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Feb. 2, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The sixth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team (8-1) closed out its weekend with a 3-0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-22) win against Mount Olive (6-3). Redshirt sophomore Nick Goodell (Ambridge, Pa.) was honored as the Mike Anderson Penn State Player of the Match after leading the Lions offensively.
Goodell led Penn State with 13 kills on .632 hitting. Sophomore Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) and junior Peter Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) each posted 11 kills. Redshirt freshman setter Taylor Hammond (Mission Viejo, Calif.) paced the offense with 40 assists and Peter Russell led the Nittany Lions in digs with eight. Redshirt freshman Matt Seifert (Reading, Pa.) had a match-high five blocks, while Hammond and Peter Russell put up two blocks apiece.
Penn State hit .379 against the Trojans and totaled 44 kills, five aces, 26 digs and 6.0 total team blocks. Mt. Olive hit .262 against Penn State and had 36 kills, seven aces, 26 digs and 4.0 team blocks.
The first set started out close, but with the score tied at 8-8 a 4-0 run by the Trojans had Mt. Olive with a four-point lead, 12-8. Penn State used a timeout, but continued to trail through the midpoint of the set. Three kills from Aaron Russell and two from Peter Russell helped Penn State knot the score at 17-17. After each team tallied a service error, back-to-back attack errors by the Trojans had the Nittany Lions leading, 20-18. Mount Olive used a timeout and managed to tie it up at 22-22. Senior Tom Comfort (Orchard Park, N.Y.) pounded a kill to move the Lions in front, 23-22, but the Trojans didn't allow Penn State to run away with the set just yet. The score tied twice more before a kill and a block by Comfort secured a 26-24 set one win.
Penn State grabbed a 3-1 lead in the second frame, but the Trojans tied it up at 3-3. Soon after, the Trojans tallied three straight points for an 8-5 advantage. The Nittany Lions trailed briefly until two errors by Mt. Olive had Penn State in line with the Trojans, 10-10. Penn State used a 4-1 run to take the lead, 14-11, a lead the Nittany Lions never relinquished. The Trojans narrowed the gap to two, 18-16, but kills from senior Ian Hendries (Cardiff, Calif.) and Peter Russell had the Lions leading by four, 20-16. Mt. Olive headed to the bench, but Penn State's lead grew to six, 23-17. A Trojan kill and two consecutive aces moved Mt. Olive within three, 23-20, and forced a Penn State timeout. Hendries put down a kill to make it set point for Penn State, 24-20. The Trojans called their last timeout and managed two final points before Goodell pounded a kill for a 25-22 victory.
The third stanza began much like the second with the Lions grabbing a 4-1 lead before the Trojans tied it up at 4-4. The Nittany Lions fell behind by three, 11-8, near the midpoint of the set. Penn State called a timeout, but remained behind. It wasn't until a 3-0 run, including an ace and a kill from Goodell, that the Lions grabbed the lead, 19-17. After a Trojan timeout, Mt. Olive fought back and tied the set at 20 all. Peter Russell pounded a kill to move Penn State up by one, 21-20 before an attack error by the Trojans gave the Lions some extra breathing room, 22-20. The Trojans closed the gap to one, 22-21, but it was the closest they would come for the remainder of the set. A Mt. Olive error and two kills from Peter Russell closed out the set for Penn State, 25-22.
Penn State remains at home for another weekend when it hosts Saint Francis and Ohio State at Rec Hall. The Lions face the Red Flash on Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. before challenging the Buckeyes at 8 p.m. on Feb. 9.
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.