No. 3 Penn State Douses Saint Francis, 3-0


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Loretto, Pa. - The third-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team moved to 7-0 on the season for the first time under head coach Mark Pavlik with a three-game sweep of EIVA-foe Saint Francis, 30-19, 30-16, 30-23, Friday night in Loretto, Pa.

Sophomore middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.), junior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) and junior outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) all recorded 10 kills as the Lions attacked at a .333 clip for the match. Penn State held Saint Francis to -.033 hitting for the contest, including a -.273 percentage in the second game.

Senior setter Luke Murray (East Petersburg, Pa.) directed the Lion offense with 33 assists as freshman libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) contributed a career-high-tying 16 digs. It is his second straight 16-dig contest, a mark that is two off the Penn State rally-scoring-era record. The Nittany Lions outdug the Red Flash, 27-17.

Penn State outblocked Saint Francis, 9.0 to 6.0, led by Anderson and Holt with four each and Murray with three. Lipsitz posted two stuffs as juniors Jay Stauffer (Columbia, Pa.) and Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) each contributed one block. Anderson also had all three of the Lions' service aces.

Jordan Varee led Saint Francis with 13 kills as Nick Rivett and Dave Reilly each posted five. Shane Conley dished out 24 assists as Reilly and Mark Steele each tallied four digs. Patrick McManamon led the way with six blocks.

Kills from Anderson and Sweitzer put Penn State up 10-8 in the first game and three consecutive putaways from Anderson, Lipsitz and Sweitzer made it 18-13. Four Red Flash kills from Varee aided Saint Francis in pulling within three at 20-17 but two Red Flash attack errors, a Holt kill and a Murray and Holt block pushed Penn State back ahead, 24-17. A Holt kill and consecutive Anderson service aces made the score 28-18 before a Holt kill and a Saint Francis attack error ended the game, 30-19.

Penn State continued to roll in the second game, taking the 11-6 lead on an Anderson kill and going up 13-8 on a Holt putaway. Kills from Holt and Sweitzer pushed the Lion lead to 19-13 and aided by strong serving from junior Jon Sherrick (Mountville, Pa.) and redshirt freshman Alan Mars (Rochester, N.Y.) , along with three Lion blocks, Penn State went up 28-15 before a Red Flash attack error ended the game, 30-16.

The third game remained even early on, with kills from Holt, Sweitzer and Anderson along with a Murray, Holt and Anderson block breaking the 11-11 tie and putting Penn State up 14-11. Another Anderson ace along with kills from Holt and Stauffer pushed the Lion lead to 19-13 and four consecutive Red Flash attack errors gave Penn State the 27-16 advantage. Two Lipsitz kills put the Nittany Lions ahead 29-17 and despite six consecutive Red Flash points, Penn State claimed the game, 30-23, on a Saint Francis service error. Penn State returns home to host Mount Olive College on Monday, Jan. 28 at 7:00 p.m. at Rec Hall.

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Article courtesy of Penn State athletics.

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