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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – For the second time in as many days, Penn State (3-3) played their opponent to a fifth and deciding set, this time falling to Lewis 3-2 (26-28, 14-25, 25-16, 25-19, 9-15) Friday night at Rec Hall.
“I like the fact that we seem to even out a little bit quicker,” said head coach Mark Pavlik.
“I like the way we came back in games three and four. The way we played in game three and game four I think kind of gives you glimpses of where our future could be,” said Pavlik.
Chris Nugent led the Lions with 15 kills on .379 hitting adding eight digs and four blocks, while Lee Smith – returning from a preseason ankle injury – finished second on the team with 12 kills and three digs off the bench.
Luke Braswell led the team in assist recording 47 and adding 11 digs over the five set affair tied with Royce Clemens who also recorded 11 digs on the night.
As a team, Penn State had 10 team blocks led by Kevin Gear who made five stops in the match.
Lewis (4-1) took the first and second set while Penn State fought to win the third and fourth set forcing the fifth and final set.
Lewis took no time in asserting itself in the fifth set as the Flyers led 5-1 over Penn State before Pavlik called a timeout to reset the Nittany Lions.
Penn State scored out of the timeout on a kill from Kevin Gear, and Lewis answered back with three-straight kills from Ryan Coenen to take a 8-3 lead.
Costly errors by Penn State gave the Flyers two more points to make it 10-3 in favor of Lewis prompting a Penn State timeout.
The Nittany Lions started to rally going on a 6-3 run that found them down by five (14-9) as Lewis called their first timeout of the set. The flyers ended the game on the next serve as John Hodul found crease in the defense to secure the kill and take the match 3-2.
Penn State returns to action Tuesday night in Columbus, OH as the Nittany Lions travel to take on defending national champions No.1 Ohio State at 7:00 p.m. ET in St. John Arena.
For more on Nittany Lion men's volleyball, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateMVBall.