No. 4 Men's Volleyball Sweeps No. 3 UCLA, 3-0
Jan. 4, 2008
Honolulu, Hawaii - For the first time since the 1991 season, the Penn State men's volleyball team swept UCLA. The fourth-ranked 2008 edition of the Nittany Lions downed the No. 3 Bruins 30-19, 30-26, 38-36 Friday night in Honolulu, Hawaii at the Outrigger Invitational. The win is also the first over UCLA since the 1997 season, breaking a streak of 11 consecutive Bruin victories.
"We played well and we competed hard," said head coach Mark Pavlik, who gained his second win over the Bruins while at the helm of the Lion program. "But this is the second match of the season. UCLA is going to get better and hopefully we're going to get better. We're happy to be 2-0 at this point in the season, however. Any win against a quality opponent helps the team build confidence. This win more or less shows us how we measure up against some of the top teams in the country."
Junior outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) led all players with 24 kills on .465 hitting as junior opposite Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) chipped in 13 kills on .458 hitting. Junior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) and sophomore middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) each contributed eight kills as junior outside hitter Jay Stauffer (Columbia, Pa.) tallied four. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .387 clip, including hitting .615 in the first game (17-1-26).
Senior setter Luke Murray (East Petersburg, Pa.) dished out 47 assists and added two kills and five digs as freshman libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) recorded his second consecutive 12-dig match and Stauffer added in a career-high 10 digs. Sweitzer and Anderson provided six digs apiece as the Lions out-dug the Bruins, 40-29.
Penn State claimed the blocking battle, 9.0 to 5.0, led by Holt and Sweitzer with five apiece, a career-high mark for Sweitzer. Anderson and Murray chipped in two blocks each. Sweitzer also recorded both of Penn State's service aces in the match.
Garrett Muagututia led UCLA with 14 kills as Dylan Bowermaster posted 12 kills and Jamie Diefenbach notched seven. Matt Wade directed the offense for a majority of the match, dishing out 29 assists, and Muagututia topped the defense with eight digs. Weston Dunlap headed the blocking list with three stuffs.
Penn State took the 7-5 lead to open the match on an Anderson kill and a Holt overpass put-away. Lion kills from Sweitzer and Holt and a Murray solo block gave Penn State the 14-7 lead and the Lions went up 15-9 on an Anderson kill that he kicked with his foot off of a block coverage and went over the net and landed on the line on UCLA's side. The teams traded points and errors several times before a Sweitzer ace and Holt kill put Penn State up 20-13. An Anderson kill, consecutive Bruin errors and a Lipsitz kill made it 29-18 before another Lipsitz put-away ended the game, 30-19.
The Nittany Lions again took the early slim advantage, going up 7-5 on kills from Sweitzer and Stauffer. Three consecutive Lipsitz kills pushed the lead to 11-6 and kills from Anderson and Holt made it 15-10. The teams traded points four times and a UCLA block pulled the Bruins within four at 19-15. A Murray overpass kill extended the lead to six at 22-16 and an Anderson kill and a UCLA attack error gave Penn State the 24-17 cushion. But a Bruin block and kill sparked a 7-2 Bruin run to pull them within two at 26-24 before Lion kills from Sweitzer and Anderson pushed the Penn State lead back to four at 28-24. A Lion error and UCLA kill again brought the Bruins to within two at 28-26 but a quick Lipsitz kill and a UCLA attack into the antenna ended the game, 30-26.
The third game remained close throughout, with two Lion blocks, one from Sweitzer and Holt and another from Murray and Holt coupled with an Anderson kill down the line giving Penn State the 11-9 lead. Another Anderson kill made it 13-10 but a Bruin kill and ace helped pull UCLA within one at 14-13. A Stauffer kill and solo block pushed the Lions up 18-14 and an Anderson kill out of the backrow coupled with a Sweitzer kill down the line made it 20-16. Three Bruin kills and a Lion attack error tied the game at 20-20 but two Penn State triple blocks from Sweitzer, Anderson and Holt put the Nittany Lions back on top, 23-21. A UCLA kill and Penn State attack error knotted the score at 23-23 and the teams traded points before a Bruin service error and Stauffer kill gave the Lions the 26-24 lead and forced a UCLA timeout. Out of the break, the Bruins responded with a kill and two blocks to reverse the momentum and take the 27-26 lead. Out of a Penn State timeout, the teams traded points and a Lion attack error gave UCLA game point at 29-27. But after a long rally with great defense, an Anderson kill followed by a Lipsitz overpass kill evened the game at 29-29. A Lipsitz and Sweitzer block was followed by a Lion service error and a center line violation to swing the score to 31-30 in favor of the Bruins, but a UCLA service error again tied the score at 31-31. A Holt and Sweitzer block put Penn State up but the Bruins responded with two kills to go up 33-32. An Anderson kill through the UCLA blockers knotted the game at 33-33 and a Holt overpass kill made it 34-33 but a Bruin kill off the top of the Lion block evened the score at 34-34. The teams traded points and a UCLA kill to the deep corner put it up 36-35. A Bruin service error again tied the game at 36-36 and two Anderson kills out of the backrow gave Penn State the game, 38-36.
The Nittany Lions close out play in the Outrigger Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 5 taking on Ball State at 4:00 p.m. HT (9:00 p.m. ET). Penn State opens the home season on Friday, Jan. 11 against Lewis at 7:00 p.m. ET at Rec Hall.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.