Match Preview: Men’s Volleyball vs. Long Beach State
A snow day isn’t stopping Penn State from playing volleyball on Wednesday night as it gets set to host No. 3 Long Beach State.
The blue and white enter the matchup undefeated with a 6-0 record which includes two home wins this season.
Penn State’s last two victories came in the First Point Collegiate Challenge where the Nittany Lions played two top-10 teams and only lost two combined sets against No. 5 Pepperdine and No. 8 Stanford.
Both losses came in the third set but the Nittany Lions came back to win in both matches.
Starting out the challenge against Pepperdine, senior opposite hitter John Kerr finished with 20 kills to lead the team in what was his second game this season with 20 or more kills.
Kerr also led the Nittany Lions in that category in the next match against Stanford with 15 to finish off the challenge.
He joined junior opposite hitter Michael Kowal and junior middle blocker Toby Ezeonu who also finished with double-digit kills.
Kerr holds a big team lead for kills this season with 74, more than 30 ahead of second place in that department which is held by Kowal.
That brings the blue and white to its biggest test of the season thus far against Long Beach State.
It will be the Nittany Lions fourth ranked matchup in the young 2023 season with many more set to come down the line.
For Long Beach State, however, this will be its first ranked matchup of the season. However it also enters the match undefeated.
Long Beach State enters things with a 4-0 record having not dropped a set thus far in the early going.
That includes two straight-set victories last week in the George Mason challenge.
Against the host team in the Patriots, Long Beach State held the EIVA opponent to under 20 points in all three sets.
Sophomore outside hitter Sotiris Siapanis led the team with 12 kills in the win in what was his first match in double-digits on the season.
Siapanis is currently tied for the team lead with 36 kills on the year and ended last season with many accolades such as MIVA Newcomer of the Year and being selected to the All-MIVA First Team among others.
Redshirt senior outside hitter Spencer Olivier is tied with Siapanis in kills and was named a AVCA All-America Honorable Mention in 2021 before posting over 300 kills the next year.
The Nittany Lions have been battle tested earlier in the season for matches like today and these two teams have played tough matches in their history like we saw last season.
Penn State won on the road in five sets last season but is still 8-19 all-time against Long Beach State.
Will that overall record look a little better after tonight, we’ll find out in just a few hours.
Logan Bourandas is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.