Penn State big block performance leads to EIVA title

In a season that at times seemed untypical for No. 7 Penn State it had a typical achievement: winning the EIVA regular season title.

Penn State remained undefeated in conference play as it swept Sacred Heart 25-15, 20-25, 25-17, 25-18 on Saturday in University Park, Pennsylvania, to win the program’s 31st EIVA regular season championship.


The Nittany Lions out-blocked the Pioneers 20.5 to 3 and held Sacred Heart to less than a .200 attack percentage in three of the four games.

Middle attacker Matt Callaway also had a career-high 12 blocks against Sacred Heart, while all-conference opposite Nick Goodell had six blocks.

Goodell in his second match back from an ankle injury finished with a match-high 14 kills. In addition, outside attacker Chris Nugent added eight kills and led all players with a .545 attack percentage.

Penn State in the four-game win had 10 aces — six more than Sacred Heart. All-American outside attacker Aaron Russell had a team-high three aces and was one of four Nittany Lions with multiple aces.

Outside attacker Christopher Delucie in the loss led Sacred Heart with 12 kills.

With this victory, Penn State extends its winning streak to 11 matches. The Nittany Lions also have not lost a home match since early February.

As the EIVA regular season champions, Penn State will play host to the upcoming four-team EIVA Tournament starting April 30.

The winner of the EIVA Tournament will receive an automatic berth to the six-team NCAA Tournament in Palo Alto, California. If Penn State wins the EIVA Tournament, it is projected to be the No. 5 seed for the NCAA Tournament, according to the latest Off the Block bracketology.