May 2, 2008
Complete Notes in PDF Format | Thursday's recap with stats and photos
IRVINE, Calif. -
The top-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team (29-1) will face No. 2 Pepperdine (17-10) Saturday for the National Championship at the Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif. The match is slated for 4:00 p.m. PT (7:00 p.m. ET) and will be aired live on ESPN2.
Fans can also listen to the action online at www.GoPSUsports.com and in the State College area on WRSC 1390 AM. The pre-game show will begin at 3:30 p.m. PT (6:30 p.m. ET) and will feature interviews with the Penn State and Pepperdine coaching staffs along with player insights and a talk with special guest John Cappelletti, Penn State's 1973 Heisman Trophy winner, who will be in attendance for the match. Fans can be a part of the radio broadcast by emailing your comments or questions to email@example.com.
Previewing Penn State
The Nittany Lions enter the NCAA Championship match with a 29-1 overall record after defeating Ohio State in four games in the National Semifinal on Thursday (30-21, 26-30, 30-22, 30-17). Junior outside hitter Matt Anderson leads the squad with 5.72 kills per game as junior opposite Ryan Sweitzer provides 3.41 kills per game and junior middle hitter Max Holt adds in 3.19 kills per game on .555 hitting. Senior setter Luke Murray dishes out 13.44 assists per game and freshman libero Dennis Del Valle leads the squad with 2.58 digs per game. Holt heads the blocking list with 1.26 blocks per game as sophomore middle hitter Max Lipsitz adds in 1.16 blocks per game. As a team, Penn State is hitting a nation-leading .398 with 16.15 kills per game, 1.69 service aces per game, 8.78 digs per game and 3.03 blocks per game.
The Series: Penn State vs. Pepperdine
Penn State trails Pepperdine, 15-3, in a series that began in 1983. The last meeting was three-game Wave victory (30-27, 30-24, 30-23) on March 6, 2001 in Malibu, Calif. The last Nittany Lion victory in the series was a three-game victory (15-7, 15-13, 15-10) on March 3, 1990. Pepperdine holds a 2-0 advantage in NCAA action, with the last meeting a three-game Wave victory (17-16, 15-4, 15-9) on April 24, 1992 in the semifinals. Overall, Pepperdine has claimed the last nine meetings in the series.
Penn State And The NCAA Championship
The Nittany Lions are making their second National Championship match appearance in three years as the squad advanced in 2006 with a five-game upset of No. 1 UC Irvine at Penn State's Rec Hall, before falling to UCLA in the title contest. This is the Lions' 10th consecutive NCAA National Collegiate Championship tournament appearance and the 23rd overall in program history. The team brought home Penn State's first volleyball national championship in 1994, becoming the first school from outside California to win the title, as the previous 24 titles were won by teams from the Golden State. Penn State is also the only school outside of California to have its men's and women's programs capture a national championship, as the Nittany Lion women's squad won in 1999 and also this past fall in 2007, outlasting Stanford in five games at Arco Arena in Sacramento on Dec. 15.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.