princeton match for the EIVA crown Saturday, April 26 at 7 p.m. in Rec hall. The EIVA Champion will also earn a berth to the 2014 NCAA National Championship, hosted by Loyola Chicago.
To view the complete list of 2014 AVCA All-Americans, please click here.
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