No. 7 men's volleyball travels to George Mason

Arielle Sargent
April 03, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Winners of their last eight consecutive matches, No. 7 Penn State (12-9, 6-0) hits the road this weekend, traveling to George Mason (8-10, 3-3) for an EIVA conference matchup Saturday, April 4 at 7 p.m. in the Recreation and Athletic Complex.

Fans can listen to a live audio stream provided by Penn State's ComRadio, or stream the match live on Patriot Vision with a paid subscription.

QUICK SETS
* The Nittany Lions enter the weekend riding an eight-match winning streak, having swept Princeton before capturing a 3-2 win against NJIT last week to remain unbeaten in EIVA action.

* Penn State went 2-0 last week, earning a 3-0 win against the Tigers and a 3-2 victory against the Highlanders. Senior Aaron Russell led the team in kills in both matches, posting 11 against the Tigers and 26 against the Highlanders. Redshirt freshman Jalen Penrose also recorded back-to-back double figure outings with 10 kills against Princeton and 21 vs. NJIT.

* Penn State holds a 96-14 advantage in the all-time series against George Mason, having captured the last 16 consecutive wins against the Patriots. Earlier this season, PSU swept past GMU at home in Rec Hall, behind double digit kills from Aaron Russell (17) and Nick Goodell (11).

* Penn State moved up one spot to No. 7 in the latest AVCA Top 15 Coaches Poll after spending a week at No. 8. PSU has been in the top 15 the last four consecutive weeks since spending a month receiving votes.

*  Penn State is still slotted sixth in the second release of the RPI ranking. The Nittany Lions are the only EIVA team represented in the RPI top 20.

* PSU is ranked among the top 10 nationally in kills per set, averaging 12.88, which is slated seventh in the country and leads the EIVA. Senior Aaron Russell's contributing a team-high 4.73 kills per set, which ranks second in the nation and first in the league.

* PSU is also ranked in the top 10 nationally in digs per set, averaging 9.57, which is slotted 10th in the nation and second in the EIVA. Redshirt senior Connor Curry's leading the way with a team-high 2.49 digs per frame, which ranks eighth in the nation and first in the league.

* Both Aaron Russell and Nick Goodell are ranked among the top five in the NCAA DI active career leaders in kills. Russell leads the duo with 1,369 career kills which ranks first in DI and is the third-most among all three divisions. Goodell is ranked fifth with 1,058 career kills. Russell and Goodell are two of only seven active NCAA DI players to reach 1,000 career kills.

With 175 career aces, senior Aaron Russell leads all active NCAA players with the most aces. On the Penn State record list, he's ranked second all-time and needs 32 more aces to match Max Holt (2006-09). On the year, Russell is averaging 0.51 aces per set, which ranks sixth nationally and third in the EIVA standings.

RUSSELL EARNS SECOND STRAIGHT EIVA OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOD
After guiding Penn State men's volleyball to its sixth consecutive win against Ohio State, senior Aaron Russell was named the EIVA Offensive Player of the Week. The honor is the second consecutive for Russell, who has collected the award a total of three times this season. He led the team with his second 30-kill performance of the season against the Buckeyes, totaling a match-high 30 kills on .458 hitting. He added 14 digs for his second double-double of the season to go along with three blocks and two aces.

AVCA DI-II COACHES' POLL UPDATE: MARCH 30
Penn State moved up one spot to No. 7 in the latest AVCA Top 15 Coaches Poll after spending a week at No. 8. PSU has been in the top 15 the last four consecutive weeks since, spending a month receiving votes. The Nittany Lions have now seen or will see a total of nine teams from the top 15 at some point during the regular season.

PAVLIK APPROACHING CAREER MARK
In his 21st year at the helm of the program, head coach Mark Pavlik has amassed 494 career victories. His all-time mark puts him just six shy of 500 career-wins. Pavlik is on track to reach the mark in the regular season finale at Saint Francis (Pa.) March 25th.

PENN STATE AND GEORGE MASON: LAST TIME OUT
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State men's volleyball (4-8, 2-0) swept past George Mason (2-8, 0-2) in straight sets (26-24, 26-24, 25-18) to earn its second consecutive EIVA conference win of the season.

Senior Aaron Russell fueled the offense with a match-high 17 kills, adding eight digs and three blocks, including two solo stuffs. Redshirt senior Nick Goodell also posted double digit kills, tallying 11 on .318 hitting, adding seven digs and three blocks. Redshirt sophomore Matt Callaway logged seven kills on a team-high .545 hitting clip, while also leading the squad with four total blocks. Redshirt freshman Aidan Albrecht and sophomore Chris Nugent added five kills each. Redshirt senior Connor Curry anchored the defense with a match-high nine digs to earn Mike Anderson Penn State player of the game honors.

1,000 CAREER KILLS CLUB
Both Aaron Russell and Nick Goodell are ranked among the top five in the NCAA DI active career leaders in kills. Russell leads the duo with 1,369 career kills which ranks first in DI and is the third-most among all three divisions. Goodell is ranked fifth in DI with 1,058 career kills. Russell and Goodell are also two of only seven active NCAA DI players to reach the 1,000 career kills plateau in their career.

A FORCE FROM THE SERVICE LINE
With 175 career aces, senior Aaron Russell leads all active NCAA players with the most aces. On the Penn State record list, he's ranked second all-time and needs 32 more aces to match Max Holt (2006-09). On the year, Russell is averaging 0.51 aces per set, which ranks sixth nationally and third in the EIVA standings.

EXPERIENCED VETERANS ON THE COURT
Senior Aaron Russell and redshirt senior Connor Curry are leading all active DI players with the most career appearances on the court. Curry's 113 matches ranks first, while Russell's 112 matches ranks second.

STEPPING UP!
Eight weeks ago, sophomore Chris Nugent highlighted the weekend with a pair of career high performances. In his first career start against Mount Olive, Nugent led the offense with a match-high 16 kills on .500 hitting, adding three aces, five digs and two blocks to earn Mike Anderson Penn State Player of the Match honors. The next night, he set another career-high mark with a match-high seven aces against Saint Francis. Against Erskine, he tied for first on the team with 12 kills, while also adding two aces and a career-high five blocks. Since earning his first start, he's ranked third on the team with 2.20 kills per set and second in aces per set (0.39) with 19 aces on the year, which ranks sixth in the EIVA and 26th nationally.

Redshirt freshman Aidan Albrecht has also seen action on the court this season. He made his collegiate debut in the EIVA opener against Saint Francis, before posting a career-high four blocks against Erskine. Against George Mason he tallied a career-high five kills.

Redshirt freshman Jalen Penrose had a career weekend at the Asics Invitational. He highlighted the event with nine kills, eight digs, four aces and three blocks at No. 8 Long Beach State. He finished second on the team with six kills and six digs the night before against CSUN, adding six digs and three blocks. Penrose logged 19 kills on .230 hitting against No. 11 Ohio State, before registering a career-high 21 kills against NJIT.

WHAT'S NEXT?
The Nittany Lions return home from the road next week to conclude the 2015 regular season home slate. Penn State hosts Harvard Friday, April 10 at 7 p.m. before taking on Sacred Heart at 4 p.m. on senior night at Rec Hall. Both matches are set to take place in main gym

 

Last Updated April 03, 2015