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Jan. 12, 2013
HONOLULU, Hawaii - The Penn State men's volleyball team (1-1) picked up its first win of the season with a 3-2 (24-26, 25-18, 17-25, 25-15, 16-14) against Hawaii on Friday, Jan. 10. The Nittany Lions faced the Warriors at 12 am ET in the fourth match of the Outrigger Invitational.
Sophomore Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) had a career-high 17 kills and seven digs to lead the Lions. Senior Tom Comfort (Orchard Park, N.Y.) was second on the team with 15 kills with a .345 hitting percentage, while junior Peter Russell (Ellicott City, Md) pounded 11. Redshirt freshman Taylor Hammond (Mission Viejo, Calif.) dished out 50 assists, while redshirt sophomore Connor Curry (Newport Beach, Calif.) had six digs. Senior Nick Turko (Lewisberry, Pa.) had a match-high seven blocks and redshirt freshman Matt Seifert (Reading, Pa.) posted five.
Penn State hit .294 against Hawaii (0-4) with 56 kills, seven aces, 24 digs and 13.5 total team blocks. The Warriors finished the match hitting .248 with 58 kills, five aces, 36 digs and 10.0 team blocks.
The first set was close until more than midway through when a 4-1 Penn State run had the Lions with a three-point lead, 17-14. Hawaii used a timeout and pounded three straight kills to knot the score at 17-17. The score tied three more times before three Penn State errors pushed the Warriors into the lead, 22-20 Penn State used a timeout, but a PSU error and a Warrior kill helped Hawaii reach set point, 24-22 An error by the Warriors and a Seifert kill allowed Penn State to tie it up again, 24-24. Hawaii used its second timeout and recorded two straight points to take set one, 26-24.
The Nittany Lions fell behind 7-4 to start the second set and called an early timeout. PSU rebounded with a 6-2 run, including two Turko aces, to take a slim 10-9 lead. After a Hawaii timeout, Penn State's lead increased to four, 14-10, thanks to two kills, a Comfort ace and a block by Hammond and Seifert. Hawaii burned its second timeout, but Penn State used a kill from Aaron Russell to keep a four-point lead, 15-11. The Warriors fought to within three twice but Penn State maintained control. Leading 21-17, an Aaron Russell kill pushed Penn State ahead by five, 22-17. The Warriors managed one final point before a block by Aaron Russell and a Comfort ace secured set two for Penn State, 25-18.
The Warriors jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the third stanza and Penn State headed to the bench for an early timeout. However, the Nittany Lions were unable to recover and trailed for the entirety of the set. PSU fought to within three, 7-4, but an 8-3 Warrior run had Penn State down by eight, 15-7. As the set wore on, Penn State narrowed the gap to four, 18-14, with the help of three Peter Russell kills and aces from redshirt junior Scott Kegerreis (Honeybrook, Pa.) and Seifert. The Warriors were unfazed by the comeback and allowed the Lions only three additional points before closing out set three, 25-17.
Penn State wasted no time in the fourth frame taking a 4-1 lead. The Warriors kept it close early, but a 3-1 run by the Lions had Penn State with a four-point lead, 10-6. Following a Hawaii timeout, Penn State's lead increased to six, 14-8, with two kills from Comfort and two Hawaii errors. The Warriors used another timeout, but Penn State continued to press forward. The Nittany Lions moved ahead by eight, 18-10, with the aid of back-to-back Seifert kills. Despite a Warrior putdown, kills from Aaron and Peter Russell kept Penn State comfortably ahead, 20-11. As the set wound down, the teams went back and forth but Penn State prevented any Hawaii runs and grabbed the set 25-15 to tie the match at 2-2.
The fifth and final set saw the Lions taking the early lead, 6-4, and Hawaii using a timeout. A Warrior kill and a PSU error had the score tied at 6-6, but Penn State again grabbed a two-point edge, 10-8, with the help of two Hawaii service errors. The teams traded kills but a Hawaii error kept Penn State on top, 13-11. The Warriors used their second timeout and a kill and an ace had the score tied at 13 all. Penn State used a timeout and another Warrior ace had the Lions down by one, 14-13. The Nittany Lions headed back to the bench and an error at the service line for the Warriors tied it up at 14-14. The Warriors grabbed the lead again with a kill, but a block by Turko and Peter Russell and a Comfort kill gave Penn State a 16-14 set five victory.
Penn State hits the court again on Saturday night at 9 pm ET. The Nittany Lions challenge Ohio State. Live stats are available on GoPSUsports.com.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State men's volleyball 2013 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.