Coach Mark Pavlik following the championship celebration remained on the court walking around personally thanking everyone from the limited fans in the stands to the custodial staff.
It was that type of season in the midst of a pandemic that required everyone’s effort to win the conference title.
Penn State won its first EIVA championship in four years and secured an NCAA Tournament berth as it defeated George Mason 25-20, 25-20, 30-32, 25-20 in the EIVA Tournament finals on Saturday in University Park, Pennsylvania.
All-EIVA opposite Cal Fisher finished with a match-high 27 kills on a .440 attack percentage en route to being named the tournament’s most valuable player. Fisher had 16 of those kills in the final two games, including 10 kills in third-game overtime loss.
Penn State out-hit George Mason .344 to .234 and had two players with more than 20 kills. Along with Fisher, all-conference outside attacker Brett Wildman added 22 kills and had a match-high four aces.
Fisher and Wildman were the only Nittany Lions with more than three kills against George Mason (15-7, 11-5 EIVA).
Lbero Will Bantle led all players defensively with 13 digs to help the Nittany Lions (21-3, 16-2 EIVA) win their 32nd conference championship in program history.
George Mason in the loss had three players with double-digit kills. Middle attacker Jack Reese had 15 kills on a .619 attack percentage, while opposite Hayden Wagner also had a tema-high 15 kills.
Penn State with this championship earned the conference’s automatic berth to the seven-team NCAA Tournament that will start Monday, May 3 in Columbus, Ohio. The Nittany Lions are projected to be the No. 4 or No. 5 seed, according to the latest Off the Block bracketology.