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No. 13 Penn State drops season opener to No. 2 UCLA

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Jan. 6, 2017

COLUMBUS, OH -  No. 13 Penn State (0-1) fell to No. 2 UCLA (2-0) in straight sets (18-25, 22-25, 17-25) Friday evening at St. John Arena on the campus of the defending national champions Ohio State.

In the first ever NCAA men's volleyball game streamed on Facebook LIVE (courtesy of OffTheBlock and Vinnie Lopes), the Nittany Lions struggled to find an offensive rhythm hitting .128 as a team and recording 31 kills on the night.

"I thought that there were stretches of pretty good volleyball, I just don't think we're ready to put it together yet for 25 points," said head coach Mark Pavlik.

"These guys have been in the gym and know the level of play that is expected and sooner or later we're going to get to that point."

Chris Nugent led the Penn State offensive attack collecting 10 kills - tied for a match high - while chipping in three digs and one block.

Redshirt-Freshman Luke Braswell made his Penn State debut posting a match high 27 assist for the Blue & White earning a kill of his own against the Bruins.

Penn State started slow in set one being down by as much as 5-1 to UCLA before roaring back to tie the game at 10-all off a Luke Braswell kill.

The Nittany Lions would again knot things up at 13-13 on a UCLA service error, but this would prove to be the last time the Nittany Lions could match the Bruins point for point in the set as UCLA capped the set on a 12-5 run to take the opening set 25-18.

Set two would see the Lions come out firing as Penn State scored the opening point of the set and controlled the scoreboard until UCLA tied things up at 13 apiece, this time on a Penn State service error.

Both teams would stand at a tie four more times (14-14, 16-16, 18-18, 20-20) before UCLA went on a small 5-2 run to extend the lead to two sets to none.

Set three saw Penn State trail by as much as six (10-4) before roaring back to within three midway through the set. UCLA closed out the set on an 11-7 run hitting .357 for the set while Penn State recorded a hitting percentage of .069 committing eight errors.

Penn State returns to action against Southern California tomorrow Saturday, Jan. 7 at 3 p.m. ET in St. John Arena.




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