Men's volleyball earns five AVCA All-America awards

University Park, Pa. — Five members of the top-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team have earned AVCA All-America honors, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced Monday (April 28). Junior outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) and junior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) both earned First Team AVCA All-America honors while senior setter Luke Murray (East Petersburg, Pa.), sophomore middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) and freshman libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) all earned Second Team AVCA All-America accolades.

Penn State's five selections lead the nation and are the most for the Nittany Lions since the 1982 season. The award is the second of Anderson's career and his first First Team honor, as he earned Second Team honors last year. It is the first career award for Murray, Holt, Lipsitz and Del Valle, and brings Penn State's total number of All-Americans to 68 since 1971.

Anderson earns his second consecutive AVCA All-America award after leading the team with 5.64 kills per game on .390 hitting. Named the EIVA regular-season Player of the Year and Championship Most Outstanding Player, he had double-digit kill numbers in 28 of 29 contests, including eight matches with 20 or more kills. Anderson was tabbed the Outrigger Invitational Most Outstanding Player and picked up AVCA National Player of the Week honors on Feb. 11 after averaging 5.62 kills per game on .486 hitting versus Juniata, Loyola and IPFW. He ranks fourth on the team with 121 digs, an average of 1.34 digs per game, and also has 77 total blocks and 33 total service aces for the year.

Holt earns his first career AVCA All-America award after also picking up First Team All-EIVA and EIVA Championship All-Tournament team honors. He is leading the nation with a .560 hitting percentage with an average of 3.25 kills per game. Holt has produced 17 double-digit kill matches and also has at least two blocks in 27 of 29 matches.

Murray also picks up his first career AVCA All-America honor after directing the Nittany Lions to a nation-leading .398 hitting percentage with an average of 16.15 kills per game. Four of his hitters are averaging more than 2.40 kills per game on .303 hitting and he is averaging 13.48 assists per game, good for second in the country. Murray was tabbed the AVCA National Player of the Week after leading his squad to wins over Cal Baptist and Long Beach State in March. A First Team All-EIVA and EIVA All-Championship selection, Murray ranks third on the squad with 125 digs and also has 76 blocks for the year.

Lipsitz garners his first AVCA All-America honor after averaging 2.40 kills per game on .493 hitting, a mark that places him third in the nation. He has at least one block in 28 of 29 contests, posting 26 multiple-block contests. A First Team EIVA and Academic EIVA selection, Lipsitz had nine double-digit kill matches including a season high 14 kills without an error on 18 swings to hit .778 at Hawaii to open the season.

Del Valle is one of only two freshmen on this year's AVCA All-America squad, joining Cal State Northridge's Cody Loe, who was also named the AVCA National Freshman of the Year. Named the EIVA Newcomer of the Year, a First Team All-EIVA selection and an EIVA All-Championship team honoree, Del Valle's passing has helped the Nittany Lions to a nation-leading .398 hitting percentage with four players averaging more than 2.40 kills per game. He ranks in the top 10 in the country in digs per game, providing 234 total digs for an average of 2.54 digs per game. Del Valle has at least five digs in 25 of 29 contests with nine double-digit dig matches.

For the second time in three years, the top-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team will play for the national title. The Nittany Lions (29-1) defeated seventh-ranked and fourth-seed Ohio State (20-8) in four games (30-21, 26-30, 30-22, 30-17) Thursday night at the Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif., in the first of two NCAA National Semifinals.

Penn State will face Pepperdine for the NCAA National Championship title on Saturday, May 3 at 4:00 p.m. PT (7:00 p.m. ET) at the Bren Events Center. The match will be televised live on ESPN2 and can be heard on the web at www.GoPSUsports.com and on WRSC 1390 AM in the State College area.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010