No. 4 Penn State Downs Ball State to Claim Outrigger Invitational
Honolulu, Hawaii - The fourth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team claimed the title at the Outrigger Invitational for the first time in program history, defeating Ball State in three games (30-20, 30-17, 30-19) Saturday night in Honolulu, Hawaii to improve to 3-0 for the season.
Matt Anderson was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Outrigger Invitational and was joined by teammates Luke Murray and Max Holt along with Hawaii's Jim Clar and Sean Carney and UCLA's Garrett Muagututia and Jamie Diefenbach.
"It's very nice to be coming here for the last 14 years and to bring a team that played the way they did for the last three nights is great," said head coach Mark Pavlik. "We played with the poise and passion that reflects what UH and the Hawaiian people give us when we're here. It's nice to win this tournament and it's better to win in the manner of how we played. This week gives us a solid base to build on. It's early still but hopefully this is a good indication of where we're at."
Junior outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) led all players with 17 kills on .519 hitting as junior opposite Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) contributed 11 kills on .667 hitting. Junior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) tallied seven kills on an errorless 10 swings to hit .700 while sophomore middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) provided five kills and junior Jon Sherrick (Mountville, Pa.) added in two kills while freshman outside hitter Thomas Pereira (Brasilia, Brazil) recorded his first collegiate kill. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .542 clip for the match, including hitting .682 in the first game and hitting a combined .667 (32-2-45) through the first two games.
Senior setter Luke Murray (East Petersburg, Pa.) dished out 39 assists while freshman libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) led all players with 10 digs, his third consecutive double-digit dig match in his first three collegiate contests. Anderson and junior Jay Stauffer (Columbia, Pa.) both added in three digs.
Penn State outblocked Ball State, 11.0 to 5.0, led by Holt with seven and Murray with five. Sweitzer and Stauffer each contributed three stuffs while Anderson added in two.
The Nittany Lions dominated the serving game, recording seven aces while committing only six errors. Holt and Anderson each added in two aces as Lipsitz, Sweitzer and Stauffer all chipped in one.
Matt McCarthy and Marcus Imwalle each recorded eight kills in the match while Lee Meyer notched seven kills. Ethan Pheister dished out 33 assists and led the squad with five digs as Justin Orr topped the blocking list with three stuffs.
Penn State took control of the first game early on, going up 7-3 aided by kills from Sweitzer and Holt and an Anderson ace. An Anderson kill and another ace out of a Ball State timeout extended the lead to 10-3 and two Sweitzer kills helped Penn State take the 12-6 lead before back to back Anderson kills, including a blistering shot down the line, gave the Lions the 15-7 advantage heading into the television timeout. Penn State maintained the lead, going up17-8 on a Lipsitz kill and 24-16 on an Anderson put-away. Two Ball State errors coupled with a Lion triple block by Stauffer, Holt and Murray, an Anderson kill and a solo Stauffer block gave Penn State the game, 30-20.
A Lipsitz and Sweitzer block and a Stauffer ace started the second game off, and the Lions maintained control throughout, going up 5-1 on kills from Anderson and Holt and then 10-5 on a Sweitzer kill. Another Sweitzer kill, followed by a Lipsitz ace and an Anderson kill made it 15-7 and a Sweitzer ace and a Holt, Murray and Anderson triple block pushed the score to 20-8. A kill from freshman outside hitter Thomas Pereira (Brasilia, Brazil), the first of his career, put Penn State ahead 22-13 and five Ball State errors combined with Lion kills from Sweitzer and junior Jon Sherrick (Mountville, Pa.) gave Penn State the 29-15 before another Sherrick kill ended the game, 30-17.
A Penn State triple block from Murray, Holt and Stauffer put the Lions up 6-3 to start the third game before a Holt kill and back to back aces extended the lead to 11-5 and forced a Ball State timeout. Out of the break, the Cardinals responded with a kill, block and ace to pull within three at 11-8, but a Lipsitz kill halted the run. The teams traded kills and an Anderson kill and Ball State attack error gave Penn State the 15-9 lead. A Sweitzer and Holt block made it 17-10 and an Anderson kill and consecutive Sweitzer put-aways extended the Lion lead to 21-12. Two more kills from Anderson and Murray gave Penn State the 23-13 advantage and kills from Anderson and Lipsitz pushed the score to 26-16. A Lion triple block from Holt, Murray and Anderson put Penn State ahead 29-18 before a Ball State service error ended the game, 30-19.
Penn State opens the home season on Friday, Jan. 11 against Lewis at 7:00 p.m. ET at Rec Hall.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.
Article courtesy of Penn State athletics.