Penn State Men’s Volleyball Pounds NYU, 3-0
University Park, Pa. - The top-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team (27-1) advanced to the EIVA Championship match for the 10th consecutive year with a three-game sweep of NYU Thursday night at Rec Hall (30-22, 30-21, 30-20).
The Nittany Lions will face second-seed and No. 11 George Mason in the EIVA Championship on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at Rec Hall. The winner earns the right to advance to the National Collegiate Semifinal match on Thursday, May 1 in Irvine, Calif., with the National Championship contest slated for Saturday, May 3 at 4:00 p.m. PT (7:00 p.m. ET). The Patriots defeated NJIT in five games (21-30, 25-30, 30-26, 30-20, 15-13) in the first EIVA semifinal Thursday at Rec Hall.
The Nittany Lions improve to 54-3 all-time in the EIVA Championship with the win over the Violets. Penn State holds a 10-1 advantage over the Patriots in the EIVA Championship dating back to the 1986 season, but George Mason has been the only team to defeat Penn State during the 2008 season, a four-game victory in Fairfax, Va., on Feb. 15.
Against NYU, junior outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) led all players with 20 kills on 25 swings with two errors to hit .720 while junior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) tallied 16 kills on .789 hitting. Sophomore middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) contributed eight kills while junior opposite Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) notched six putaways. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .592 clip for the match, its seventh contest of the season hitting .500 or better.
Senior setter Luke Murray (East Petersburg, Pa.) dished out 44 assists and added three kills on three attacks while freshman libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) led the defense with six digs and Anderson contributed five.
Penn State outblocked NYU 5.0 to 1.0. Holt led the way with four and Anderson notched three. Anderson also recorded three aces while Holt chipped in one.
Devin Zolnowski led the Violets with 10 kills and three digs.
The match started out close, with an Anderson kill giving Penn State the 10-8 lead. Two more kills from Anderson and one from Holt made it 19-15 before another Anderson putaway pushed the Lions ahead 22-17. A Lipsitz kill made it 25-20 before an NYU service error ended the game, 30-22. Anderson posted eight kills on 10 attempts with only one error to hit .700 in the set while Lipsitz and Holt both produced five kills on seven swings with an error to hit .571.
The second game was much of the same, with the squads remaining even during the early part of the game. Penn State went ahead 14-12 on Holt and Anderson kills and a Murray throw-down pushed the score to 18-14. Kills from Lipsitz and Sweitzer pushed the Lions up 24-16 and an Anderson laser made it 26-19 before a kill from junior outside hitter Jay Stauffer (Columbia, Pa.) coupled with a Holt service ace ended the game, 30-21. Anderson hit .857 (6-0-7) in the stanza while Holt attacked at a .833 clip (5-0-6) and as a team, Penn State hit .727 (17-1-22).
A Sweitzer kill helped break an early stalemate in the third game before a Holt putaway gave Penn State the 14-12 lead. A Lipsitz kill put the Lions ahead 18-16 before consecutive Anderson kills aided Penn State in going up 20-18. A Holt kill and back to back Anderson and Holt blocks made it 24-19 and another block, this one a solo Stauffer effort, pushed the lead to 27-20, before two Anderson aces and an NYU attack error ended the game, 30-20. Anderson and Holt each produced six kills in the game.
Tickets for the EIVA Championship are $5 for adults and $3 for youth, with Penn State students gaining free admission. Groups of 10 or more, any age, are just $2 per person. Seating is general admission and tickets will be available at the Rec Hall ticket office beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 26.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.
Article courtesy of Penn State athletics.