No. 5 Penn State Defeats No. 12 Hawaii, 3-2
Jan. 9, 2010
HONOLULU, Hawaii - In front of 3,233 fans, the fifth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team defeated No. 12 Hawaii, 3-2 (26-30, 30-26, 30-23, 28-30, 15-9). Four Nittany Lions tallied double-digit kills in the victory.
Senior Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) led all players with 23 kills on .462 hitting. Freshman Tom Comfort (Orchard Park, N.Y.) made the first start of his Penn State career and registered 21 kills with a team-best .548 attack percentage. Redshirt sophomore Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) finished the night with 19 kills and senior Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) posted 11. Redshirt sophomore Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) dished out 72 assists and had six total blocks. Lipsitz had a match-high nine blocks and Price contributed four. Junior Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) led the team in saves with 17, while Price tallied 13. Both Price and Sunder had four aces.
Penn State attacked a .406 clip recording 78 kills, 75 assists, 10 aces, 51 digs and 16.0 total team blocks. Hawaii finished the night with a .321 attack percentage. The Warriors totaled 72 kills, 70 helpers, seven aces, 34 digs and 10.0 team blocks.
The Nittany Lions trailed from the start after a kill by Hawaii's Matt Rawson and a PSU attack error. An error by the Warriors put the Lions on the board and kills from Lipsitz and Price had Penn State within one, 4-3. Penn State managed to stay within two of UH until a Rawson kill sparked an 8-3 run giving Hawaii a 15-9 lead. Two Warrior errors and a Price kill had PSU within four, 16-12. The teams traded points with three Price kills and one from Comfort keeping the Lions behind by four, 19-15. Penn State worked to within three, 21-19, after a Warrior error, a Price ace and a huge block by Lipsitz and Sunder. UH increased its lead to four on two kills from Jonas Umlauft and one from Gus Tauniga, but Penn State tallied three straight kills to be within one, 24-23, of tying the set. The Nittany Lions managed to stay within a point of the Warriors until two PSU errors and a Hawaii ace secured the set for UH, 30-26.
The two squads stayed close early in the second set with Hawaii grabbing a two-point edge, 8-6, on two Penn State errors. Kills by Price and Comfort moved Penn State back within one, 9-8. The Lions tied the set at 10-10 on a joint stuff by Lipsitz and Goas. Penn State took its first lead of the set on a Price ace and moved ahead by two thanks to a kill and ace from Lipsitz. Two PSU service errors allowed the Warriors to come within two, but one kill each by Price and Comfort kept Penn State ahead by two, 15-13. Penn State maintained its slim lead until three errors gave Hawaii the boost it needed to take over the lead. Price tied the set at 17-17 with a kill, but back-to-back Hawaii kills had the Lions trailing by two, 19-17. PSU trailed by three until kills by Sunder and Comfort, a solo block by Price and a Sunder ace allowed Penn State to tie it at 23-23. A Price kill put Penn State back ahead and another ace by Sunder gave the Nittany Lions some much-needed breathing room, 25-23. Kills from Price, Lipsitz and Comfort put the Lions in set-point position and Price notched an ace to give Penn State a set two win, 30-26.
The third set began much like the second with the two team remaining close until three straight PSU kills put the Lions up by three, 7-4. The Warriors fought back to within one, 8-7, but kills by Price and Comfort and a Sunder ace had PSU ahead by four, 11-7. The two squads traded service errors before a Sunder kill put the Lions ahead by five, 14-9. A UH service error had PSU leading 15-11 at the midpoint of the frame. Penn State dominated much of the remainder of the set building an eight-point advantage, 24-16. The Warriors came within six, 29-23, before a Comfort kill closed out set three for PSU, 30-23.
The Lions trailed early in the fourth set, but three UH service errors helped Penn State to a 6-4 lead. The score would tie seven times before Penn State took back the lead, 15-13, after a Hawaii error and a joint stuff by Lipsitz and Sunder. UH managed to tie the score again at 15-15, but kills from Lipsitz and Sunder, as well as a Warrior error put PSU ahead by three, 18-15. Penn State kept the Warriors at bay until two consecutive kills allowed them to tie it at 19-19. The score would go on to tie five times before UH took a two-point lead, 27-25, sending PSU to the bench for a timeout. Hawaii increased its lead to three, 28-25, before a Lipsitz kill and a triple block by Goas, Sunder and freshman Ian Hendries (Cardiff, Calif.) brought the Lions within one, 28-27. After a UH timeout and despite a service error by the Warriors, Hawaii claimed set three, 30-28.
Despite trailing 2-1 to start the final set, the Lions went on a 5-1 run for a 6-3 lead. Three UH kills brought the Warriors within one, 7-6, but Sunder put one down before the team switched sides of the net for an 8-6 lead. The Lions built their lead to four, 11-7, and allowed the Warriors just two more points. A block by Price and Lipsitz put PSU in match-point position and a triple stuff by Goas, Lipsitz and gave Penn State a 15-9 fifth set win.
Penn State is back in action on Saturday, Jan. 9 at 4 p.m. HT (9 p.m. ET). The Lions are set to take on Ohio State in Hawaii's Stan Sheriff Arena to wrap up the Hawaii Outrigger Invitational.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State men's volleyball 2010 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets at Hershey.