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Jan. 21, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The ninth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team (3-1, 1-0 EIVA) defeated Saint Francis, 3-1 (25-18, 20-25, 25-19, 25-22) in its home opener. Redshirt junior Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) led all players with 18 kills.
In honor of All-American Matt Anderson's father Mike Anderson, who passed away unexpectedly in 2010, the Penn State volleyball family has chosen to honor one Nittany Lion at the conclusion of each match in honor of Mike. Redshirt junior Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) was named the Mike Anderson Player of the Game for his efforts against the Red Flash.
Following Sunder, freshman Scott Kegerreis (Honeybrook, Pa.) tallied seven kills. Goas dished out 43 assists and was second on the team with six digs. Senior libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) had a match-high eight digs, while Kegerreis and sophomore Ian Hendries (Cardiff, Calif.) posted two blocks apiece.
The Nittany Lions hit .376, while Saint Francis attacked at a .361 clip. Penn State totaled 56 kills, five aces, 26 digs and 4.0 team blocks. The Red Flash posted 51 kills, two aces, 23 digs and 9.5 team blocks.
The Red Flash opened the match taking a 3-1 lead, but Penn State used a 5-1 run to take a 6-4 edge. A kill by Logan Patterson put the SFU within one, 6-5. Despite two Red Flash kills, an SFU error and two kills by senior Alan Mars (Rochester, N.Y.) kept Penn State in front. With an 11-9 lead, a 3-0 run by the Lions increased the gap to five, 14-9, and sent Saint Francis to the bench. After the timeout, Penn State's lead grew to seven, 17-10, after an ace from Goas, a Sunder kill and a joint stuff by sophomore Tom Comfort (Orchard Park, N.Y.) and Hendries. The Red Flash came within six, 18-12, but Penn State's lead continued to grow after two kills by Comfort and one from Sunder. Leading 21-15, the two squads traded points with kills from Comfort, Goas and Sunder putting the Lions in set-point position, 24-17. Adam Roche pounded a kill for the Red Flash before Sunder closed out the set with a kill for a 25-18 win.
Saint Francis dominated the start of set two taking a 6-0 lead. Penn State embarked on a 9-2 run to take a slim 9-8 edge. Comfort has two kills in the run, while Saint Francis tallied three errors. After a Red Flash timeout, a 3-0 run by SFU put the Red Flash back on top, 11-9. Two Saint Francis errors and a kill by Kegerreis knotted the score at 12-12. The score tied four more times before a 5-1 run by Saint Francis had a comfortable 21-17 lead as the set began to wind down. The Nittany Lions managed just three additional points before the Red Flash closed out the set, 25-20.
The third frame was close from the start with neither team developing any momentum to take a strong lead. The score tied nine times before a kill by Mars and an SFU error put the Lions up by two, 11-9. Moments later, sophomore Nick Turko (Lewisberry, Pa.) sparked a 4-1 PSU run giving the Lions a 15-11 lead. Following a Saint Francis timeout, the Red Flash used a 3-1 run to cut the PSU lead to two, 16-14. Penn State maintained at least a two-point edge until a 4-0 run increased Penn State's lead to six, 23-17. A PSU service error put the ball in SFU control, but a kill by Turko put PSU at set point. Roche postponed the inevitable with a kill, but Kegerreis closed out the set with a kill for a 25-19 win.
Saint Francis took a slim 4-2 lead to start the fourth and final set, but a 3-1 run by PSU had the score knotted at 5-5. The score tied four more times before the Red Flash took another two-point lead, 11-9, after a kill and an ace by Colin Sherwin. Penn State fired back with a 4-0 run for a 13-11 lead. The Red Flash came back to tie it one last time at 14-14 before a Sunder kill put Penn State in the front for good. A kill by freshman Jace Olsen (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and a SFU attack error moved Penn State ahead by three, 17-14, and forced a Red Flash timeout. Saint Francis fought back to tie the score at 20-20, but back-to-back- PSU kills put Penn State in the lead, 22-20. Despite a service error, two Sunder kills secured the fourth set for the Nittany Lions, 25-22.
Penn State is back in action on Saturday, Jan. 22 against Springfield. The match is set to begin at 4 p.m. in the South Gym of Rec Hall.
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.