No. 10 Penn State Routs No. 14 Ball State, 3-0
Jan. 15, 2011
HONOLULU, Hawaii - The 10th-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team improved to 2-1 on the season with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-20) victory against No. 14 Ball State. The Nittany Lions return home for six straight home matches.
Redshirt junior Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) had a match-high 13 kills on .417 hitting. Sophomore Tom Comfort (Orchard Park, N.Y.) was second on the team with 10 kills. Redshirt junior Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) dished out 36 assists and had two aces, while senior Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) had 10 digs. Sophomore Nick Turko (Lewisberry, Pa.) was a wall at the net with four blocks, including two solo.
Penn State hit .390 for the match with 45 kills, six aces, 24 digs and 7.5 total team blocks. Ball State hit .270 and totaled 34 kills, two aces, 20 digs and 4.0 team blocks.
The Nittany Lions took a 5-3 lead to start the match and were soon up by four, 10-6, after a kill by Comfort and an ace by Olsen. Penn State's advantage grew to five on three occasions before a 4-1 Ball State run had the Cardinals within two, 16-14. A Comfort putdown put PSU back ahead by three, 17-14, but Ball State's J.D. Gasparovic kept the Cardinals within two, 17-15. The two squads went back and forth before the Nittany Lions closed out the set with a 6-1 run for a 25-19 win. Goas had two kills and an ace in the run. The Lions hit .438 in the first set with Comfort leading all players with six kills.
The second frame was close to start with Penn State using a 3-1 run for a 7-4 edge. Two straight kills by the Cardinals had BSU within one, 7-6, but a Ball State service error kept the Lions up by two, 8-6. Four Ball State errors and a kill from senior Alan Mars (Rochester, N.Y.) increased Penn State's lead to four, 12-8. However, a 4-0 run by the Cardinals had the score knotted at 12-12. The score tied three more times before a BSU block put the Cardinals in the lead, 16-15, for the first time since the start of the set. Olsen pounded a kill to tie it up at 16-16, but a PSU error and a kill by Larry Wrather moved the Cardinals into the lead by two, 18-16. After a Penn State timeout, the Nittany Lions fought back to take a 21-20 lead to force a Ball State timeout. A BSU error moved the Lions ahead by two, 22-20, but a Nittany Lion service error had the Cardinals within one, 22-21. Despite another PSU service error, two Sunder kills and a BSU attack error secured set two for Penn State, 25-21.
Penn State developed an 8-4 lead in the third stanza, but a 4-0 run by the Cardinals had the score tied at 8-8. Sunder and Comfort each tallied a kill to give Penn State some breathing room, 10-8, and Comfort followed it with an ace for a three-point lead, 11-8. Back-to-back Ball State kills and a solo block by Gasparovic had the score sitting at 11-11. The teams traded points until kills by Sunder and Turko and two BSU errors had the Lions up by three, 16-13. Penn State maintained control and used putdowns Mars and Goas and an ace from junior Tor Covello (Yardley, Pa.) for a 21-17 advantage. Following a Ball State timeout, two PSU errors had the Cardinals within two, 21-19, but kills from Sunder and Turko had the Lions back up by four, 23-19. A PSU service error put the ball in Ball State hands, but a kill and block by Turko gave the Nittany Lions a 25-20 win.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State men's volleyball 2011 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets at Hershey.