No. 1 Penn State Cracks No. 14 Ohio State, 3-0
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- More than 4,000 fans packed Rec Hall to watch the top-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team sweep No. 14 Ohio State (30-20, 30-27, 30-21) Saturday night. The Nittany Lions improve to 10-0 while the Buckeyes fall to 4-6.
"When you can pack 4,000 people into Rec Hall for a regular-season men's volleyball match, that's pretty impressive," said head coach Mark Pavlik. "We're tough to score on. This match wasn't a work of art by any stretch of the imagination, but we know that if we can just side-out, that our offense will pick us up again. It was a very workman-like effort all around."
Junior outside hitter Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) collected 15 kills on .583 hitting as redshirt freshman outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) notched 12 kills on .611 hitting and senior opposite Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) tallied 11 kills on .642 hitting. The middle attack was again effective for the Lions, as senior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) connected on eight of his 10 swings to hit .700 and junior middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) posted seven kills, while as a team, Penn State attacked at a .529 clip for the match.
Redshirt freshman setter Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) dished out 47 assists an added three kills and two digs as sophomore libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) picked up eight digs and Sunder chipped in six. Penn State outdug Ohio State, 24-13.
The Nittany Lions also claimed the blocking battle, 7.0 to 3.0, led by Lipsitz and Holt with three each and two from Sweitzer. Goas, Price and Sunder all provided one block. Sweitzer led the way with three of Penn State's four service aces, with Lipsitz picking up the other.
For Ohio State, Robbie Klein provided 11 kills while John Albertson and Kevin Heine posted eight and six, respectively.
The first game remained even early on, with a Price kill, a solo Sunder block and an Ohio State ball-handling error putting Penn State up 12-9. Consecutive Lion put-aways from Holt and Sweitzer pushed the score to 16-12 and a Buckeye service error and a Lipsitz ace made it 21-16. Kills from Sweitzer and Sunder along with a Sweitzer ace gave Penn State the 24-17 advantage and a Holt solo block and kill pushed the score to 27-18 before a Lipsitz kill and an Ohio State attack error ended the game, 30-20. Sweitzer connected on all seven of his swings in the stanza to hit 1.000 as Lipsitz, Price and Holt all added in four kills. AS a team, Penn State hit .654 and sided out at 94%, going 19-of-20.
The second game featured 13 tie scores and four lead changes, as a Sunder kill evened the game at 13-13. Ohio State took the 16-13 lead on a Robbie Klein kill and ace coupled with a Lion ball-handling error. Penn State claimed three of the next four points on kills from Holt and Sunder along with a Holt and Price block to knot the game at 17-17. The teams traded points twice before a Buckeye attacking error and a Sweitzer kill pushed the Lions up 21-19 and forced an Ohio State timeout. Out of the break, a Lipsitz and Sweitzer block and a Price kill made it 23-19 and Penn State maintained the slim advantage, going ahead 25-22 on an Ohio State service error and 27-23 on a Sunder kill. Another Sunder kill made it 28-24 before a Holt and Goas block along with a Buckeye service error gave Penn State the game, 30-27. Sunder went 6-0-8 to hit .750 in the set as Del Valle picked up six digs.
Penn State jumped out to the 10-5 lead in the third game on a Holt kill. Back to back put-aways from Goas and Price made it 12-6 and a monster Sunder kill extended the lead to 17-11. Consecutive Sweitzer aces gave Penn State the 20-13 advantage before a Goas kill and back to back Price kills extended the score to 25-14. A Sunder kill and consecutive Buckeye attack errors gave Penn State the game, 30-21. Price posted six kills as Sunder notched five.
Penn State hits the road next weekend, traveling to Loyola-Chicago and IPFW on Feb. 20-21. The Nittany Lions then return home on Wednesday, Feb. 25 to host Saint Francis, before welcoming Lewis on Friday, Feb. 27 at 7:00 p.m. and NJIT on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 2:00 p.m. in the South Gym of Rec Hall.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State men's volleyball 2009 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets At Hershey.
Article courtesy of Penn State athletics.