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Jan. 10, 2009
HONOLULU, Hawaii - The top-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team used a balanced attack to defeat No. 13 Hawaii in four games (30-22, 21-30, 30-22, 30-23) Saturday night in the final match of the Outrigger Invitational in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Nittany Lions claimed the tournament title for the second consecutive season and the second time in program history.
Four Lion players reached double-digit kills, led by redshirt freshman outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.), who collected 17 kills on .517 hitting in his first collegiate start. Senior opposite Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) posted 14 kills, junior middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) notched 12 and senior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) posted 11 kills on an errorless 12 swings to hit .917. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .385 clip, including hitting more than .400 in three of the four games.
Redshirt freshman setter Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) directed the offense with 57 assists and Price and sophomore libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) both led the defense with 10 digs as Sunder added in five digs and Goas chipped in four. Penn State outdug Hawaii, 32-28.
Sweitzer led the team with two service aces as Goas, Lipsitz, Holt and Sunder all added in one as Penn State posted six aces while allowing only two.
Hawaii claimed the blocking battle, 13.0 to 9.0. Lipsitz led Penn State with six as Goas posted four, Price notched three, Holt and Sweitzer chipped in two each and Sunder tallied one.
For Hawaii, Josh Walker notched 18 kills and Steven Hunt added in 14. Sean Carney dished out 36 assists and Gus Tuaniga tallied eight digs as Steven Grgas led the blocking front with seven stuffs.
Holt, Lipsitz, Goas and Del Valle were all named to the Outrigger Invitational All-Tournament team and were joined by Ohio State's Robbie Klein, Hawaii's Josh Walker and USC's Murphy Troy, who was also named the tournament MVP.
Lion kills from Lipsitz, Sunder and Sweitzer aided Penn State in opening up the match, 4-3. Consecutive put-aways from Sunder and Sweitzer along with a Lipsitz ace pushed the score to 8-5 and a Holt kill made it 10-6. Another Holt put-away coupled with a Hawaii attack error made it 13-9. Another Sunder kill and a block by Lipsitz and Price put Penn State ahead 15-11 heading into the television timeout. The Warriors came out of the break on fire, collecting three consecutive kills to pull within two at 16-14 but a Sweitzer kill halted the run. Hawaii produced a kill and a block to trim the Lion lead within one at 17-16 but a Sweitzer kill and a Holt and Goas block gave Penn State a three-point cushion at 19-16. The teams traded kills before a monster Price kill and a Holt back row blast pushed the Lions up 22-18 and forced a Hawaii timeout. Out of the break, the teams exchanged points twice before kills from Sweitzer and Lipsitz made it 27-20 and put-aways from Sunder and Goas ended the game, 30-22. Sweitzer and Sunder posted six and five kills, respectively, as the Lions hit .692 for the stanza.
Hawaii took the early lead and maintained the advantage, going up 9-8 before a Goas ace knotted the score at 9-9. But a Warrior kill sparked a 6-0 Hawaii run to put it up 15-9. Out of the television timeout, the teams traded points and a Sweitzer and Lipsitz block pulled the Lions within five at 16-11. After a Warrior attack error to trim their cushion to four, Hawaii claimed the next four points to push its advantage to 20-12. Two Hawaii errors out of a Penn State timeout pulled the Lions within six at 20-14 and the teams traded points three times, with a triple block by Goas, Holt and Price bringing Penn State within six at 23-17. The squads exchanged points twice more before the Warriors produced two kills and a block to extend their lead to 28-19. Hawaii claimed the game, 30-21, on a kill from Steven Hunt.
Six ties began the third game before a Holt kill, a Price kill off a Sunder dig and a Price overpass kill put Penn State ahead 10-7 and caused a Hawaii timeout. Out of the break, two Hawaii attack errors - one off the antenna and one long - gave the Lions the 12-7 lead and after a Lion service error, a Price kill off the block put Penn State up 13-8. A Lipsitz kill made it 15-10 heading into the television timeout. Out of the break, a Sunder kill and a Hawaii attack that sailed wide put the Lions up 17-10 and forced a Hawaii timeout. The Warriors came out of the break on fire, producing two blocks and an ace to pull within four at 17-13. The teams traded points twice before Lion kills from Holt and Sunder gave Penn State the 21-15 advantage. The squads again exchanged points three times before consecutive Hawaii errors put the Lions ahead 26-18. Kills from Lipsitz and Sunder made it 29-20 before a Sweitzer kill out of the back row with no block ended the game, 30-22.
The fourth game remained even early on, with a Holt kill and a Sunder overpass put-away tying the score at 6-6. Four ties ensued before a Sweitzer kill and a Lion triple block from Sunder, Lipsitz and Sweitzer along with a Hawaii attack error put Penn State ahead 13-11. The teams traded kills twice, with a Holt put-away giving the Lions the 15-13 advantage heading into the television timeout. Out of the break, the teams traded points twice and a Lipsitz and Goas block put Penn State ahead 18-15. Hawaii scored three of the next four points to pull within one at 19-18 but a Price kill halted the run and gave the Lions the two-point lead at 20-18. The squads exchanged points twice more before consecutive Sweitzer aces pushed Penn State up 24-20. Kills from Sweitzer and Holt along with a Holt ace that grazed the line made it 27-22 and forced a Warrior timeout. Out of the break, a Sweitzer kill down the line and a block by Goas and Lipsitz put Penn State ahead 29-22 before a Sweitzer kill ended the game, 30-23.
The Nittany Lions home to host their annual Alumni match on Saturday, Jan. 17 before officially opening their season on Friday, Jan. 23 against Ball State at 7:00 p.m. at Rec Hall.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State men's volleyball 2009 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets At Hershey.