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Loyola Post-Game Notes
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 15 Penn State men's volleyball team battled to a fifth and deciding set before grabbing the win on a Loyola service error Thursday night in Rec Hall.
"We're never out of a match," said head coach Mark Pavlik.
"We're looking for a quit threshold; Coquese Washington has thrown that phrase around. What are we doing, how far, and how hard can we keep pushing our opponents until they kind of throw up their hands, and say we just can't match them," said Pavlik.
"Conversely, what is our quick threshold? I think we're still trying to figure that out. You take away the 21 hitting errors we had in games two and four combined, and all of a sudden, you only have seven hitting errors in the other two and a half games," Pavlik continued.
Penn State used a balanced offensive attack to take down the Golden Eagles as five different Nittany Lions had at least five kills in the win, with three reaching double digits. Chris Nugent led the way with 15 kills on .200 hitting, while also tallying two aces and six digs.
Calvin Mende, tallied 13 kills hitting .242 with five digs to earn Mike Anderson Penn State Player of the Match honors. Aidan Albrecht added 10 kills while Kevin Gear added six kills.
Luke Brawsell dished out 40 assists in the win, while from the service line, the Nittany Lions owned a 4-3 advantage, helped out by two aces from Nugent.
Defensively, libero Royce Clemens finished first on the team with 15 digs while Kevin Gear posted a team-high five blocks.
Tied 2-2 entering the fifth-set, Penn State fell behind early trailing Loyola 3-1 following a kill from Will Tischler that found the NIttany Lions needing a spark.
The Lions battled their way back to tie it up at 4-4 on a kill from Aidan Albrecht, and assumed the lead the next play on a Loyola attack error.
Holding a 7-6 lead the spark for the fifth-set entered the match.
Queue scene, enter Jalen Penrose.
Penrose opened his appearance in the fifth-set with a service ace that quickly prompted a Rambler timeout.
Out of the break, Penrose's serve culminated in a Matt Callaway kill giving Penn State a 9-6 lead.
Just a few points later Penn State held a 11-7 lead off a Chris Nugent kill that prompted the second timeout from Loyola.
Loyola started to fight their way back into the game getting as close as within two points before 3-1 run closed out the game and gave Penn State their first win against Loyola since Jan. 22, 2013.
Penn State returns to action tomorrow night in rec Hall as the Nittany Lions host No. 8 Lewis at 7:00 p.m. ET.
For more on Nittany Lion men's volleyball, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateMVBall.