Men's Volleyball Wins 13th EIVA Title
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., April 28, 2001 - The Penn State men's volleyball team won their 13th EIVA Championship by defeating Concordia 3-0 (30-27, 30-22, 30-19). With the win, the Nittany Lions clinched an automatic berth in 2001 NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship to be held May 3 and 5 at The Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif.
The Lions opened the match with a block from Zeljko Koljesar (Kitchener, Ont.) and Zach Slenker (Dallastown, Pa.) and built a quick lead, before Concordia was able to mount a rally. The Lions took a 15-11 lead into the technical time out, but the Clippers came back to tie the score at 15. The teams continued to battle but the Nittany Lions took a 23-20 lead and forced a Concordia time out with a kill from Jose Quinones (Bayamon, P.R.).
Following the stoppage, Concordia came back, yet the play of Koljesar and John Mills (Fresno, Calif.) was too much, facilitating a 30-27 game one win.
In the second frame, Penn State built a 10-4 lead, outhitting Concordia .545 to .111. Concordia raised its level of play as the game progressed, but with a stuff from Quinones and Mills, the Lions had a 15-10 advantage at the time out. Concordia was able to close to 20-18, but more playmaking from Quinones and back-to-back-to-back Slenker aces put Penn State in position to take game two 30-22.
Hitting 1.000, Penn State charged out to a 12-4 lead in the third stanza, eventually gaining a 15-6 lead at the time out. The Clippers were not to be outdone, closing the margin and forcing a Nittany Lion time out. But Penn State was rolling, and a stuff from Norman Keil (St. James, N.Y.) gave the Lions a 30-19 win.
For Penn State, Kevin Hodge (Dublin, Ohio) had 16 kills on 24 swings (.417). Koljesar and Carlos Guerra (Tamaulipus, Mex.) combined for 25 kills and Mills added 6 kills and 5 blocks. Ricky Mattei (San Juan, P.R.) had 4 assists and a team-high 9 digs. Quinones passed out 42 assists.
For Concordia, Ashraf Taman had 14 kills and Juan Jose Parra had 8 kills on
13 swings and 8 blocks.
Freshman Mattei was named the EIVA Tournament Most Valuable Player. Also named to the EIVA All-Tournament Team: Zeljko Koljesar (Penn State), Jose Quinones (Penn State), Kevin Hodge (Penn State), Adam Niemczynowicz (Concordia), Ashraf Taman (Concordia), and Chris Barnes (George Mason).