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Penn State Men's Volleyball
University Pennsylvania State University
Conference EIVA
Location University Park, PA
Head Coach Mark Pavlik (14th year)
Arena Rec Hall
(Capacity: 7,200)
Nickname Nittany Lions
Colors Blue and White


NCAA Tournament Champions
1994, 2008
NCAA Tournament Runner Up
1982, 1995, 2006
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Conference Regular Season Champions
1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

Penn State has had a long tradition with their men's volleyball program. Founded in 1976 by Tom Tait, Tait coached the team from 1976-1989, and was named a USA Volleyball All-Time great coach in 2007.[1]

Mark Pavlik has been the head coach since 1995 after serving as an assistant coach for five years. He has led the team to every EIVA conference championship since 1995 with the exception of 1998. Under his guidance, Penn State finished as NCAA runner-ups in 1995 and 2006 before winning it all in 2008. He also led the team to an NCAA record of 11 straight (1998-2009) NCAA final four appearances. Pavlik was awarded his first ever AVCA National Coach of the Year in 2008.[2]





Penn State made their first ever NCAA Championship match this year. Current head coach Mark Pavlik was a setter on the team.[3] Penn State was swept by perennial powerhouse UCLA in the final at Rec Hall, led by future Olympic gold medalist and Most Outstanding Player Karch Kiraly.


1994 was a historic year, as Penn State became the first non-California university to win the men's volleyball championship. Playing in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the Lions defeated defending NCAA champion UCLA in a five-set match. After falling behind 2 sets to 1, UCLA looked to have the championship in their hands after being up 11-4 in the fourth set, needing to only get to 15. However, the Lions mounted a stunning comeback and went on a 11-1 run to take set four 15-12 and set five with the same score to win the national championship. It was then-head coach Tom Peterson's last year.


Penn State got back to the final four, losing to UCLA in a five-set match in the semifinals. Senior Ivan Contreras was named the AVCA National Player of the Year, the first ever east coast player to win the award.


After eight straight years of making the NCAA final four and losing in the semifinals, Penn State finally broke through. They defeated top ranked and top-seeded UC Irvine in the semifinals at Rec Hall in five games.[4] Despite the successful semifinal result, Penn State lost to UCLA in the national championship.[5]


Matt Anderson (above) was the 2008 AVCA National Player of the Year, EIVA Player of the Year, and NCAA championship tournament most valuable player, and was an AVCA first-team All-America.
The Nittany Lions team, coaches, and staff are honored at the White House by President of the United States George W. Bush in June 2008 for the side's winning the 2008 national championship.

In the early 2008 season, Penn State swept UCLA for the first time since 1991,[6] and also defeated west coast powers Hawai'i[7], Cal Baptist[8] and Long Beach State.[9] Penn State only lost one match in the regular season to George Mason,[10] but got revenge on the Patriots in the EIVA tournament finals, securing their bid for their NCAA record 10th consecutive final four appearance. Penn State improved to 55-3 all time in the EIVA championship.[11]

Penn State was the top seed in the final four, the first time in the history of the men's volleyball tournament that a non-west coast university was the top seed.[12] The final four was held in Irvine, California at the Bren Events Center from May 1-3. After defeating Ohio State in the semifinals,[13] Penn State met Pepperdine in the final. After dropping the first game, Penn State went on to win the next three to defeat the Waves in four games. Matt Anderson, the AVCA National Player of the Year, was named the Most Outstanding Player and also was an AVCA First Team All-American.[14] Four other Penn State players were named All-Americans.[15]

Pepperdine head coach Marv Dunphy said earlier in the NCAA tournament that the 2008 Penn State men's volleyball team was the best men's volleyball team to ever come out of the east or midwest.[16]

On July 1, 2008, Matt Anderson announced he would forgo his 2009 senior year to play professionally in Korea.[17]

AVCA Awards


For the men's volleyball program, 24 players have earned 36 All-America honors, including 13 selections to First Team.

Year All-Americans
1991 Scott Miller, Jorge Perez
1993 David Muir
1994 Ramon Hernandez**, Ivan Contreras
1995 Ivan Contreras**, Carlos Ortiz**, Ed Josefoski
1996 Ivan Contreras**, Kevin Hourican
1997 Ivan Contreras**, Jason Kepner
2001 Jose Quinones**
2002 Jose Quinones**, Zelimir Koljesar, Ricky Mattei, Zach Slenker
2003 Carlos Guerra, Keith Kowal
2004 Keith Kowal**, Ricky Mattei
2005 Keith Kowal, Nate Meerstein, Matt Proper
2006 Matt Proper
2007 Matt Anderson
2008 Matt Anderson**, Max Holt**, Dennis Del Valle, Max Lipsitz, Luke Murray
2009 Max Holt**, Max Lipsitz**, Will Price**, Dennis Del Valle, Edgardo Goas

** denotes First Team selection

National awards

Pavlik has earned one National Coach of the Year award, while former head coach Tom Peterson got the accolade once as well. Two Penn State players have been named Player of the Year.

Year National Coach of the Year National Player of the Year
1994 Tom Peterson
1997 Ivan Contreras
2008 Mark Pavlik Matt Anderson

See also


  1. ^ "Tom Tait awarded USA volleyball all-time great coach". Brevard College. 2007-08-07. Retrieved 2008-07-07.  
  2. ^ "Mark Pavlik named AVCA National Coach of the Year". Penn State Athletics. 2008-05-21. Retrieved 2008-05-24.  
  3. ^ Phillips, Christine (2008-06-11). "Questions with Mark Pavlik". Retrieved 2008-07-19.  
  4. ^ "Men's volleyball stuns No. 1 UC Irvine". Penn State Athletics. 2006-05-04. Retrieved 2008-06-30.  
  5. ^ "UCLA claims 19th championship with sweep of Lions". Penn State Athletics. 2006-05-06. Retrieved 2008-06-30.  
  6. ^ No. 4 Penn State sweeps No. 3 UCLA
  7. ^ No. 4 men's volleyball downs #11 Hawai'i
  8. ^ Penn State men's volleyball tops Cal Baptist, 3-0
  9. ^ Penn State outlasts Long Beach State
  10. ^ "Top ranked Penn State falls to George Mason". Penn State Athletics. 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2008-06-24.  
  11. ^ "Top ranked men's volleyball advances to NCAA Final Four". Penn State Athletics. 2008-04-26. Retrieved 2008-06-24.  
  12. ^ "Top ranked men's volleyball number 1 seed in Final Four". Penn State Athletics. 2008-04-27. Retrieved 2008-06-24.  
  13. ^ Penn State tops Ohio State, advances to NCAA championship
  14. ^ Penn State men's volleyball beats Pepperdine, wins national championship
  15. ^ No. 1 Men's volleyball earns five All-America awards
  16. ^ Miazga, Mike (2008-05-04). "The Year of the Nittany Lion". Volleyball Magazine. Retrieved 2008-06-24.  
  17. ^ Brunskill, Jordan (2008-07-01). "Matt Anderson turning pro - in Korea". Centre Daily Times. Retrieved 2008-07-19.  

External links


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