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Penn State Captures EIVA Tournament Championship

Penn State Captures EIVA Tournament Championship

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - For the 28th time in program history, Penn State is the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Champion following a 3-0 sweep of Saint Francis (Pa.) (25-19, 25-14, 25-20) Saturday night in Rec Hall.

The atmosphere was electric as more than 1,300 fans packed Rec Hall to cheer the Blue and White in the EIVA Championship match.

Penn State captured its 18th tournament title in the past 19-years on a kill from Chris Nugent who put the exclamation mark on the night as he finished the tournament as the Most Outstanding Player totaling nine kills on 16 swings hitting .438 for the night and 24 kills total for the tournament.

"Games one and two we knew that they would come back and fight they're too good of a team to play at that level for that long, ," said head coach Mark Pavlik.

"Again, much of our success, the game plan that these guys executed, that [Associate Head Coach] Colin (McMillan) again put together a terrific defensive game plan, [Assistant Coach] Ryan (Walthall) did a great job with the offense and Luke (Braswell) took it to the court and made it happen," Pavlik continued.

Penn State used a balanced attack to get the job done against the Red Flash with five players registering five kills or more led by Aidan Albrecht and Nugent who each finished with nine.

Luke Braswell led the Lions with 33 assist while Royce Clemens totaled 10 digs.

Kevin Gear and Albrecht shared a team high in blocks with four apiece followed by Matt Callaway who got three blocks of his own as Penn State finished with 8.5 team blocks.

The Nittany Lions held the Red Flash to a match low 14 points in the second set as Penn State sided out at an extremely efficient rate of 92%, siding out on 13-of-14 opportunities.

"I saw the number sitting here and I was like 'wow that's crazy'," said Luke Braswell.

"Our passers pass very well and it makes my job really easy... 92% was great for us, that's a great number."

Joining Nugent on the All-EIVA Tournament Team were teammates Luke Braswell, Aidan Albrecht and Calvin Mende.

With the win, Penn State earns the automatic bid to the NCAA Championships representing the EIVA and will await the results of NCAA Selection show tomorrow Sunday, April 23 at 1 p.m. ET on to see who and where they will play in the opening rounds of the tournament.