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Feb. 7, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 12 Penn State men's volleyball team (7-2) extended its winning streak to seven consecutive matches with a straight-set (25-14, 25-23, 25-23) victory against non-conference foe, Erskine (3-3) Friday evening in Rec Hall.
Junior Aaron Russell and redshirt junior Nick Goodell both registered double-digit kill performances in the win, led by Aaron, who recorded a team-high 13 kills on .667 hitting. Aaron also tallied one ace and four digs, earning the Mike Anderson Penn State Player of the Match honor.
Goodell logged 10 kills on a .429 hitting clip, adding one ace, four digs and two blocks. Sophomore Zack Parik dished out a career-high 22 assists in the victory, adding three digs and one block.
Redshirt junior Connor Curry anchored the defense with a team-high six blocks. Redshirt freshman Matt Callaway notched four kills on six swings, with just one attack error to go along with two blocks. Making his third consecutive appearance on the court, junior Kyle Gregan logged one kill, while also setting a career high mark with two digs.
As a team, the Nittany Lions out-hit the Flying Fleet .403-.180, limiting Erskine to .103efficiency in the first set.
Penn State jumped out to a 6-1 advantage led by three kills from Peter. Looking to close the gap, the Flying Fleet used a 3-1 spurt to trim the deficit to three, 7-4. The Nittany Lions responded with a 5-1 streak to move ahead by as many as seven, 12-5. Erskine answered with a kill to halt the momentum, but PSU continued to power ahead, securing its largest lead of the frame, 18-9, following a kill from Peter and a Flying Fleet attack error.
Erskine managed to cut the lead back to eight, 19-11, but Penn State continued to cruise, closing out the frame on a 6-3 stretch for a 25-14 win in the opening set. Penn State and Erskine fought point-for-point in the opening half of the second set. Tied at 9-all, Aaron and Goodell teamed up for a pair of consecutive kills to push the Lions ahead by two, 11-9. PSU followed with two straight errors to knot the stanza again, 11-all.
The two clubs battled to two more tied scores before the Flying Fleet used a 3-0 streak to move ahead by two, 16-14. Redshirt sophomore Matt Seifert sparked a quick 3-1 streak with a kill to tie the score once again, 17-17. Keeping it close, neither team could manage to pull away with the lead, tying the frame four more times before an Erskine kill lifted the Flying Fleet ahead, 22-21.
Rallying, Aaron and Goodell pounded back-to-back kills to reclaim the lead, 23-23, forcing Erskine to call a timeout. The Flying Fleet answered with a kill to make it 23-all, but a kill from Peter and an Erskine error sealed a 25-23 win in favor of the Nittany Lions.
Penn State came out of the intermission and opened the third set on a 4-1 run. The Flying Fleet slowed the momentum with a pair of consecutive kills, 4-3, but PSU quickly doubled the advantage, 6-3, helped out by a kill from Callaway.
The Nittany Lions remained in control of the comfortable cushion, 9-5, until Erskine rallied with a 7-3 stretch to tie the set, 12-12. A Flying Fleet attack error prevented Erskine from moving ahead, but the Fleet remained close behind.
Following three more knotted scores, Goodell looked to put PSU back on top with a kill, but Erskine put together a 4-0 streak to pull away by three, 19-16.
Regrouping, Penn State answered with a 5-2 run to tie the frame, 21-21, forcing Erskine to call a timeout. The Flying Fleet came out of the break with a kill, 22-21, but the Nittany Lions used a 4-1 stretch, capped off with an ace from Goodell to complete the sweep.
Penn State returns to action Saturday, Feb. 8 hosting Pfeiffer in a non-conference tilt. The Nittany Lions will square off against the Falcons at 7 p.m. in south gym at Rec Hall.