April 26, 2013 at 6:42 PM
Avenging a loss is something that Penn State doesn't get to do often in the EIVA.
The Nittany Lions, who have been 36-1 in the past three seasons against conference opponents, will get a chance to avenge that one loss it suffered this season against Harvard, Saturday night at 7 in the EIVA championship in Rec Hall.
The Crimson beat Penn State in Cambridge 3-0 earlier this season, ending a 61 match-winning streak in the conference.
“To have done it once makes a big difference,” Harvard coach Brian Baise said. “It doesn’t mean it will happen again.”
The two teams will be playing for a chance to represent the EIVA in the NCAA tournament.
Harvard was a test for Penn State both times the two schools met this year. Before the loss, Penn State snuck past the Crimson in five sets in Rec Hall.
Harvard beat George Mason in a five set match Thursday night to advance to the title match. Penn State swept Princeton in the second semifinal of the night.
However, the EIVA championship is uncharted territory for the Crimson as they have never been to the title match.
Penn State, on the other hand, is trying to win its 15th straight EIVA title.
“We want to play big boy volleyball,” Penn State coach Mark Pavlik said. “We are going to say ‘here we come, stop us. If you can’t stop us, we are going to be physical.’”
April 25, 2013 at 11:41 PM
Thanks to sophomore Aaron Russell's 21 kill performance, Penn State is heading to the EIVA championship, defeating Princeton, 25-20, 25-17, 25-23.
Russell carried the Nittany Lions for most of the match. He recorded 16 kills in the first two sets.
Along with Russell, redshirt sophomore Nick Goodell added 14 kills in front of a crowd of 771.
Offensively, the Lions outhit the Tigers, .398-.342. Penn State also dominated throughout the match as the lead only changed hands three times.
Aaron's older brother, Peter, recorded eight kills.
Princeton's Pat Schwagler recorded a team-high 10 kills.
Penn State will now take on Harvard Saturday night at 7 for a trip to Los Angeles in the NCAA Tournament.
Harvard beat Penn State earlier this season in Cambridge, 3-0. It was Penn State's only loss in the EIVA this season.
Pick up Friday's Daily Collegian for more coverage.
April 25, 2013 at 8:23 PM
It took a while, but No. 3 Harvard squeezed past No. 2 George Mason in the first semifinal of the EIVA Tournament in five sets, 25-23, 26-28, 17-25, 25-22, 19-17.
In a match that took more than two hours, it was the first time Harvard beat George Mason this season.
Nick Madden, who had 16 kills and D.J. White, who had 15 kills, led Harvard.
“One of our [mistakes], we didn’t’ serve or pass well tonight,” George Mason coach Fred Chao said. “Everything kind of builds well off that.”
The victory was a reverse of last year’s semifinal, where the Patriots beat Harvard in three sets last season. It’s the second year in a row a No. 3 seed has gone to the finals.
“We had multiple guys come through when there was no room for error really,” Harvard coach Brian Baise said.
The Crimson, who battled back several time throughout the match, trailed in most of the fifth set but ultimately won the match on an ace.
“We’ve done it before,” Nick Madden said of coming back.
The Crimson out-blocked the Patriots, 10.5-5.0.
It’s the first time that Harvard has advanced to the EIVA finals, which is Saturday night at 7.
They will play the winner of Penn State and Princeton.
“First time here, we will see,” Baise said. “They’ve earned this feeling.”
April 23, 2013 at 7:05 PM
Darian Somers and Jon Wheel break down this week's EIVA conference tournament, beginning Thursday in Rec Hall.
The winner of the tournament gets an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament in Los Angeles.
No. 2 George Mason vs. No. 3 Harvard, 5:30
No. 1 seed Penn State vs. No. 4 Princeton, 7:30
Championship Match, 7
April 22, 2013 at 6:54 PM
The EIVA officially announced this week's schedule for the conference tournament as Penn State will host and earned the No. 1 seed overall after clinching its 29th conference title.
The semifinals begin Thursday night as No. 2 seeded George Mason takes on No. 3 Harvard, beginning 5:30 in Rec Hall. Penn State will take on the No. 4 seed, Princeton, at 7:30 in the second matchup.
The winners of each match will square off to decide who heads to Los Angeles to represent the EIVA in the NCAA tournament. That match is at 7, Saturday evening.
Penn State is 2-0 against the Tigers this year, beating them 3-1 both matches.
George Mason is also 2-0 against the Crimson.
Read the Daily Collegian for more coverage of the tournament throughout the week.
April 21, 2013 at 5:13 PM
Sophomore outside hitter Aaron Russell was named the Uvaldo Acosta Memorial EIVA Co-player of the Year this afternoon, along with George Mason’s Mark Jones.
Russell, who switched to outside hitter this year from middle, leads Penn State with 305 kills and 3.47 kills per set. He also leads the Nittany Lions with 30 aces this season.
