Penn State to return to Outrigger Invitational during 2018 season

Penn State is heading back to Hawaii after a two-year hiatus from one of the biggest annual non-conference tournaments in college men’s volleyball.

The Nittany Lions along with releasing their entire 2018 schedule on Tuesday announced they will participate in the Outrigger Invitational.

The Outrigger Invitational is one of the longest running non-conference events in college men’s volleyball. The four-team tournament features the host school Hawai’i and teams from conferences throughout the nation such as the EIVA and MIVA.

Before the last two seasons, Penn State had participated in all but one Outrigger Invitational since the tournament started in 1995.

The Nittany Lions will be among the three teams that reached the NCAA Tournament last season to compete at the upcoming Outrigger Invitational.

Penn State will begin the non-conference event against the NCAA Tournament finalists BYU on March 8. It also will play Hawai’i on March 9 in a rematch of the NCAA Tournament play-in match, which the Rainbow Warriors won in five games.

Along with these matches, Penn State will conclude the non-conference tournament versus Lewis on March 10.

The Nittany Lions one-year removed from missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998 finished last season winning the EIVA championship. The team returns a majority of starters for the upcoming season, including Freshman All-American setter Luke Braswell.

Penn State is 21-36 all-time in its 20 appearances at the Outrigger Invitational and won the tournament championship in 2008 and 2009.

This will be the first Outrigger Invitational since Hawai’i and five other Big West schools departed the MPSF with the Big West sponsoring men’s volleyball. The tournament following the conference realignment will feature one team from every conference, except for the ConfCarolinas.

The Outrigger Invitational in 2018 also will move to the middle of the season. The event in previous years took place during the opening weeks of the season in January.