Men's Volleyball Tabbed EIVA Preseason Favorite

Men's Volleyball Tabbed EIVA Preseason Favorite

The 16-time defending EIVA champion Penn State men's volleyball team has been selected as the 2014 EIVA preseason favorite. The Nittany Lions were voted to capture this year's championship crown by the league's seven head coaches.

Penn State received six of a possible seven first place votes in the preseason poll, while Princeton picked up one. The Tigers are slotted to finish second, while George Mason, Harvard and St. Francis (Pa.) round out the top five in spots three through five.

Last year, top-seeded Penn State defeated No. 3 seed Princeton in straight sets to capture its 26th overall and 16th consecutive EIVA Championship crown at home in Rec Hall. This year's Championship event is set to take place Wednesday, April 29 and Friday, May 1 on the campus of the team earning the No. 1 seed.

The Nittany Lions were recently voted No. 3 overall in the AVCA DI-II Preseason Top 15 Coaches Poll after wrapping up the 2014 season with a 25-7 record and an appearance in the NCAA national semifinals. PSU is also the only EIVA team represented in the top 15.

Head coach Mark Pavlik returns nearly all of his starters from last year with All-EIVA second team honoree Peter Russell as the only departure. Key returners in the lineup this year include first team AVCA All-American Aaron Russell and redshirt senior Nick Goodell, who were both selected as 2014 Off the Block/Springbak Preseason All-Americans. Other top returners include first team All-EIVA honoree redshirt junior Taylor Hammond and second team All-EIVA selections redshirt senior Connor Curry and redshirt junior Matt Seifert.

Penn State is set to open the 2015 slate making its 20th appearance in the Outrigger Invitational, hosted by Hawaii. Widely tabbed as 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.


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