The Penn State men’s volleyball team faces a tough, but familiar, road to get to a national championship.
The NCAA announced Sunday afternoon that the Nittany Lions will face Hawaii in the opening round of the National Collegiate Championship tournament May 2. The match will be played at 8 p.m. at Ohio State’s St. John Arena.
The winner of the match will face defending national champion and top-seeded Ohio State in the semifinals May 4. The finals are May 6 on the Ohio State campus.
The Rainbow Warriors (26-5) are an at-large team in the six-team bracket. They lost to No. 2-seed Long Beach State on Saturday night in the championship match of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament.
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Penn State (21-10) won the EIVA title Saturday, sweeping St. Francis at Rec Hall.
The Lions and Warriors used to meet annually in the Outrigger Invitational in Honolulu to open the season, with Hawaii holding a 14-9 lead in the all-time series. They last met in 2014. The teams have not met in the NCAAs since 2002 — at Rec Hall. Hawaii went on to win the title that season, but had to vacate the championship after it was determined it had an ineligible player on the team.
The Nittany Lions and Buckeyes (30-2) split their regular-season meetings this year.
The other first-round match May 2 will feature the other at-large team in the bracket in BYU and Conference Carolinas champion Barton. They will meet at 6 p.m., and the winner advances to face the 49ers on May 4.