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Dec. 3, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Sophomore Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) was named to the Off the Block Preseason First Team All-America Team for Division I-II. He was one of 20 players nationwide selected to the teams.
The Off the Block Preseason All-America Teams recognize the NCAA Division I-II men's volleyball players projected to be the best in the nation during the upcoming season. Ten players were selected as Preseason First Team-All-Americans and 10 players were named Preseason Second Team All-Americans. Players from 11 different programs were honored.
Russell, a 2012 third-team Volleyball Magazine All-American, started in 28 matches playing 98 sets at middle blocker. A first-team All-EIVA selection, Russell led the Lions with 92 total blocks, averaging 0.94 blocks per set. Russell hit .423 for the season, which ranked second in the EIVA, and totaled 203 kills to average 2.07 kills per set. In addition, Russell averaged 0.26 aces per set. A member of the EIVA Championship All-Tournament team, his 0.94 blocks per set and 0.26 aces per set both ranked in the top 40 in the nation.
Russell helped guide Penn State to a 23-6 overall record and a 14-0 record in EIVA action. The Nittany Lions advanced to the NCAA National Semifinals for the 17th time under head coach Mark Pavlik.
This is the second year for the Off the Block Preseason All-America Teams. Off the Block is a website dedicated to collegiate men's volleyball news and analysis. The 18-member voting committee was comprised of men's volleyball head coaches and writers from around the nation.
Off the Block Preseason All-America Teams
Preseason First Team All-America
Micah Christenson, S, USC
BJ Boldog, S, Lewis
Russell Lavaja, MH, BYU
Jay Petty, Lewis, OH, Lewis
Aaron Russell, OH, Penn State
Taylor Sander, OH, BYU
Joseph Smalzer, OH, Loyola
Kevin Tillie, OH, UC Irvine
Maurice Torres, OH, Pepperdine
Henry Cassiday, L, USC
Preseason Second Team All-America
Matt West, S, Pepperdine
Dylan Davis, MH, UCSB
Robert Feathers, MH, USC
Eric Mochalski, MH, Stanford
Brian Cook, OH Stanford
Taylor Crabb, OH, LBSU
Gonzalo Quiroga, OH, UCLA
Javier Caceres, L, Pacific
Peter Jasaitis, L, Loyola
Others Receiving Votes: Steven Irvin, Stanford; Josh Taylor, Pepperdine; Chris Austin, UC Irvine; Taylor Hughes, Pacific; Cody Kessel, Princeton; Nick Goodell, Penn State; Evan Mottram, UCLA; Connor Curry, Penn State; Geoff Powell, Lewis; Michael Brinkley, UC Irvine; Mark Jones, George Mason; Connor Hughes, UC Irvine; Scott Kevorken, UC Irvine; Matt Leske, Ball State; Grayson Overman, Ohio State; Ben Ponnet, Grand Canyon; Trent Bruns, Grand Canyon; Tom Comfort, Penn State; Piotr Dabrowski, George Mason; Tony Ensbury, Princeton; Chase Frishman, UC San Diego; Jamion Hartley, Ball State; Michael Kvidahl, George Mason; Matt Mirick, Loyola; Connor Olbright, Long Beach State ; John Pranger, Quincy; Nick Turko, Penn State; DJ White, Harvard; Levi Cabral, Cal Baptist; Greg Faulkner, Cal State Northridge; Taylor Hammond, Penn State; Peter Heinen, Ohio State; Michael Henchy, Ohio State; Tanner Jensen, USC; Kolby Kanetake, Hawai'I; JW Kieckhefer, IPFW; Ben Lam, USC; JP Marks, Hawai'I; Aaron McCalmont, Cal Baptist; Max McFarland, George Mason; Kevin Owens, Ball State; Ben Patch, BYU; Greg Petty, Lewis; Scott Rhein, Pepperdine; Josue Rivera, BYU; Omar Rivera, IPFW; Adam Roche, St. Francis; Tommy Rouse; Brady Smith, NJIT; Keith Smith, Grand Canyon; Brandon Lebrock, Cal State Northridge; Eric Varney, Lewis
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State men's volleyball 2013 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets at Hershey.