Press Release courtesy of Penn State Athletics
No. 9 Penn State men’s volleyball is set to kick off the 2018 Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, Calif. with matches against UCLA and USC.
The Nittany Lions will square off against UCLA (5-0) Thursday, Jan. 18 at 10:30 p.m. ET, before taking on USC (3-2) January 20 at 2:30 p.m. ET. Fans can catch a live video stream of the matchup against UCLA and USC courtesy of the Pac-12 Networks at pac-12.com.
Live stats for all Penn State matches will be provided as well.
PENN STATE vs. UCLA
Penn State last faced UCLA last season on Jan. 6 in Columbus, Ohio at the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge, falling to the Bruins 3-0 in St. John Arena. Penn State trails the all-time series 6-30-1 dating back to 1982.
The No. 2 Bruins, undefeated at 5-0, are led by Christian Hessenauer who leads UCLA with 42 kills through five matches. Dylan Missry (39) and Jake Arnitz (38) are close behind in second and third, respectively. Micah Ma’a leads the team with 176 assists while JT Hatch is the team leader in digs with 31.
The Bruins have downed NJIT, King, McKendree and UC-San Diego all by way of the sweep, with the lone exception being a five-setter against No. 5 UC-Irvine.
PENN STATE vs. USC
The Nittany Lions last faced the Trojans during opening weekend last season at the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge in Columbus, Ohio. Penn State downed USC for its first win of the season in a five-set thriller at St. John Arena.
No. 13 USC is led by Jack Wyett who has recorded 61 kills through five matches. Gert Lisha has posted 128 assists while Matt Douglas has the team lead in digs with 33.
USC has posted wins over Princeton, Juniata and Stevens while falling to No. 5 Hawai’I and UC-Irvine in straight sets.
BRASWELL NAMED EIVA PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Redshirt Sophomore Luke Braswell was named the EIVA Offensive Player of the Week as announced by the conference Monday night.
Braswell averaged 9.86 assists per set in a 2-0 week for No. 9 Penn State. Braswell recorded 39 assists in a 3-1 victory at Rec Hall against Mount Olive, and then followed with a 30-assist performance in a sweep of Alderson Broaddus. He helped the Nittany Lions hit .522 overall as a team during last week while also recording four kills. This is the first EIVA Offensive Player of the Week selection for Braswell in 2018.
The Nittany Lions take a trip to the to Columbus, Ohio as they face the defending NCAA Champion Buckeyes Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. in St. John Arena.