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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State men's volleyball duo of Will Bantle (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) and Matthew McLaren (Aurora, Colo.) will look to represent the blue and white in the red, white and blue, as the top collegiate beach volleyball pairs will ascend on Hermosa (Calif.) Beach for a chance to represent USA Volleyball at the 2018 FISU World University Championships.
The entire competition, which runs from May 10-12, will be broadcast at www.teamusa.org/USA-Volleyball and fans can watch live by clicking here. The finals of the event will air live on NBCSN from 4-6 p.m. ET on May 12.
Bantle and McLaren will be among eight men's teams competing in the Bridgestone USA Volleyball Collegiate Beach Championships, part of the 2018 Team USA Summer Champions Series presented by Xfinity. The Penn State pair will face competition from Florida State, Hawaii, Lewis, Pepperdine, Quincy, UC Irvine and UCLA for the right to represent the United State at the International University Sports Federation (FISU) in Munich, Germany.
— USA Volleyball (@usavolleyball) May 8, 2018
McLaren is coming off of a 2018 campaign that saw the redshirt-junior earn first-team All-EIVA honors after leading Penn State in kills and points. After registering just 45 kills and 57.5 points combined over his first two seasons, McLaren piled up 256 kills on a career-best .293 hitting percentage. The outside hitter added 36 service aces, 135 digs and 36 total blocks in 2018, accounting for 312 points, or 3.15 points (kills-blocks-aces) per set.
Bantle swapped coasts to attend Penn State, as the Pacific Palisades, California native was a prep standout at Loyola High School of Los Angeles before enrolling on the University Park campus. As a prep at Loyola, he helped the Cubs to a pair of California Interscholastic Federation indoor championships in 2016 and 2017, and was a second-team All-America selection as a senior. Bantle also has previous beach experience, placing ninth at the U17 Beach Volleyball World Championships in 2014, while also claiming the 2015 USA Volleyball Beach High Performance U19 championship.