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Feb. 1, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 12 Penn State men's volleyball team(5-2) took down Saint Francis(2-3) in four sets (25-21, 25-21, 23-25, 25-18) in their EIVA conference opener Saturday night in Rec Hall. With the victory, the Nittany Lions extended their winning streak to 33 consecutive victories against the Red Flash.
Junior Aaron Russell led the team with 15 kills on 28 swings. Russell also contributed four aces, eight digs and two blocks.Senior Peter Russell added 13 kills, while Nick Goodell tallied 11 kills. Goodell also had eight digs and a block to earn Mike Anderson Penn State Player of the Match.
Redshirt freshman Matt Callaway and redshirt sophomore Taylor Hammond led the defense with four blocks a piece. Peter Russell and redshirt sophomore Matt Seifert each contributed three blocks. Hammond also dished out 30 assists.
Saint Francis jumped out to a quick 3-1 advantage in the first set, but the Nittany Lions responded with five straight points, including a couple of kills by Nick Goodell. Saint Francis fought back to tie it at 7-7 after a block by Mark Kochan and Logan Patterson.
The Red Flash regained the lead, holding a 9-8 advantage. Penn State scored the next four points, including kills by Aaron and Peter Russell. After a Kyle Beatty kill brought the Red Flash within four, 18-14, Penn State went on a 4-0 run to jump ahead by eight. A service error by Saint Francis' Logan Patterson ended the set.
After the Red Flash took a 5-1 lead early in the second set, the Nittany Lions fought back to tie it at 11 after an ace by Aaron Russell. After the teams traded points, a Mike Marshman kill for Saint Francis tied it back up at 18. The Nittany Lions then went on a 3-0 run and, after a Jeff Hogan kill for the Red Flash, another 3-0 run to take a 24-19 advantage. The Red Flash got a couple points back before an attack error by Hogan finished the set.
In the third set, a Peter Russell kill tied it up, 8-8. Saint Francis claimed four of the next five points to take a 13-9 lead. Penn State responded by getting three of the next four points to force a Red Flash timeout. Late in the set, a kill by Callaway tied the score, 22-22. A kill and an ace by Kyle Beatty gave Saint Francis a 24-22 advantage. A Peter Russell kill brought the Nittany Lions within one, but a kill by Adam Barba finished the set for Saint Francis.
Penn State jumped out to a 4-1 advantage in the fourth set after a kill by Matt Seifert. Later in the set, with Penn State up 12-7, the Nittany Lions went on a 3-0 run to extend the lead to eight, 15-7, off of a Peter Russell kill and a pair of Saint Francis attack errors.
The Red Flash took six of the next nine points, with a Logan Patterson kill making it 18-12 Penn State. The Nittany Lions extended their lead with a 4-0 run, including two kills by Aaron Russell and another by Peter Russell. A 5-1 Saint Francis run brought the Red Flash back within six, 23-17. After the squads traded points, an Aaron Russell kill earned the match point for the Nittany Lions.
Next up, the Nittany Lions welcome Ohio State to the court in Rec Hall for a midweek matchup set for Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 7:15 p.m. Penn State returns to action hosting Erskine and Pfeiffer in a pair of weekend tilts, Feb. 7-8.