No. 4 Penn State Pounds George Mason, 3-0
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The fourth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team pounded George Mason in three games (30-18, 30-25, 30-18) Friday night at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions improve to 15-1 and 7-0 in the EIVA while the Patriots fall to 7-5 and 2-3 in the league.
"Tonight we served well, defensively we played awfully well, our blocking was good and we seemed to touch everything," said head coach Mark Pavlik. "We never really let them get rolling. We prepared well this week for this match."
Redshirt freshman outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) led all players with 13 kills as junior outside hitter Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) and senior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) chipped in 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Junior middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) contributed eight kills as senior opposite Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) posted seven kills. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .398 clip.
Redshirt freshman setter Edgardo Goas (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) directed the Lion offense with 47 assists while Price led the defense with nine digs. Goas and sophomore libero Dennis Del Valle (San Juan, Puerto Rico) both posted seven digs while Sunder and Sweitzer notched five digs apiece. As a team, Penn State recorded 35 digs for the contest while George Mason picked up 25.
The Nittany Lions recorded five service aces, led by Sunder with two and Goas, Price and Holt with one each. Penn State also claimed the blocking battle, 10.0 to 8.5, led by Lipsitz with six and Sweitzer with four.
Penn State jumped out to the quick lead to start the match, going up 8-2 on a Lipsitz and Sunder block. The Lions maintained the advantage, going ahead 14-8 on kills from Price and Sweitzer and 18-9 on a Lipsitz put-away. Kills from Sunder and Sweitzer pushed the lead to 20-11 and a Holt kill made it 24-14. A solo Price block along with a Lipsitz kill made it 27-16 before a Sunder kill ended the game, 30-18. Sweitzer connected on six of his eight swings while Price posted five kills and Sunder added in four. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .606 clip (22-2-33) for the stanza.
The Nittany Lions grabbed the 4-1 advantage to start the second set but the Patriots fought back to pull within two at 9-7. The teams traded points three times before consecutive George Mason service aces by Luke Maloney knotted the game at 11-11. Three ties ensued before back to back monster blocks by Holt and Sweitzer gave Penn State the 16-14 lead. The Patriots again climbed back to even the game at 19-19 but a George Mason service error, a Lipsitz kill and a Patriot attack error pushed the Nittany Lions ahead 22-19. Penn State retained the lead, going up 27-24 on a Sunder kill and ace before a Price kill ended the game, 30-25. Sunder posted seven kills in the set as Lipsitz and Sweitzer both recorded three blocks.
A monster Sunder kill gave Penn State the 14-10 lead but a George Mason kill and ace pulled them within two at 14-12. The Nittany Lions scored four of the next five points on three Patriot errors and a Holt kill to take the 18-13 lead. A Holt kill within the 10-foot line put the Lions up 19-14 and a Price kill off the Patriot defender and a Sunder kill out of the back row pushed the score to 21-14. Penn State continued its run, going up 24-15 on a Price kill and 27-18 on a Lipsitz kill, before a Lipsitz and Sunder block ended the game, 30-18.
Penn State travels to the West Coast to face BYU and Long Beach State on Friday and Saturday, March 13-14 at the Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif., before returning home on March 20-21 to host IPFW and Loyola.
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.