No. 7 Penn State Serves Up 3-0 Win Over No. 15 Ball State
MUNCIE, Ind. - Behind 15 team service aces, the seventh-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team defeated No. 15 Ball State in three games (30-20, 30-28, 30-16) Friday night in Muncie, Ind. The Nittany Lions improve to 24-3 and close out the regular-season Saturday night at Ohio State.
Senior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) led the serving blitz with six aces, giving him a school-record 69 for the season. Junior middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) and junior outside hitter Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) both collected three aces while redshirt freshman setter Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) notched two and senior opposite Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) tallied one. For the season, Penn State has 201 service aces to lead the nation with an average of 2.16 aces per game, and has allowed only 81 for the year.
On the offensive front, Price led Penn Stat with 12 kills as Lipsitz, Sweitzer and redshirt freshman outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) all recorded nine kills and Holt chipped in seven on .545 hitting. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .395 clip while holding Ball State to hitting .132.
Goas directed the offense with 37 assists and Price led the defense with six digs. Goas and Sunder picked up five and four digs, respectively, as Sweitzer and sophomore libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) each provided three digs. The Nittany Lions outdug the Cardinals, 23-17.
Penn State also claimed the blocking battle, 7.0 to 4.5. Lipsitz posted five stuffs as Sweitzer notched four.
The Nittany Lions grabbed the 14-6 lead to start the match on a Holt ace and Price kill. Two Sweitzer put-aways along with a Goas ace and Ball State attack error pushed the score to 18-10 and a Price kill and then back to back Price aces made it 21-11. Consecutive kills out of the middle from Lipsitz and Holt, coupled with a Lipsitz service ace, gave Penn State the 25-15 lead, before a Sweitzer kill ended the game, 30-20.
Ball State went up 9-6 in the second game on an Ethan Pheister service ace before Penn State fought back to knot the score at 12-12 on a Cardinal attack error. The score remained close, with the Cardinals taking the 19-17 lead on a kill by Dominic Spadavecchio, but two Ball State errors again evened the score. The teams traded points before a Holt ace put Penn State up, 21-20 and forced a Cardinal timeout. Out of the break, a Lion attack error tied the score at 21-21 and seven ties ensued before a Ball State service error and a Sunder kill gave Penn State the game, 30-28.
Penn State came out in the third stanza on fire, going up 17-7 aided by a 9-0 Lion run that was started by a Price kill and encompassed four Holt aces. A Lion triple block from Sweitzer, Lipsitz and Sunder made it 22-9 and a Holt kill pushed the score to 26-14 before another Holt kill ended the game, 30-16.
The Nittany Lions close out the regular season Saturday, April 18 at Ohio State and have a bye in the EIVA Quarterfinals on April 25 before returning home to host the EIVA Semifinals on Thursday, April 30 at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The EIVA Championship will be Saturday, May 2 at 7:00 p.m. at Rec Hall, with the winner earning an automatic berth in the NCAA National Collegiate Semifinals on Thursday, May 7 in Provo, Utah. The NCAA National Collegiate Championship is slated for Saturday, May 9 in Provo, Utah.
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.