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Six Nittany Lion Student-Athletes Honored on 2020 All-EIVA Team

Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics 

Wildman Named Co-Player of the Year; Pavlik Chosen Coach of the Year; Three First Team Selections, Two Second Team, One Honorable Mention


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Six Penn State men’s volleyball student-athletes received All-EIVA awards for their individual performances in the 2020 season as announced by the league office Tuesday.

Sophomore Brett Wildman was chosen a Uvaldo Acosta Memorial Co-Player of the Year for the conference and was an All-EIVA First Team selection along with redshirt senior Jason Donorovich and sophomore Cal Fisher.

Redshirt sophomore Will Bantle and sophomore Cole Bogner were All-EIVA Second Team selections and redshirt senior Henrik Falck Lauten was an All-EIVA honorable mention.

Head coach Mark Pavlik was also named the 2020 Bob Sweeney Coach of the Year, his eighth time winning conference coach of the year.

The league announced its postseason awards Tuesday after the 2020 season was cut short due to public concern with the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus. All league awards were voted on and chosen by league head coaches.

Wildman had one of the best seasons for an outside hitter not just in the conference, but the entire country in the shortened 2020 season. The Virginia Beach, Va. native had 250 kills at a 3.68 kills per set rate, both ranked second in the conference.

Wildman also hit .315 for the fifth-best hitting percentage among qualifying players in the conference and had 27 service aces. He had 15 matches double-figure kills and had at least six kills in every match in 2020 and was named EIVA Offensive Player of the Week twice. Wildman is the 14th Nittany Lion ever to be named EIVA Player of the Year. He shares the player of the year award with NJIT’s Alvaro Gimeno.

Donorovich collects his second-straight All-EIVA First Team selection after another great season at middle blocker for the Nittany Lions. The Lockport, N.Y. product and team co-captain had a conference-best 35 service aces, 98 kills, 57 blocks, and hit .316 for the season.

He had at least one block in 18 matches and at least one ace in 15 matches in 2020. In a string of three-straight conference sweeps, Donorovich had 14 service aces, included a personal single-match best six Feb. 29 against Charleston.

Fisher emerged as a fantastic point scorer at opposite for the Nittany Lions in 2020, especially in the Nittany Lions’ conference schedule. In his 11 starts in 2020, the Pittsburgh, Pa. native scored 3.88 points per set, 3.0 kills per set, and 2.12 digs per set. His numbers in EIVA matches were even more impressive, with a 3.64 kills per set rate and a .395 hitting percentage, good second best in the conference.

Fisher had 117 total kills for the season to go with 26 service aces. He was chosen the Off the Block Fan Vote National Player of the Month for February and was also named the EIVA Offensive Player of the Week Feb. 24.

Bantle’s performance at libero in 2020 was a key reason for Penn State’s success in the serve-receive game and in transition. Bantle ranked second in the league with 155 digs and third with a 2.28 digs per set rate. He was also rock solid in serve-receive with a .946 reception percentage, including a .989 rate in EIVA play.

The Pacific Palisades, Calif. product had 10 matches without a receiving error and at least five digs in 18 of 19 matches, including a career-best 19 digs at No. 5 Lewis Jan. 18. He was named EIVA Defensive Player of the Week Jan. 20.

Bogner led the conference with 10.00 assists per set and 670 assists in 19 matches. His setting helped Penn State to the highest kills per set rate (12.38) in the conference, also good for 12th nationally.

The Chesapeake, Va. native had a well-rounded season to go with his stellar assist rate. Defensively, Bogner had 92 digs and 41 blocks, both good for eighth and 10th in the conference. He was an Off the Block Fan Vote National Player of the Month finalist for January.

Falck Lauten’s redshirt senior season finished up with a second-straight All-EIVA award after his second-team nod and Newcomer of the Year selection in 2019. The Drammen, Norway native had 96 kills in 45 sets played to go with a team-best .972 receiving percentage.

He also posted 60 digs, 15 aces, and 32 blocks. He was named EIVA Offensive Player of the Week March 2.

Pavlik helped lead the Nittany Lions to an undefeated mark (7-0) in conference play and now has 584 career wins, the most among active DI-II men’s volleyball head coaches.

Penn State completed the 2020 season with an 11-8 record and was ranked 10th in the last AVCA Coaches Poll and 8th in the Off the Block Media Poll. At 7-0 in conference play, the Nittany Lions finished the 2020 season in first place in the EIVA standings, marking the 30th time in program history they finished atop the league regular season standings.

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