Off the Block announces Penn State All-Decade Starting Lineup

Photo courtesy of Penn State Athletics

Jonathan Bates | Associate Editor

The best Penn State players at their positions during the decade are receiving a college men’s volleyball honor.

Off the Block announced on Tuesday the seven players selected to the Penn State All-Decade Starting Lineup presented by Off the Block.

The All-Decade Starting Lineup recognizes the best players to compete with a team since 2010. Similar to the starting lineup for a match, the All-Decade honor is comprised of a setter, opposite and libero along with two outside attackers and two middle attackers. In addition, three players have been added as bench players to make up a total of 10 roster spots.

The Off the Block staff determined the All-Decade Starting Lineup using a variety of factors including career statistical performance and the team’s overall success when a player was a member of the program.

This is also part of a series from Off the Block to celebrate the end of the decade in college men’s volleyball. Off the Block throughout the rest of 2019 will release an All-Decade Starting Lineup for every NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball team.

Penn State won the EIVA regular season title seven times this decade (2010-2015, 2017), winning the EIVA tournament each of those years and making it to the NCAA tournament. The Nittany Lions made to the national championship match in 2010.

Off the Block is a national award-winning website that was established in 2011 and is the nation’s leader in college men’s volleyball.

Penn State All-Decade Team Presented by Off the Block

Setter Edgardo Goas
Opposite: Nick Goodell
Outside attacker: Aaron Russell
Outside attacker: Joe Sunder
Middle attacker: Matt Seifert
Middle attacker: Max Lipsitz
Libero: Connor Curry
Bench: Dennis Del Valle, Taylor Hammond, Chris Nugent

Eduardo Goas (2009-12) 
Awards and honors this decade: 2010 First-Team All-EIVA, 2011 First-Team All-EIVA, 2012 First-Team All-EIVA, 2012 Second-Team All-American
As a redshirt junior, Goas ranked No. 8 in the nation, and No. 1 in the EIVA with 11.03 assists per game. As a redshirt senior, Goas ranked No. 3 in the nation, and No. 1 in the EIVA with 11.11 assists per game. Goas ranks second in program history with 5,205 career assists. His 81 assists in a 2010 match versus UC Irvine ranks as the most assists in a single match by a Penn State player during the rally-scoring era. 

Nick Goodell (2012-15)
Awards and honors: 2012 Second-Team All-EIVA, 2014 First-Team All-EIVA, 2014 Honorable Mention All-American, 2015 Second-Team All-EIVA
In 2014, Goodell was second on the team in aces per game and attack percentage, while ranking third in digs per game. In 2015, he ranked No. 8 in the EIVA and second on the team with 3.11 kills per game. 

Aaron Russell (2012-15)
Awards and honors: 2012 First-Team All-EIVA, 2013 First-Team All-EIVA, 2014 First-Team All-EIVA, 2014 First-Team All-American, 2015 First-Team All-EIVA, 2015 First-Team All-American
The face of Penn State men’s volleyball this decade went from not being able to play on his high school’s boys volleyball team to being a member of the United States men’s national team. As a freshman, Russell led the team with 0.94 blocks per game. As a sophomore, Russell led the team with 0.39 aces per game, a .304 attack percentage, and 3.59 kills per game, ranking No. 7 in the nation in the former category. In a junior, he led the nation with 0.65 aces per game, while also ranking in the top ten nationally with 4.00 kills per game; he also led the team with a .342 attack percentage. In his senior year, he ranked No. 2 nationally with 4.68 kills per game, No. 4 nationally with 0.55 aces per game, and No. 12 nationally with a .381 attack percentage. Russell ranks second in program history with 198 career aces, and fourth in program history with 1,534 career kills. His 71 aces in 2014 and 62 aces in 2015 rank second and third best respectively for most aces in a single season. 

Joe Sunder (2009-12)
Awards and honors this decade: 2010 Second-Team All-EIVA, 2011 First-Team All-EIVA 2011 First-Team All-American, 2012 First-Team All-EIVA, 2012 Second-Team All-American
In 2011, Sunder led the team with 0.28 aces per game, a .361 attack percentage, and 4.54 kills per game, ranking in the top ten nationally in the latter two categories. In 2012, Sunder led the team with 3.52 kills per game, and was second on the team with 0.30 aces per game, 1.74 digs per game, and a .330 attack percentage. Sunder ranks fifth in program history with 1,483 career kills. 

Matt Seifert (2013-16)
Awards and honors: 2013 Second-Team All-EIVA, 2014 Second-Team All-EIVA, 2016 First-Team All-EIVA
In both 2014 and 2016, he was second on the team in blocks per game. He finished with 306 blocks and a .375 attack percentage for his career. His best single season was senior season where hit had 94 blocks and a .421 attack percentage.  

Max Lipsitz (2007-10)
Awards and honors this decade: 2010 First-Team All-EIVA, 2010 First-Team All-American
Lipsitz ranks second in program history with 459 career block assists, 504 career total blocks, and a career .501 attack percentage. His 1,158 career kills also ranks in the top 20 in program history. His 138 blocks assists and 156 total blocks in 2010 ranked for fourth best and fifth best respectively in program history. His .524 attack percentage in 2010 also ranks for fourth best in program history for a single season. 

Connor Curry (2012-15)
Awards and honors: 2012 First-Team All-EIVA, 2013 Second-Team All-EIVA, 2014 Second-Team All-EIVA, 2015 First-Team All-EIVA
It was a close call between Curry and Del Valle, but in the end, we went with Curry because we are only considering seasons played in this decade. Curry ranks No. 2 in program history with 1,043 digs, second only Del Valle’s 1,260. In 2013, Curry ranked No. 14 nationally and No. 4 in the EIVA with 2.38 digs per game, while in 2014, he ranked No. 10 nationally and No. 3 in the EIVA with 2.50 digs per game. In 2015, he led the EIVA (No. 7 nationally) with 2.45 digs per game. His 282 digs in 2014 and 277 digs in 2015 rank sixth and eighth best in program history for most digs in a single season.