Penn State Men’s Volleyball Weekend Preview

Story posted February 9, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Michael Bolger

The Nittany Lions men’s volleyball team is coming off of two season defining matches against No. 10 USC and No. 2 UCLA.

Penn State was able to take care of business against the two Top-10 ranked opponents, winning each match 3-1. The Blue & White handed UCLA their first loss of the year and are now 5-1 against ranked opponents this season.

The team now looks to keep the hot streak going on the road against Saint Francis on Saturday. The same hot streak that had the Nittany Lions win their final 19 regular season matches of the 2022 season.

Saint Francis picked up their first win of the season on Saturday against Alderson Broaddus. Before that, the Red Flash hadn’t won a match since the beginning of April in 2022.

Saint Francis and Penn State faced each other last season where the Nittany Lions swept the Red Flash 3-0 on the road. The Blue & White have dominated the series throughout these two program histories, Penn State has won 11 straight matches and leads the all-time series 29-3.

This season the Nittany Lions have been dominating in almost every statistic on the statsheet. Penn State is averaging 12.5 kills a set compared to their opponents 10.4 while making nearly 60 total fewer errors than their opponents this season.

A big part of why the offense has been so successful falls on the shoulders of Cole Bogner who ranks fourth in the NCAA with 10.44 assists per set. 

The one area that the Blue & White have struggled in, is at the back line where Penn State averages 1.9 service aces a set but also has 24 more service errors than their opponents. A stat line that not only has been hurting the team but has kept their opponents in matches.

The Nittany Lions make up for those errors in the blocking game where Penn State owns the centerline with their 2.3 blocks a set. A stat that Penn State’s Owen Rose is all too familiar with, with his 1.176 average blocks a set which ranks seventh in the NCAA.

One player to keep an eye on throughout Saturday’s match for Saint Francis will be Nathan Zini. The sophomore averages 8.32 attacks per set which ranks 12th in the NCAA.

Cal Fisher was named Offensive Player of the Week on Monday after the wins over USC and UCLA. Fisher continues to be a centerpiece for the team which opens up for teammates like Rose and John Kerr to have breakout seasons.

The 8-1 Nittany Lions and the 1-7 Red Flash will clash in Loretto, Pennsylvania on Saturday at 7 p.m. Penn State looks to stay hot as Saint Francis looks to end the 11 match losing streak to the blue & white.

Micheal Bolger is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email