No. 7 Mení»s Volleyball Claims 19th EIVA Championship Title
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., April 28, 2007 ĘC The seventh-ranked Penn State mení»s volleyball team clinched its ninth-straight and 19th overall Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Championship title with a three-game win over Saint Francis (30-28, 30-16, 30-27) Saturday night at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions improve to 22-7 overall and advance to the National Collegiate Semifinal match next Thursday, May 3 at Ohio State. The Championship pairings will be announced on Sunday.
Penn State improves to 53-3 all-time in the EIVA Championship and 35-1 under head coach Mark Pavlik, capturing to its 12th league championship title match.
Penn State junior setter Luke Murray (East Petersburg, Pa.) was named the EIVA Championship Most Outstanding Player and was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio), Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) and Alex Gutor (Kiev, Ukraine), along with George Masoní»s William Price and Saint Francisí» Marc Honore and Zach Nanni.
Anderson led all players with 15 kills as Gutor posted 12 and Holt chipped in 11 kills on 5.88 hitting. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .337 clip for the match while holding Saint Francis to .163.
Murray directed the offense with 39 assists and added three kills and four digs as senior outside hitter Aaron Smith (Forest, Va.) led the squad with eight digs and senior libero Ryan Walthall (Irvine, Calif.) chipped in five digs.
Saint Francis claimed the blocking battle, 9.5 to 8.0. Freshman middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) led the Lions with four blocks as Holt added three and Smith and Murray each provided two.
Marc Honore led the Red Flash with 11 kills on .304 hitting along with five blocks as Jordan Varee posted nine kills and Zach Nanni led the team with nine digs.
The first game featured 22 ties scores and seven lead changes, with Saint Francis claiming the 15-12 lead on three kills and a block. Penn State fought back to knot the score at 19-19 on two Gutor kills and an Anderson put-away. The squads exchanged points several times as a Red Flash service error gave the Nittany Lions the 28-27 advantage. Penn State returned the favor and after a Red Flash timeout, Saint Francis again committed a service error before an Anderson kill ended the game, 30-28. Anderson racked up 10 kills in the first game as Penn State attacked at a .432 clip.
The Nittany Lions came out of the gates on fire in the second game, going up 19-10 aided by a solo Murray block on Honore and a Murray service ace. Penn State remained in control, going up 26-15 on a Gutor kill and Gutor and Holt block. Two more kills by Gutor and Holt along with a Smith service ace gave the Nittany Lions the 29-15 lead before a Gutor kill ended the game, 30-16.
The third game was much like the first, featuring 12 tie scores, as an Anderson kill along with a Smith and Lipsitz block broke the 13-13 stalemate to put Penn State ahead 15-13. Saint Francis fought back to knot the score at 20-20 on a Lion attack error and the squads traded points several times, with an Anderson kill and Lipsitz ace giving the Nittany Lions the 26-23. Penn State remained on top, with a Holt kill making it 29-25 before a Gutor kill ended the game, 30-27.
For more information on the Penn State mení»s volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.