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Jan. 22, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's volleyball team (4-1) earned a 3-0 (27-25, 25-16, 25-19) win against Loyola-Chicago (4-4) on Tuesday night. The Nittany Lions had four players register hitting percentages of .556 or better.
Senior Tom Comfort (Orchard Park, N.Y.) and junior Peter Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) led the Lions with 10 kills apiece. Sophomore Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) was second on the team with eight kills, while senior Nick Turko (Lewisberry, Pa.) had seven and redshirt freshman Matt Seifert (Reading, Pa.) posted six. Redshirt freshman Taylor Hammond (Mission Viejo, Calif.) dished out 36 assists and Peter Russell had three aces. Russell also led the Nittany Lions with seven digs and Turko had a match-high five blocks.
Penn State (4-1) finished the match with a .494 hitting percentage. The Nittany Lions totaled 44 kills, five aces, 26 digs and 7.0 total team blocks. The Ramblers hit .262 and had 38 kills, five aces, 23 digs and 3.0 team blocks.
Loyola took the lead in the first frame, 8-5. The Nittany Lions fought to within one on several occasions early in the set, but the Ramblers maintained control and had a 16-13 advantage when Penn State called a timeout. Turko pounded a kill and Peter Russell tallied two of his aces to help PSU knot the score at 16-16. An LUC error gave Penn State the lead, 17-16, but two straight points from Loyola put the Ramblers back on top, 18-17. Another Loyola error allowed PSU to tie it at 18 all. The score tied once more at 19-19 before a kill and an ace by Loyola had the Ramblers with a two-point edge, 21-19. Penn State called a timeout and used kills from Comfort and Peter Russell to tie it at 23-23. After a Loyola timeout, Loyola would grab the lead twice more but putdowns by Comfort and Turko kept the set alive. With the score tied at 25-25, two straight Penn State kills gave Penn State a 27-25 win.
It was the Nittany Lions with the early lead in set two going up 6-3 and forcing an early Rambler timeout. Penn State continued to push using a 5-2 run to increase its lead to six, 11-5. Loyola used its second timeout but was unable to slow Penn State. An 8-4 PSU run had the Lion lead in double digits, 19-9. The Ramblers mustered a 3-1 run to close the gap to eight, 20-12, but two errors had the Lions back up by 10, 22-12. The squads went back and forth, but the Ramblers were unable to mount a strong run to threaten the Nittany Lions. Kills from Seifert and Aaron Russell helped the Lions walk away with set two, 25-16.
Penn State took control early on in the third frame with a 7-3 advantage. Loyola used a timeout and fought to within two, 8-6. Comfort sparked a 5-1 run to increase the gap to six, 13-7. After a second timeout by the Ramblers, Penn State maintained at least a five-point lead until a kill by Seifert and an ace by redshirt sophomore Nick Goodell (Ambridge, Pa.) had Penn State leading by eight, 18-10. However, two straight Loyola kills and an ace moved the Ramblers within five, 18-13. Penn State called a timeout, but the Ramblers were on a roll using a 5-1 run to move within three, 20-17. The Nittany Lions headed back to the bench and two LUC errors gave Penn State some breathing room at 22-18. A Peter Russell kill and two more Loyola errors had Penn State at set point, 24-19. Goodell secured set three for Penn State with a kill, 25-19.
Penn State remains at home on Jan. 25-26 to host Sacred Heart and Harvard. The Lions face the Pioneers on Friday at 7 p.m. in the main gym of Rec Hall before challenging the Crimson on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the South Gym.
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.