Men's volleyball earns five EIVA honors

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Four Nittany Lions earned EIVA post season honors, as announced by the conference Monday. Senior Aaron Russell highlights the group with his third consecutive Uvaldo Acosta Memorial Player of the Year honor, making him just the second Nittany Lion in program history to earn the award three times. Additionally, head coach Mark Pavlik earned Bob Sweeney EIVA Coach of the Year honors.

Redshirt senior Connor Curry and Russell each earned First Team All-EIVA honors, while redshirt senior Nick Goodell and redshirt junior Taylor Hammond earned second team accolades.

Russell joins José Quiñones (2000-02) as the only Penn State men's volleyball student-athletes to repeat as EIVA Player of the Year in three consecutive seasons. Russell's award is also the 16th time a Nittany Lion has been honored as the league's Player of the Year.

The four All-EIVA honors brings Penn State's all-time number of conference selections to 198 since 1972. Pavlik's Coach of the Year laurel marks the fifth time he's been selected for the award, as was previously honored in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2013.

Curry has earned All-EIVA honors in the last four consecutive seasons. Having earned second team honors in 2013 and 2014, the first team selection is his second career as he also garnered the award in 2012. Having played in 119 career matches, his collection of appearances on the court ranks first all-time in the NCAA active DI record list. This year, his 2.54 digs per set currently ranks seventh nationally and has been slotted within the nation's top 10 all season. Curry also surpassed the 1,000 career digs mark this season to become one of two Nittany Lions in program history to reach the milestone.

Russell, who picks up his fourth First Team All-EIVA selection, has led the team offensively with double figure kills in all but two matches this season. Having earned EIVA Offensive Player of the Week honors three times this season, he also earned his first career AVCA/Sports Imports DI-II National Player of the Week award following a trio of standout performances during the spring break trip. With a team-high 4.65 kills per set, his average ranks second nationally and leads the conference. On the NCAA DI active all-time leaders list, his 1,465 kills ranks first in DI and is the third-most among all divisions.

Goodell's second team selection marks his third career postseason EIVA award for the opposite. This year, Goodell was named the EIVA Defensive Player of the Week once and also earned Off the Block Preseason All-America honors. Ranked second on the team with 3.06 kills per set, Goodell's average per frame ranks seventh in the EIVA standings. Goodell is also one of just 10 active NCAA DI student-athletes to amass more than 1,000 career kills. Presently, his 1,105 career kills ranks sixth on the active all-time DI leaders list.

Hammond rounds out the group with his third EIVA postseason accolade. Having earned 2013 EIVA Newcomer of the Year honors, he was also a First Team All-EIVA honoree in 2014. This year, Hammond's guided the Nittany Lions to a .278 hitting percentage, which is currently slated 11th nationally and second in the conference. Along with one double-double against Loyola (1/23), he's paced a pair of his top hitters to .327 or better hitting. 

Last Updated April 30, 2015