No. 6 Nittany Lions Claw the Pioneers, 3-0
Jan. 25, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The sixth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team (5-1, 1-0, EIVA) earned a 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-23) win against Sacred Heart (0-4, 0-1 EIVA). The Nittany Lions are back in action on Saturday, Jan. 26 when they host EIVA foe Harvard. Action is set for 4 p.m. in the South Gym of Rec Hall.
Sophomore Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) and senior Tom Comfort (Orchard Park, N.Y.) posted seven kills apiece in a match where 10 of the 12 players who saw time on the court contributed offensively. Redshirt freshman Taylor Hammond (Mission Viejo, Calif.) dished out 31 assists and redshirt freshman Matt Seifert (Reading, Pa.) had three aces. Aaron Russell led the team with five digs, while junior Peter Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) and senior Nick Turko (Lewisberry, Pa.) had three blocks each.
Penn State finished the match hitting .313 with 35 kills, four aces, 21 digs and 8.5 total team blocks. The Pioneers hit .060 with 24 kills, four aces, 14 digs and 4.0 team blocks.
Penn State jumped out to an 8-3 lead to start the match. Despite a PSU error giving the ball to Sacred Heart, kills from Comfort and Turko and a Seifert ace had the Lions up 11-4. After a Pioneer timeout, the Nittany Lion run continued with four straight points for a 15-4 advantage. A service error gave the Pioneers a chance, but two straight errors pushed PSU ahead, 17-5. An SHU kill and a Penn State error moved the Pioneers within 11, 19-8, but Penn State continued to push full speed ahead. Three Sacred Heart errors and kills from Aaron Russell and Seifert helped Penn State claim set one convincingly, 25-12.
Sacred Heart came out fighting in the set frame and took a 5-3 lead. Kills from Turko and Peter Russell knotted the score at 5-5. The score tied three more times before an Aaron Russell putdown and back-to-back PSU blocks had Penn State leading by three, 11-8. The Pioneers fought back and tied it at 11 all. The score tied two more times before the Lions again moved ahead by three, 16-13. Soon after a 3-0 PSU run had Penn State ahead by five, 20-15. Sacred Heart used a timeout, but only managed three final points before Penn State closed out the set. Kills from senior Ian Hendries (Cardiff, Calif.), Hammond, Comfort and Turko secured the second frame for Penn State, 25-18.
Neither team was able to develop momentum early on in the third stanza. It was not until well beyond the mid-point of the set that the Nittany Lions finally earned some breathing room. With the score tied at 16-16, kills from redshirt sophomore Nick Goodell (Ambridge, Pa.) and senior Kyle Mars (Rochester, N.Y.) helped Penn State take a three-point edge, 19-16. Sacred Heart used a timeout and tallied four points to Penn State's two to come within one, 21-20. Penn State headed to the bench and two SHU errors helped the Lions move ahead by two, 23-21. Sacred Heart used its final timeout and scored two final points before two service errors handed the third set to Penn State, 25-23.
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.