Penn St. spikers favored

UNIVERSITY PARK – The 16-time defending EIVA champion Penn State men’s volleyball team has been selected as the 2014 EIVA preseason favorite. The Nittany Lions were voted to capture this year’s championship crown by the league’s seven head coaches.

Penn State received six of a possible seven first place votes in the preseason poll, while Princeton picked up one. The Tigers are slotted to finish second, while George Mason, Harvard and Saint Francis (Pa.) round out the top five in spots three through five.

The Nittany Lions were recently voted No. 3 overall in the AVCA DI-II Preseason Top 15 Coaches Poll after wrapping up the 2014 season with a 25-7 record and an appearance in the NCAA national semifinals. PSU is also the only EIVA team represented in the top 15.

Lion coach Mark Pavlik returns nearly all of his starters from last year with All-EIVA second team honoree Peter Russell as the only departure. Key returners in the lineup this year include first team AVCA All-American Aaron Russell and redshirt senior Nick Goodell.

Lawson honored

n Penn State Nittany Lion wrestler Jimmy Lawson has been named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week for the week ending Dec. 21, 2014. The honor is the second weekly award for Penn State this year.

Lawson won the award with his dual clinching win over No. 6 Ty Walz at heavyweight in Penn State’s 20-15 victory over Virginia Tech.