Nittany Lions coach Mark Pavlik does not just want this year’s Final Four at Penn State to be two-day event, he wants it to week-long celebration of men’s volleyball.
Pavlik and U.S. men’s national volleyball coach Alan Knipe announced Wednesday that the teams will have a partnership for the men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament in May to provide events beyond the collegiate matches.
“This is unlike any national championship or men’s volleyball event that has been out there. USA Volleyball is going to have a significant presence here that week,” Pavlik said at a joint news conference Wednesday afternoon. “I just think that this is going to be a great celebration of the sport. … I think the true volleyball fan can look at this and say hey I want to spend more than two, three days in Happy Valley, let’s come Monday or Tuesday to watch some high level practices.”
Penn State and USA Volleyball’s on-campus events in conjunction with the Final Four will begin that Monday leading up to the two NCAA semifinals matches Thursday. The events will also continue through the championship match Saturday night.
Among the events for people to attend involving USA Volleyball includes an inter-squad scrimmage, multiple team practices and a coaching and player clinic featuring the national team as instructors. There will also be a high school boy’s volleyball tournament early in the week.
Knipe said he wanted USA Volleyball to become more involved in NCAA Tournament even before he was hired the coach in 2009. The former Long Beach State coach also said Penn State is the ideal place to begin incorporating the national volleyball team into the college event.
“I don’t know if there is anyone who does it better than Penn State,” Knipe said. “They set the standard very high, and I think that is a really big reason why we decided that this the right year to do this joint venture.”
The men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament will take place May 5-7 in University Park, Pa.
The four-team tournament field will include conference champions from EIVA, MIVA and MPSF and one at-large team.
For more on this story view the news conference transcript on Off the Block.