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Dec. 5, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's volleyball junior Aaron Russell has earned 2014 Off the Block/Springbak Inc. Preseason First Team All-America honors. He is one of 21 student-athletes to earn the honor, which is selected by a nationwide voting committee comprised of coaches from around the country.
This summer, Russell competed on USA Men's Junior National team at the FIVB Men's Volleyball U21 World Championship in Izmir, Turkey. Russell and current assistant coach Jay Hosack placed 11th in the event.
In 2013, Russell started all 31 matches for the Nittany Lions, concluding the season with a team-high 366 kills, averaging 3.59 per set. Russell also led the squad with 40 aces on the year.
After helping to guide the Nittany Lions to a 14-1 conference record and the 15th consecutive EIVA championship, he was named the 2013 Co-Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Player of the Year. Russell also guided the Nittany Lions to an appearance in the 2013 NCAA National Semifinals.
The Off the Block Preseason All-American teams recognizes the NCAA Division I-II men's volleyball players predicted to perform best in the country during the upcoming season. Off the Block is a national award winning website that is among the nation's leaders in college men's volleyball coverage.
In order to be eligible for the Preseason All-American Teams, each student-athlete must be on an active member of a Division I-II men's volleyball team for the upcoming season.
Russell and the rest of the Nittany Lions open the season making their 19th appearance in the Outrigger Invitational, one of the most prestigious early tournaments, hosted by Hawaii. While in Honolulu, Penn State will square off against UCLA, Thursday, Jan. 19th, before taking on tournament host Hawaii, Friday, Jan. 10th. PSU concludes the event with a match against Ohio State, Saturday, Jan. 11th.