UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 9 Penn State men’s volleyball team hits the road for eight consecutive matches, spending the entire month of March traveling to their opponents. First up are Rutgers-Newark and NJIT on March 1-2, respectively.
Links to live stats and live video can be found at GoPSUsports.com. Penn State faces Rutgers-Newark on Friday, March 1 at 7 p.m. and NJIT on Saturday, March 2 at 8 p.m.
Nittany Lion Preview
The No. 9 Penn State men’s volleyball team hits the road for eight consecutive matches. The Nittany Lions will spend the entire month of March traveling to their opponents. First up are Rutgers-Newark and NJIT on March 1-2, respectively.
The Nittany Lions went 2-0 over the weekend with 3-1 victories against George Mason and Princeton to improve to 6-1 in the EIVA. Sophomore Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) led the Lions with 4.38 kills per set, while senior Tom Comfort (Orchard Park, N.Y.) posted 4.00. Junior Peter Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) was third on the team with 3.00. Redshirt freshman Taylor Hammond dished out 12.38 assists per set. Redshirt sophomore Connor Curry (Newport Beach, Calif.) had a team-high 2.88 digs per set, while both Comfort and Peter Russell added 1.50 digs per set each. Redshirt freshman Matt Seifert (Reading, Pa.) was a wall at the net with 1.86 blocks per set.
For the weekend, Penn State hit .247 and averaged 14.38 kills, 13.50 assists, 1.25 aces, 8.75 digs and 2.94 blocks per set.
Penn State vs. Rutgers-Newark
Penn State has an 84-24-1 all-time record against the Scarlet Raiders. Last season, Penn State swept Rutgers-Newark twice, first on Feb. 10 and again on March 24. The Scarlet Raiders last won against the Nittany Lions on March 27, 2010 on their home court.
Scouting the Scarlet Raiders
Rutgers-Newark has a 2-6 record this season and has not yet won an EIVA match. The Scarlet Raiders’ two wins this season came against Kean on Jan 25 (3-2) and Cairn a day later on Jan. 26 (3-0). Rutgers-Newark is led by sophomore opposite Manuel Felipez, who is averaging 3.56 kills per set, and freshman setter Kevin McCandless, who is posted 7.05 assists per set. Defensively, freshman outside Travis Mintzer is putting up 0.78 blocks per set.
Penn State vs. NJIT
Penn State owns a 30-1 record against NJIT. Last season, the Nittany Lions swept the Highlanders, 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-23), on Feb. 11 on their home court. On the road on March 23, NJIT took the Nittany Lions to four sets before Penn State snagged the win, 3-1 (25-15, 25-21, 22-25, 25-20).
Scouting the Highlanders
NJIT is 3-10 overall and 1-3 in the EIVA. The Highlanders have wins against IPFW (3-2), Stevens (3-1), and most recently, Sacred Heart (3-0). NJIT hosts Saint Francis before taking on the Nittany Lions. The Highlanders are led by senior right side Doug Battersby and sophomore outside Chris Kaepernick, who average 2.08 and 2.17 kills per set, respectively. Senior setter Matthew Lui guides the offense averaging 7.55 assists per set and senior libero Brady Smith leads NJIT in the back row with 2.54 digs per set. At the net, Battersby averaged 0.67 blocks per set, while senior outside Kevin Van Oss puts up 0.66 per set.
Penn State continues its road trip with a visit to Indiana to take on IPFW and Ball State on March 9-10. From there the Nittany Lions meet Ohio State on March 16 and Saint Francis on March 23. The Lions conclude the month of March with visits to Princeton on March 29 and George Mason on March 30.
For more information on the Penn State men’s volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State men’s volleyball 2013 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.
Story courtesy of Penn State