LEXINGTON, Ky. - Senior Aaron Russell earned first team AVCA All-America honors, as announced the America Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) this morning. The honor marks the second consecutive season Russell has been selected to the first team.
Russell is one of 10 student-athletes from around the nation to earn first team distinction, which improves Penn State’s total number of AVCA All-Americans to 82 since 1971. He’s also the seventh multi-year first team All-American in Penn State program history and the first Nittany Lion to earn back-to-back first team selections since Max Lipsitz (2009-10).
Having registered double figure kills in all but two matches this season, Russell is among the nation’s best in several statistical categories. His team-high 4.70 kills per set ranks second nationally, while his .395 hitting percentage is ninth. Additionally, his 0.57 aces per set ranks second in the nation, as he has amassed more aces (60) than any other DI student-athlete this year.
This year, Russell capped off the regular season with his third consecutive Uvaldo Acosta Memorial EIVA Player of the Year award. The honor makes him just the second player in Penn State program history to repeat as EIVA Player of the Year in three consecutive seasons. He also earned his first career AVCA/Sports Imports DI National Player of the Week honor, following a trio of standout matches during the team’s spring break trip.
From the service line, he’s continued his steady climb up the Penn State all-time list. His 60 aces this year ranks third on the PSU single-season list, behind his second-place person record (71), which he set last year. On the career list, his 196 aces ranks second in program history and is just nine shy of matching the all-time record (207) set by Max Holt (2006-09).
Russell and the rest of the fifth-seeded No. 7 Penn State men’s volleyball team (20-9) are set to square off against No. 4 Hawaii (25-6) in the second of two NCAA play-in matches Tuesday, May 5 at 11 p.m. ET in Stanford, Calif. at Maples Pavilion. Should the Nittany Lions defeat the Rainbow Warriors, PSU will advance to the NCAA national semifinals for the 17th consecutive season, meeting top-ranked Lewis Thursday, May 7.
To view all of the 2015 AVCA Men’s DI-II All-America teams, please click here.