UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The No. 12 Penn State men's volleyball team (8-2, 1-0) will put its eight-match winning streak on the line this weekend welcoming two EIVA teams to Rec Hall for a pair of conference matchups. The Nittany Lions square off against NJIT Friday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. in main gym before taking on Rutgers-Newark Saturday, Feb. 15 at 4 p.m. in south gym.
PROMOTIONAL SPOTLIGHT Valentine's Day is Friday, and what better way to celebrate than bringing your sweetheart out to a volleyball match. Free flowers are available at the door for the first fans to enter the match. The first 100 students will also receive free Penn State men's volleyball shirts on Friday and Saturday.
WEEK FIVE IN REVIEW Penn State recorded another undefeated weekend at home, locking up a pair of non-conference victories against Erskine and Pfeiffer. The Nittany Lions powered past both teams in straight-sets to extend the Penn State winning streak to eight consecutive matches.
NITTANY LIONS IN THE AVCA COACHES POLL - WEEK SIX UPDATE Following the 2-0 weekend at home, PSU remains No. 12 in the latest AVCA DI-II Top 15 Poll. The Nittany Lions have now spent the last five weeks at the No. 12 position. Additionally, Penn State is the only EIVA team to be ranked with the top 15. This week, the Nittany Lions also broke back into the Volleyball Magazine Top 10 poll, coming in at No. 10.
PENN STATE VS. NJIT The Nittany Lions own a 32-1 advantage in the all-time series against the Highlanders, dating back to the first meeting between the two clubs in 1977. Penn State will enter the matchup looking to extend a 17-match winning streak against NJIT, having not lost a match to the Highlanders since 1998. In the last 10 years, the Nittany Lions have surrendered only one set to NJIT.
PENN STATE VS. RUTGERS-NEWARK Penn State holds a stead 86-24 lead in the all-time series against the Scarlet Raider, which also dates back to 1977. Penn State will look to capture its eighth consecutive victory against Rutgers Newark, having kept an undefeated streak alive since slipping in a four-set decision in 2010.
GOODELL NAMED EIVA OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
After helping Penn State to its eighth consecutive victory this weekend, redshirt junior Nick Goodell has earned his first EIVA Offensive Player of the Week honor of the season. Goodell closed out last week ranked second on the team with 45 kills, averaging 4.50 per set on a team-high .468 hitting clip. He also led the squad with eight aces, while also ranking second on the team with six blocks.
In a midweek Big Ten matchup against Ohio State, Goodell fueled the offense with a season-high 20 kills on .533 efficiency. He also added a season-high four aces to go along with three digs and three blocks. He opened the weekend with a double-digit performance against Erskine, tallying 10 kills, one ace, four digs and two blocks in the win before totaling 15 kills, six digs and three aces against Pfeiffer.
A CLEAN SWEEP Penn State has earned five of its victories in straight-sets this season, putting together a 5-0 mark in three-set matches. Having swept its last two opponents, Penn State is looking to extend its streak of straight-set win this weekend at home, having recorded 15 3-0 wins in 2013.
STREAKING! The Penn State streak of eight consecutive victories presently stands at the longest active men's volleyball winning streak in the nation. Penn State is 10 wins shy of matching the longest winning streak in program history. In 2008, Penn State shot out to an 18-match winning streak to tie the longest streak in PSU history that was originally set by the 1981 squad and matched again in 1982.
WHAT'S NEXT? The Nittany Lions will close out the final stretch of an 11-match homestand next weekend, welcoming a pair of teams to Rec Hall for two conference matchups. Penn State hosts Sacred Heart Friday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. before taking on George Mason Saturday, Feb. 22 at 3 p.m.