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Aaron Russell registered his second consecutive double-digit kills match with 16 against Hawaii
Jan. 11, 2014
Redshirt-junior Nick Goodell, junior Aaron Russell and senior Peter Russell all posted double-digit kills, led by Goodell who tallied 19 on .455 hitting, adding one ace, four digs and one block. Aaron followed closely behind with 16 kills, while Peter totaled 10.
Redshirt-sophomore Taylor Hammond paced the Nittany Lions offense to a .325 hitting percentage, dishing out 52 assists to go along with eight digs and one block. Redshirt-junior Connor Curry anchored the defense with 11 digs, while redshirt-freshman Matt Callaway led the blocking unit with three total blocks, logging an additional eight kills.
Sinisa Zarkovic highlighted the Hawaii offense, registering 22 kills, while Jace Olsen recorded 15. Nick West led the blocking effort with four blocks, as well as nine kills on 15 errorless swings.
Penn State opened the match on an 8-2 run, led by two kills each from Aaron and Callaway. Rebounding, the Rainbow Warriors constructed a 5-2 streak to shave the lead back to three, 10-7. Hawaii continued to chip away at the advantage, coming within one, 13-12, before a kill from Goodell moved the Nittany Lions ahead by two, 14-12. The Rainbow Warriors answered with two consecutive kills to knot the frame, 14-all, before Aaron broke open the tie with a kill to make it 15-14.
Tied again at 15-all, Aaron and redshirt-freshman Spencer Sauter teamed up for back-to-back kills to secure a two-point lead, 17-15. Hawaii managed to battle within one just one more time, 18-17, before Penn State took off on a 5-1 run, led by a pair of kills from Peter to go up by as many as five, 23-18, forcing the Wahine to call a timeout.
The Nittany Lions came out of the break with a kill from Goodell to make it set-point, 24-19, but a PSU service error thwarted the attempt. Another kill from redshirt-sophomore Matt Seifert closed out a 25-20 win in the first set, giving Penn State a 1-0 lead in the match.
With PSU leading by two early in the second set, 2-0, Hawaii used a 5-1 strike to claim a 5-3 advantage. As the Rainbow Warriors struggled to pull ahead, 7-5, Aaron sparked a 4-0 run with a kill that lifted the Nittany Lions ahead, 9-7. Keeping it tight, the teams tied the score four more times, before Aaron and Goodell posted a pair of consecutive kills to push PSU ahead by two, 14-12.
Hawaii responded with a 3-0 spurt to take over a one-point lead, 15-14, and continued to pull away, using a 4-2 streak to stretch the lead to three, 19-16. A kill from Aaron and a Rainbow Warrior error quickly trimmed the gap to one, 19-18. A Hawaii kill and a block kept UH on top, but Penn State used another 3-1 spurt to keep it within one, 22-21. Unable to move ahead, the Rainbow Warriors connected on three consecutive kills to close out a 25-22 win in the second set to even the match.
After trading the lead early in the third set, UH used a 4-0 streak to break open a 10-all lead for a 14-10 advantage. Trailing by five, 17-12, Penn State rallied with a 6-2 run, capped off by two kills from Aaron and a Hawaii error to tie the frame, 18-all. Cutting off the streak, Hawaii used a 3-1 strike to create some distance, 21-19, before looking to close out the frame at set-point, 24-22. Penn State held off two set-point attempts, tying the frame at 24-all, but two UH kills secured a 26-24 third-set decision in favor of the Rainbow Warriors.
Keeping it close throughout early part of the fourth set, Hawaii cracked open a 7-7 tie with a 3-1 streak to go up by two, 10-8, but Penn State continued to remain close behind, arriving within one, 12-11. Trading points, the Nittany Lions manage to cut the lead back to one, 14-13, but UH continued to power on, using a 5-2 stretch to bolster the lead to five, 20-15.
Hammond and Callaway cut off the momentum with a block, 20-16, but Penn State could not get any close than two, 22-20, before Hawaii locked up a 25-21 win in the fourth set with two consecutive kills to end the match.
Next, Penn State wraps up the weekend with its final match of the Outrigger Invitational, taking on Ohio State Saturday, Jan. 11 at 9 p.m. ET.
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