Penn State Men's Volleyball To Face Rutgers-Newark In EIVA Championship Final
? Rutgers-Newark Match Notes (PDF)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., April 30, 2004 -- The seventh-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team hosts Rutgers-Newark in the EIVA Championship Final on Saturday, May 1 at 5:00 p.m. in Rec Hall. The winner advances to the NCAA Semifinal on Thursday, May 6 hosted by the University of Hawaii.
Livestats will be available for the match at www.GoPSUsports.com. The contest will be broadcast live to a national audience on College Sports Television (CSTV) with Jason Knapp and Phil Bush on the call.
Admission to the final is $4 for adults, $2 for youth and senior citizens and $1 for groups of 10 or more. Admission is free for Penn State students showing their ID.
Penn State enters the match as the No. 1 seed in the EIVA Championship while Rutgers-Newark comes in as the No. 2 seed after defeating third-seed Juniata in five games on Thursday to advance. Penn State¡¯s appearance in the EIVA Final marks the ninth time in the last 10 seasons under head coach Mark Pavlik that the Nittany Lions will be playing for a berth in the NCAA Semifinal.
The Nittany Lions downed George Mason in the semifinals of the EIVA Championship in three games (30-19, 30-21, 30-17) to advance to the EIVA Final for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons under head coach Mark Pavlik. Matt Proper (Guys Mills, Pa.) and Nate Meerstein (Pittsburgh, Pa.) led the Lions with 11 kills each as Meerstein attacked at a career-high .917 clip (11-0-12). Dan O¡¯Dell (Rochester, N.Y.) directed the offense with 41 assists and libero Ricky Mattei (San Juan, Puerto Rico) posted a match-high seven digs in the win. Meerstein led all players with six blocks as O¡¯Dell, Proper and junior Keith Kowal (Reading, Pa.) all notched five blocks. As a team, Penn State outhit the Patriots, .529 to .071 and won the blocking battle, 12.5 to 5.0.
The Scarlet Raiders are led by outside hitter Andrew Pink who records an astounding 4.39 kills per game while Byron Goff and Brian Honsberger chip in 2.75 and 2.59 kills per game, respectively. Setter Aleks Ondelj directs the offense with 12.98 assists per game and libero Trent Turner tops the defense with 1.81 digs per game as Ondelj adds 1.65. Henry Richardson heads the blocking front with 1.46 blocks per game. As a team, Rutgers-Newark is hitting .299 with 15.05 kills per game, 1.26 service aces per game, 8.05 digs per game and 2.97 blocks per game.
Penn State holds a 69-23-1 advantage over Rutgers-Newark in the series and the last meeting in the EIVA Championship Final was a five-game Nittany Lion win (30-23, 19-30, 30-26, 26-30, 15-9) on April 27, 2002. The two teams split contests earlier in the season, with each team winning on its home floor. The Nittany Lions took the first meeting in three games (30-25, 30-27, 30-27) on Jan. 30 while the Scarlet Raiders nabbed the second meeting in four games (30-26, 16-30, 30-28, 35-33) on March 26.