No. 4 Penn State Drops Five-Game Match At No. 7 Long Beach State


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LONG BEACH, Calif. - The fourth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team dropped its second five-game match in as many days, falling at No. 7 Long Beach State (26-30, 24-30, 30-23, 30-27, 15-11) Saturday night. The Nittany Lions fall to 15-3 while the 49ers improve to 10-8. 

Senior opposite Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) set a new career high with 27 kills to lead all players while senior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) posted eight kills and junior middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) and redshirt freshman outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) both notched seven kills.

Redshirt freshman setter Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) dished out 49 assists and added in six kills on an errorless 10 swings. Sophomore libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) tied the Penn State rally-scoring-era school record with a career-high 18 digs as Goas and Sweitzer both chipped in seven digs.

Sweitzer led all players with a career-high-tying four service aces as Sunder notched two and Lipsitz, junior outside hitter Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) and senior outside hitter Jay Stauffer (Columbia, Pa.) each recorded one ace.

Long Beach State claimed the blocking battle, 15.5 to 12.0. Goas and Holt led the Lions with six stuffs each and Lipsitz chipped in five blocks.

Dean Bittner led the 49ers with 18 kills as Josh Riley posted 17, Jim Baughman and Kyle Friend each notched 11 and Dan Alexander recorded 10. Mike Klipsch directed the offense with 62 assists and Dustin Watten led the defense with 12 digs as Alexander topped the blocking list with 10 stuffs.

Bittner was named the Most Valuable Player of the Long Beach State Active Ankle Classic and was joined on the all-tournament team by his teammate Alexander along with Del Valle, Sweitzer, IPFW's Mike Morici and BYU's Yamil Perez and Andrew Stewart.

A Sunder kill pulled Penn State within one at 4-3 in the fifth and decisive game but a Kyle Friend kill and ace gave the 49ers the 6-3 lead. A Sunder kill and a Stauffer and Lipsitz block again trimmed the Long Beach State lead to 6-5 before a 49er kill and block gave them the 8-5 advantage. The teams traded points four times before another Friend kill put Long Beach State ahead 13-9. A 49er service error pulled the Lions within three at 13-10 but a Baughman kill gave Long Beach State the 14-10 advantage. Following a Sweitzer kill, another Baughman kill gave the 49ers the game, 15-11. 

The first set remained close early on, with a Holt kill pulling the Nittany Lions within two at 11-9. Long Beach State maintained the advantage, going ahead 17-13 on a Penn State service error, but Lion kills from Sweitzer and Sunder along with a Sweitzer ace closed the gap to within one at 17-16. Out of a Long Beach State timeout, Penn State continued the run, with a 49er attack error and a Goas kill giving Penn State the 18-17 lead. But Long Beach State responded with consecutive blocks to take back the lead at 19-18. A service error knotted the score at 19-19 before the 49ers grabbed the 22-20 lead on an Alexander kill. Long Beach State maintained the lead, going up 24-21 on a block and 27-23 on consecutive kills. A Bittner kill gave the 49ers the 28-25 lead before a solo Bittner block ended the game, 30-26. 

The start of the second game featured 14 tie scores before a Lion error and a Long Beach State kill and ace broke the 16-16 stalemate and put the 49ers up 19-16. Long Beach State maintained the lead, going ahead 23-20 on a Bittner kill and 27-22 on a Friend kill and two Penn State attack errors before Long Beach State claimed the game, 30-24, on a Friend kill.

Penn State bounced back in the third stanza, going ahead 12-7 on two Lipsitz kills and a Price ace. Lion kills from Holt and Sweitzer along with two Sweitzer kills made it 18-11 and a Sunder kill pushed the Penn State advantage to 22-15. A solo Stauffer block and a Lipsitz ace gave the Nittany Lions the 26-17 lead and Stauffer and Goas kills made it 29-20 before a Sweitzer kill ended the game, 30-23.

Long Beach State went up 10-7 in the fourth game and maintained the slight advantage before two Sweitzer kills and a Long Beach State attack error helped even the score at 16-16. A Holt and Sweitzer block put Penn State up 17-16 and the teams traded points before a Stauffer kill, a Holt and Goas block and a Del Valle kill pushed the Lions ahead 21-17. Another Penn State block, this one by Holt and Goas, put the Nittany Lions up 23-19 and a Sweitzer kill made it 25-22 before a Holt and Goas block pushed the score to 29-26. A Goas kill ended the game, 30-27.

Penn State returns home to host IPFW and Loyola on March 20-21 at Rec Hall. 

For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit The Penn State men's volleyball 2009 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets At Hershey.

Article courtesy of Penn State athletics.

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