Penn State Men’s Volleyball Sweeps Grand Canyon

Story posted January 14, 2022 in Sports, CommRadio by Danny Murray

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Nittany Lions continue their perfect start to the season as they defeated the Grand Canyon Antelopes in straight sets on Thursday night. The Nittany Lions improve to 3-0 and have yet to lose a set here in the young season.

The attack was led by senior Brett Wildman, who totaled 14 kills and 18.5 points for the Nittany Lions. Wildman now has 33 kills on the season, as he looks to break his previous mark of 250 kills that he recorded last year, which placed him second in the EIVA.

Senior Cal Fisher also lent a helping hand with 10 kills and 10 points. He brings his season kill total to 25 so far.

Wildman talked after the game about how one of the keys to success so far this season has been ball distribution. He states that everyone is playing their part and it makes life easier for them all.

“Cole [Bogner] does a great job of evenly distributing the ball so that makes it easy on me. Basically, if the middles are doing their job, Sam [Marsh] and Toby [Ezeonu], they’re a threat so their middles are going to bite, and then after that it leaves me one-on-one and in a great spot every time so I can have my options,” Wildman said.

The Nittany Lions had nine players record spikes tonight, which is an attest to what Wildman talks about.

Redshirt senior Will Bantle has been a quiet leader so far this season. Only totaling nine spikes and seven assists on the year, he has been more of a vocal leader thus far. He talked after the game about the level of trust that this group has built over the years.

“I trust these guys. I’ve been playing with them for four years… I’d rather have them take the swing than me, not that I’m allowed to swing, which says a lot. Being able to play on the court with these guys is something else. They’re good people as well which helps the team comradery as well.”

Head coach Mark Pavlik talked about how fortunate this team is to play together and work as one unit, which has been a big factor through the first three games.

“Their body language, their hunger for competition, like Will said they stick together in everything they do, and I think there is a gratitude about them that they get to play… They know they are blessed with the opportunity to get to see how good they can be,” Pavlik said.

Pavlik is pleased with the way that the team has looked after three games. He knows, however, that this is the beginning of a long season for the Nittany Lions.

“I think it gives us the opportunity to understand that we are going to be tough to beat in this gym… We get to look at good teams that want to come back and adjust against us. The only thing we’re sure of is that things are gonna change. We hope that we get better and the teams that we play are going to get better. April is a long way off, thankfully we get an opportunity to work through January and get to see where we can be,” Pavlik said.

The Nittany Lions will be back at it Saturday night to try and beat the Antelopes once more at Rec Hall.


Danny Murray is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, you can email him at djm6882@psu.edu.