Russell is second in the conference in kills, third in kills per set and fourth in aces per set.
Mark Pavlik, who is in his 19th season at the helm, was also named the EIVA’s Coach of the Year. Pavlik last won the award in 2009.
Also, redshirt freshman setter Taylor Hammond was named the EIVA’s Newcomer of the Year. Hammond leads the conference with 1,011 assists this season.
Along with individual awards, the conference also announced its first and second All-EIVA teams.
Penn State’s Aaron Russell was the only Lion on the first team.
Redshirt sophomore libero Connor Curry, junior outside hitter Peter Russell, redshirt freshman middle hitter Matt Seifert and Hammond were all named to the second team.
April 21, 2013 at 12:25 PM
One of coach Mark Pavlik's most frequently used phrases this season has been "we've seen this movie before" when talking about repeat themes or experiences.
Penn State saw Friday's movie again on Saturday.
After a virtually stress-free victory at home against Rutgers-Newark on Friday, the Nittany Lions returned for another sweep against NJIT (25-17, 25-20, 25-17) in their regular season finale. The Lions finished the year at 13-1 in the EIVA and 21-7 overall.
Peter Russell found his way to the top of the leaderboard on Saturday, joining his younger brother Aaron as they both accumulated 11 kills in the victory. Recent standout Nick Goodell added nine of his own as the team finished hitting .398.
Penn State finished the season winning seven out of its last eight matches, as it hopes to continue the success into the coming EIVA tournament. Rec Hall will again be the venue, where the Lions were 12-1 in 2013.
The top-seeded Lions will host Princeton in the nightcap of the semifinals on Thursday.
April 20, 2013 at 11:04 AM
When a last-place team enters the home court of a first-place team, things are bound to get out of hand. Friday evening was no exception.
Penn State hosted Rutgers-Newark in South Gym of Rec Hall, beginning the final weekend of the regular season. The Nittany Lions made it clear that it would not be the Scarlet Raiders' night, claiming all three games with ease (25-14, 25-16, 25-20).
The box score would not quite indicate pure domination, as no Penn State player recorded more than eight kills. But this week, coach Mark Pavlik said he hoped that his team would gain separation early in order to get more guys in, which is precisely what happened on Friday. 10 Lion hitters were credited with at least one kill, a rare occurrence for a team that often relies on a few top hitters.
The Lions got contributions from up and down the roster, Matt Seifert was the clear leader. The redshirt freshman had the high point game, tallying a team-leading eight kills with just one error. Seifert's advantage may have come as a result of the opponent's physical weakness, which was its size. No Rutgers-Newark player stood taller than 6-foot-4, allowing the 6-foot-9-inch Seifert and the other hitters to impose their wills above the net.
As a team, the Lions hit .435 and more than tripled the Raiders' block total, giving the Lions a well-rounded victory.
"We did what we should have done with this team," Pavlik said.
The Lions wrap up the regular season on Saturday against NJIT, again in South Gym.
April 14, 2013 at 11:01 AM
The non-conference schedule is certainly No. 13 Penn State’s Achilles’ heal.
The Nittany Lions fell to UC Irvine in three sets Saturday night, losing 25-20, 25-20, 25-14.
With the loss, six of the seven Penn State defeats this season have come to nonconference opponents.
Offensively, the Lions struggled, hitting .130. Penn State also recorded 23 kills, a season low. In comparison, the Anteaters finished with 42 kills and hit .368.
No Lion recorded more than 10 kills. Redshirt sophomore Nick Goodell had a team-high nine kills.
The 14 points that Penn State scored in the third set are the fewest it has scored all season long in a set to 25.
Penn State returns home next weekend to wrap up its regular season, taking on EIVA conference opponents NJIT and Rutgers-Newark.
The next weekend, Penn State hosts the EIVA tournament.
April 13, 2013 at 10:34 AM
Chart redshirt sophomore Nick Goodell’s performance of late, and it looks like a rocket taking off.
Thanks to Ambridge, Pa. native’s 19 kills Friday, No. 13 Penn State downed the NAIA’s Concordia in four sets (25-13, 19-25, 25-22, 25-20).
Goodell, who has now had at least 10 kills in his last four appearances, set season-highs in kills and aces with six. The six aces were also a career-high for Goodell.
Along with Goodell, sophomore Aaron Russell recorded 15 kills and helped the Nittany Lions improve to 19-6 this year.
Penn State has now won two consecutive non-conference matches, an area where the team has struggle this year as five of the its six losses came to non-EIVA opponents.
Senior Tom Comfort also saw playing time in the win, the first significant playing time he has seen since suffering a slight concussion in a win over George Mason on March 30.
Penn State remains on the West Coast and will take on No. 4 UC Irvine Saturday night at 10 p.m.