Men's volleyball announces challenging 2015 slate

October 30, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Following a season that brought Penn State men's volleyball's 16th consecutive trip the NCAA national semifinals, the Nittany Lions are ready to return to action, releasing the 2015 schedule Tuesday (Oct. 28) afternoon. Featuring matchups against nine teams ranked within the final AVCA DI-II Top 15 Coaches Poll, the competitive slate also includes 11 home dates in Rec Hall.

No. 1 Loyola, No. 6 UC Irvine, No. 7 Long Beach State, No. 10 USC, No. 11 Lewis, No. 12 Hawaii, No. 13 Ball State, No. 14 IPFW and No. 15 Cal State Northridge all finished within the top 15 poll last year.

Penn State kicks off the 2015 season making its 20th appearance in the Outrigger Invitational, hosted by Hawaii. Widely tabbed one of the top early tournaments of the season, the Nittany Lions open the event taking on UC Irvine Thursday, Jan. 8, before squaring off against tournament host Hawaii, Friday, Jan. 9.

The Nittany Lions then return home to Rec Hall for a challenging five-match homestand. PSU opens the home streak with a match against 2014 defending national champions Loyola Friday, Jan. 23, concluding the home opening weekend with a match against Lewis Saturday, Jan. 24. After another non-conference tilt against Mount Olive the following week (January 30), PSU welcomes its first EIVA squad to Rec Hall when it hosts Saint Francis Saturday, Jan. 31. Penn State spends one more weekend at home before capping off the homestand with the PSU Alumni match, Saturday, Feb. 7 in Rec Hall.

Following a quick trip to Ohio State for a midweek matchup against the Buckeyes Wednesday, Feb. 11, the Nittany Lions return home to take on George Mason on Valentine's Day, Saturday, Feb. 14 at Rec Hall.

PSU hits the road for the next seven consecutive matches, capping off the road swing with a trip to the west coast. Penn State's last three matches of the road trip include a trio of teams that finished in the 2014 AVCA Top 15, featuring contests at USC, Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State.

Penn State concludes the month of March with three matches against Ohio State, Princeton and NJIT before making a quick trip to George Mason Saturday, April 4. The Nittany Lions wrap up the home slate with Harvard Friday, April 10 and Sacred Heart Saturday, April 11 before hitting the road for the final three matches of the regular season, visiting Princeton, NJIT and Saint Francis.

The annual EIVA Championship will take place April 29-May 1 at the site of the school receiving the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament. For the second consecutive year, the NCAA Play In match will determine the final field for the NCAA tournament. This year's Play-In match is set for Tuesday, May 5 in Palo Alto, Calif. The 2015 NCAA national championship is May 7-9 at Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif.

The Nittany Lions closed out the 2014 season with a 25-6 overall mark, including a 13-1 record in EIVA action. Penn State also captured its 26th overall and 16th straight EIVA Championship title last year, following a pair of straight-set victories against George Mason and Princeton in the tournament.

Penn State returns almost all of its starters from a year ago, with graduating senior and 2014 All-EIVA second team honoree, Peter Russell as the only departure. Senior Aaron Russell highlights the group of talented returners as he closed out the 2014 season atop the team standings in almost every category, while also ranking first nationally in aces per set (0.65). The 2014 First Team AVCA All-American also earned his second consecutive Uvaldo Acosta Memorial EIVA Player of the Year award this past season, making him the first Nittany Lion since Joe Sunder (2011-12) to earn back-to-back conference player of the year honors.

Last Updated October 30, 2014