No. 1 Penn State Tops Princeton, 3-1
Princeton, N.J. - The top-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team defeated Princeton in four games (30-24, 30-17, 26-30, 30-25) Saturday afternoon in Princeton, N.J., to clinch its 10th consecutive outright EIVA title, also its 24th Eastern championship and the 13th under head coach Mark Pavlik. The Nittany Lions improve to 19-1 and 10-1 in conference action while the Tigers fall to 9-6 and 4-4 in league play.
Junior outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) pounded 29 kills on .467 hitting to lead four Lions in double-digit kills as junior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) tallied 17 kills on .727 hitting. Junior opposite Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) provided 11 kills and sophomore middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) notched 10 kills. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .453 clip.
Senior setter Luke Murray (East Petersburg, Pa.) dished out a season-high 61 assists while junior outside hitter Jay Stauffer (Columbia, Pa.) picked up a team-high seven digs and Sweitzer, Murray and freshman libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) all produced six digs.
Penn State recorded nine team service aces, with Holt and Sweitzer each recording three, Anderson adding two and Stauffer chipping in one.
The Nittany Lions outblocked Princeton, 13.0 to 4.0. Lipsitz led the way with a season-high-tying eight stuffs. Holt and Murray provided four blocks each and Sweitzer notched three.
The match started off even, with kills from Anderson and Holt giving the Lions the 14-11 lead. A Lipsitz and Sweitzer block made it 17-13 and three Sweitzer put-aways extended the score to 22-17. Two Anderson kills and one from Murray put Penn State up 26-20 and a Lipsitz kill made it 28-22 before a Princeton service error ended the game, 30-24.
Two Holt service aces and kills from Holt, Anderson and Stauffer gave the Nittany Lions the 12-7 lead in the second game. Another Holt kill coupled with an Anderson ace made it 19-12 and a Lipsitz kill and solo block pushed the advantage to 23-15. Four consecutive Princeton errors gave Penn State the 28-16 lead before an Anderson kill and a Sweitzer ace ended the contest, 30-17.
Princeton took the 12-9 lead in the third game on a kill by Jeff McCown. The Tigers maintained the advantage, going up 15-11 on a Mike Vincent kill. But two consecutive Lion blocks, one from Lipsitz and Sweitzer and another from Stauffer and Lipsitz, trimmed the Princeton lead to one at 15-14. The teams traded kills and a Stauffer ace knotted the game at 16-16. A Peter Eichler kill and back to back Tiger service aces coupled with a Lion attack error put Princeton ahead 20-16. An Anderson kill halted the run but the Tigers kept the lead, going up 25-21 on a Phillip Rosenberg kill and 27-22 on an Eichler put-away. Lion kills from Anderson and Holt closed the gap to three at 28-25 but a Penn State service error ended the game, 30-26.
Penn State went up 10-8 in the fourth game on an Anderson kill but Princeton pulled within one at 13-12 on a kill and block along with a Lion attack error. Two kills from Anderson pushed Penn State up 15-12 and the Nittany Lions maintained the advantage, going ahead 19-13 on kills from Sweitzer, Anderson and Holt. Consecutive Anderson put-aways extended the lead to 23-16 and the squads traded points several times, with a Sweitzer kill giving Penn State the 26-20 lead. Kills from Holt and Sweitzer put the Lions up 28-23 before a Princeton service error ended the game, 30-25.
Penn State heads west to take on Cal Baptist and No. 4 Long Beach State on March 14-15 in Long Beach, Calif., before returning home to host No. 11 Ohio State and No. 9 Ball State on Friday and Saturday, March 28-29 at Rec Hall.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.
Article courtesy of Penn State athletics.