Men's Volleyball Earns No. 1 Seed In NCAA Championship, Will Play Ohio State In National Semifinals
April 27, 2008
University Park, Pa. - For the first time in school history, the top-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team has earned the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Championship. The Nittany Lions (28-1) will face No. 9 and fourth-seed Ohio State (20-7) Thursday, May 1 at 6:00 p.m. PT (9:00 p.m. ET) in Irvine, Calif., in the first NCAA National Semifinal. The second NCAA National Semifinal, slated for 8:00 p.m. PT (11:00 p.m. ET) will feature No. 2 and third-seed Long Beach State (23-6) against No. 5 and second-seed Pepperdine (16-10). The semifinal winners will meet for a shot at the NCAA National Championship on Saturday, May 3 at 4:00 p.m. PT (7:00 p.m. ET) at the Bren Events Center.
The Penn State-Ohio State match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and ESPNU with a simulcast on ESPN360.com. It can also be heard on the web at www.GoPSUsports.com and in the State College area on WRSC 1390AM. The Long Beach State-Pepperdine contest will also be broadcast live on ESPN2 and ESPNU with a simulcast on ESPN360.com. The National Championship tilt will be televised live on ESPN2 with an ESPN360.com simulcast.
All-session tickets for the event are $25 for adults and $18 for youth. Single-session tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for youth. Penn State fans wanting tickets in the Nittany Lion section can call the Penn State Athletic Ticket Office at 814-863-1000 or 1-800-833-5533 by 2:30 p.m. ET on Monday, April 28. Tickets for the event are expected to sell out.
Penn State claimed its 10th consecutive Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) title Saturday night with a three-game sweep of No. 11 George Mason. The Lions will be making their 10th straight and 23rd overall NCAA National Semifinal appearance, having captured the national championship title in 1994.
"Earning the number one seed reflects the success we have had this year, and it's also a tribute to the players who have worked hard all season long," said head coach Mark Pavlik. "The three other teams were just as deserving of the top seed, and all three matches are going to be very competitive ones."
The Nittany Lions and Buckeyes will be meeting for the third time this year, with Penn State holding a 2-0 advantage, with a three-game win in Columbus on Jan. 19 and a four-game victory on March 28 in University Park. The Nittany Lions are 58-22 all-time against the Buckeyes, including a 4-1 mark in the NCAA tournament, with the last meeting a five-game Penn State win for third place in the 1993 tournament. Thursday's meeting also marks the first time since the 1994 season that the Nittany Lions will not face an MPSF team in the NCAA semifinals. That year, Penn State defeated Ball State in four games in the semifinals before going on to beat UCLA in five games for the school's first volleyball national championship.
Earlier this season, Penn State defeated Long Beach State on March 15 in five games at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. The 49ers lead the overall series with Penn State, 5-12, and also lead 2-0 in NCAA action, with the last meeting a three-game Long Beach State win in the 2004 semifinals.
Pepperdine leads the overall series with Penn State, 3-15, and holds a 2-0 advantage in NCAA action, with the last meeting a three-game Wave victory in the 1992 semifinals. The two teams last met during the regular season in 2001, with Pepperdine claiming a three-game win in Malibu.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.