Men's volleyball unveils 2014 slate

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The defending EVIA conference champion Penn State men's volleyball team is ready to return to action, releasing its 2014 schedule Wednesday (Oct. 23) afternoon. The challenging slate features matches against eight teams ranked within the final AVCA Division I-II top 15 poll, as well as 13 home events in Rec Hall.

No. 3 Long Beach State, No. 4 UCLA, No. 9 Loyola-Chicago, No. 10 Lewis, No. 11 Ball State, No. 13 Hawaii, No. 14 Cal State Northridge and No. 15 Ohio State are all future 2014 foes that finished within the top 15 in 2013.

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.

Penn State then returns home from the road to open the 2014 home slate with a pair of matches against IPFW, Friday, Jan. 17th and Ball State, Saturday, Jan. 18th. Following a quick weekend on the road, PSU heads back to Rec Hall to host nine consecutive matches at home, featuring conference matchups against Saint Francis, Harvard, Rutgers-Newark and Sacred Heart. The Nittany Lions open the nine-match home stand against Mount Olive, Friday, Jan. 31st, before concluding the streak with a tilt against Harvard, Saturday, Feb. 22nd.

PSU will spend almost the entire month of March on the road, beginning with a pair of trips to Princeton and George Mason, before returning home to host the Tigers and the Patriots March 28-29. Penn State concludes the regular season on the road April 4-12, visiting Harvard, Sacred Heart and Saint Francis.

The EIVA Championship will take place April 17-19 at the site of the school receiving the No. 1 overall seed. Following the conference tournaments, the NCAA Championship will be held May 1-3 in Chicago, Ill. at the Gentile Arena.

With the departure of five seniors last season, Penn State returns a core group to the court this year, while also welcoming five freshmen to the roster. With just one senior returning, the Nittany Lions will look for contributions from veteran upperclassmen as well as the new faces.

Peter and Aaron Russell are two top returners, as the duo combined for a hefty amount of offensive production last year. Led by Aaron, who closed out the year averaging 3.59 kills per set, Peter followed closely behind, with 2.77 per frame. Redshirt sophomore Matt Seifert led the blocking unit during the 2013 season, registering 77 total blocks, including 10 solo blocks.

Penn State men's volleyball is on Facebook and Twitter! Fans can follow the Nittany Lions @PennStateMVBALL or online at www.facebook.com/PennStateMensVolleyball. To view the complete schedule, please visit www.GoPSUSports.com.

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Last Updated October 23, 2013