No. 5 Men's Volleyball Earns Five AVCA All-America Awards
May 4, 2009
University Park, Pa. - Five members of the fifth-ranked and defending national champion Penn State men's volleyball team (27-3) have earned AVCA All-America honors, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced today. Senior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio), junior middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) and junior outside hitter Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) all earned First Team AVCA All-America honors while sophomore libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) and redshirt freshman setter Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) both earned Second Team AVCA All-America accolades.
Penn State's five selections rank first in the country and also equals last year's total for the Nittany Lions, which is the most in program history since 1982. It is the second straight First Team award for Holt while Lipsitz picks up his first First Team distinction and his second career honor as he was a Second Team nod last year. Del Valle earns his second straight Second Team accolade and it is the first career award for both Price and Goas. The five honors bring Penn State's total number of All-Americans to 73 since 1971.
In the last two seasons, Penn State boasts 10 men's volleyball AVCA All-Americans, and coupled with the two-time defending national champion Nittany Lion women's volleyball team, over the last four volleyball seasons in Happy Valley (2007 & 2008 women; 2008 & 2009 men), Penn State student-athletes have recorded 20 First or Second Team AVCA All-America honors, including 12 first team selections and eight second team honors.
Holt earns his second straight First Team AVCA honor after being named the EIVA Player of the Year. He has shattered every Penn State serving record, heading into the weekend with 206 career aces and 78 aces for the year, both of which are Nittany Lion records. Holt set a new rally-scoring-era record with eight aces against Juniata on Jan. 28, one shy of the all-time record of nine set by John Wasielewski in 1990, and he has 17 multiple-ace contests this season. He ranks first in the nation with a .560 hitting percentage and is averaging 2.68 kills per game and 1.05 blocks per game.
Lipsitz, a three-time First Team All-EIVA pick, earns his second career AVCA recognition and his first First Team honor. He ranks forth in the nation with a .494 hitting percentage and has double-digit kills in 11 matches, including a career-high 22 kills on .724 hitting with a season-high 10 blocks at IPFW on Feb. 21. Lipsitz leads the team with 1.26 blocks per game, having at least two blocks in 26 matches.
The EIVA Championship Most Outstanding Player, Price picks up his first career AVCA All-America nod. He ranks second on the team with 3.40 kills per game on .365 hitting and has double-digit kill figures in 19 matches, including a season-high 22 on .500 hitting in the season-opener against Southern California on Jan. 8 at the Outrigger Invitational in Honolulu, Hawaii. A transfer from George Mason who redshirted last season due to transfer rules, Price ranks second on the team with 46 service aces, which places him fifth on the all-time single-season service aces list. He is also averaging 1.34 digs per game and 0.64 blocks per game.
Del Valle picks up his second straight Second Team AVCA All-America honor. A member of the EIVA Championship All-Tournament Team, Del Valle leads the team and ranks fourth in the nation with 3.14 digs per game. He has double-digit dig numbers in 16 contests of the year and has twice tied the school record for digs in a rally-scoring match with 18, including at Long Beach State on March 14 and at George Mason on April 11.
Goas earns his first career AVCA All-America honor after redshirting last season and learning from All-American setter Luke Murray. He is directing the Nittany Lion offense to a nation-leading .396 hitting percentage and all five of his primary hitters are averaging better than 2.60 kills per game and all rank among the top 30 in the country in hitting percentage. He is averaging 12.81 assists per game while also contributing 1.31 digs per game and 0.80 blocks per game, posting a career-highs of eight digs and six blocks three times each.
Fresh off of winning its 11th consecutive EIVA conference title, Penn State earned the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Championship this week. The defending national champion Nittany Lions (27-3) will face fourth-ranked and third-seed Southern California (20-10) on Thursday, May 7 at 7:00 p.m. MT (9:00 p.m. ET) in Provo, Utah, in the first NCAA National Semifinal. The second NCAA National Semifinal, slated for 9:00 p.m. MT (11:00 p.m. ET) will feature top-ranked and top-seed UC Irvine (25-5) against No. 10 and fourth-seed Ohio State (16-10). The semifinal winners will meet for a shot at the NCAA National Championship on Saturday, May 9 at 5:00 p.m. MT (7:00 p.m. ET) at Smith Fieldhouse.
The Penn State-Southern California 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 WMAJ 1450AM, with fans encouraged to send questions and comments to commentators Dean DeVore and Craig Dyer at PSUvolleyball@gmail.com. The UC Irvine-Ohio State contest will be broadcast live on ESPNU and will air on ESPN2 on a tape-delay basis on Friday, May 8 at 12:00 p.m. ET. The National Championship tilt will be televised live on ESPN2 with an ESPN360.com simulcast.
All-session tickets for the event are $100 for VIP/Courtside, $30 for reserved bench, $25 for general admission, $20 for college students with valid ID, $20 for youth ages 2-18 and $15 for groups of 20 or more. Single-session tickets will be available on Thursday, May 7 and all tickets are based on availability. The BYU ticket office may be reached at (801) 422-BYU1 or toll-free at (800) 322-BYU1. Tickets for the event are expected to sell out.
Penn State claimed its 11th consecutive Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) title Saturday night with a three-game sweep of Juniata (30-25, 30-19, 30-21) on May 2. The Lions will be making their 11th straight and 24th overall NCAA National Semifinal appearance, having captured the national championship title in 1994 and 2008.
2009 AVCA All-Americans
AVCA Division I-II Men's Second-Team All-America
AVCA Division I-II Men's National Player of the Year: Announced at NCAA Championship Banquet on May 6