PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Men’s Volleyball Thwarts Hawaii, Punches Ticket To NCAA Semifinals

It’s Penn State Volleyball in the NCAA Tournament — we should have known what was coming.

Penn State traveled to Stanford, California this week for a postseason matchup with the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. The Nittany Lions earned the EIVA‘s auto-bid to the national tournament and the NCAA’s fifth seed, while Hawaii was given the fourth. With a trip to the semifinals on the line, the Lions punched their ticket with a 25-22, 25-20, 17-25, 27-25 win.

Though Hawaii held the 14-8 edge all-time against Penn State, the underdog came out on top in this one. Penn States’ 20-9 record this season is bolstered by a 12-0 run through EIVA play, but the Nittany Lions broke even in non-conference play with this win.

It’s already been a successful season for the Nittany Lions, with head coach Mark Pavlik earning his 500th career win and outside hitter Aaron Russell being named an All-American for the second-straight season. More accolades will be on the line Thursday night as Penn State will try to beat the top-seeded Lewis Flyers to make it to the finals.

How It Happened

Penn State didn’t sweep its way through the EIVA Tournament just to roll over in the NCAA. The first set went just as planned, and after a 5-5 tie, Penn State pulled away and led for the rest of the frame. Hawaii made a run when the score was 21-13 and scored eight points out of the next 12, but a service error gift-wrapped the set for Penn State.

Set two was more of the same. The Lions never trailed but never pulled away from the Rainbow Warriors, as their longest run was four and the largest lead was five. Eventually, Penn State saw victory within reach, and Aaron Russell tallied his team’s final three kills to claim the set, 25-20.

Just when it looked like Penn State was going to do what it does best, the Rainbow Warriors made a statement in the third. Penn State won the set’s first and fourth points and then got outplayed, plain and simple. Hawaii showed why it deserved to be in the tournament with consistent defense and relentless offense, and though Penn State kept the score close thanks to individual efforts, it couldn’t mount a run to bury the Rainbow Warriors. Hawaii won 25-17 to force the fourth set as Penn State had its twelve-set win streak snapped.

The first 20 points of the fourth set were as close as possible. There weren’t many errors and most points came by way of perfectly-executed offense, and it wasn’t until Hawaii led 11-9 that either team could take a two-point lead. Seriously, check out the dead-even match flow:


The parity continued into overtime, as neither team could break the other until the score was 24-24. A Goodell kill followed by a Penn State error brought the score to 25-25. A Russell kill set up Penn State’s third match point of the night, and a Hawaii error mercifully ended the match at 1:09 a.m. Eastern Time.

Player Of The Game

Aaron Russell and Nick Goodell. The pair lead the Lions offensively (as they have all season), as they had 20 and 19 kills, respectively. Big-time players show up in big games, and Russell and Goodell proved that in this one.

What’s Next?

Penn State moves on to play the top-seeded Lewis University Flyers at 11 p.m. ET on Thursday night in the NCAA semifinals.

About the Author

Doug Leeson

Doug is a sophomore and Onward State's Assistant Managing Editor. Dislikes: popcorn, Rutgers, and a low #TimberCount. Likes: "Frozen," Rec Hall, and you. Contact him via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @DougLeeson.


More by Doug

Freshman 101: How To Buy Football Tickets

Tickets go on sale for graduate students on Monday, June 18, followed by seniors on Tuesday, juniors on Wednesday, sophomores on Thursday, and freshmen on Friday.

Pork State: Meet Sir Remington, State College’s Most Interesting Pet

Report: James Franklin Is Only Mildly Excited For This Opportunity


Reports: Tony Carr To Begin Professional Career In Italy

Tony Carr might have to wait a little longer than he had hoped to make his NBA debut.

Penn State Hockey’s Aarne Talvitie Showcases At Devils Development Camp

Penn State Hoops Releases 2018-19 Non-Conference Schedule

Forward Abdou Tsimbila Commits To Penn State Hoops

Penn State Volleyball Trio Representing U.S. At Pan-American Cup

Student Life

Penn State Student Dies Of Allergic Reaction To Peanuts

Max McGlinchey had just finished his freshman year studying finance.

Freshman 101: On-Campus Life

Student Farm To Commemorate Summer Solstice With Second Annual Celebration

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Indigo Closes, Future Plans For Nightclub Space Await

Indigo Nightclub announced that it would be closing following Arts Fest, but it doesn’t sound like the Hotel State College bar space would be empty for long

Playa Bowls To Open State College Location

Famous on the Jersey Shore for its brightly colored bowls and smoothies, Playa Bowls’ menu includes everything from açai and pitaya bowls to fresh juices.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Doggie’s Rathskeller And Garden Opens With Hopes Of Returning To Its Roots

The All-American Rathskeller is no more and Doggie’s Rathskeller and Garden is officially in business — opening with its “sneak peak” at the new bar Thursday afternoon in time for Arts Fest.

Send this to a friend