No. 10 Men's Volleyball Upended by Princeton

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Redshirt sophomore Matt Seifert matched a season-high mark with five blocks


Redshirt sophomore Matt Seifert matched a season-high mark with five blocks

Feb. 28, 2014

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PRINCETON, N.J. - Despite a career-high performance from redshirt junior Nick Goodell, the No. 10 Penn State men's volleyball team (12-3, 5-1) couldn't pull off a comeback in a 3-2 (25-18, 22-25, 19-25, 25-15, 11-15) loss to Princeton Friday evening at Dillon Gymnasium.

Goodell powered the offense with a career-high 25 kills on .477 hitting, adding four digs, three blocks and one ace. Junior Aaron Russell followed closely behind with 17 kills and 10 digs for his third double-double of the season. Redshirt sophomore Matt Seifert matched a season-high mark with a team-high five blocks.

Redshirt sophomore Taylor Hammond paced the offense to a .382 hitting clip, dishing out 50 assists to go along with four digs and one kill.

The Nittany Lions got out to a fast start opening the match on a 5-2 run, capped off by back-to-back kills from senior Peter Russell to lift Penn State up, 5-2 early in the frame. Despite trading service errors, Aaron pushed PSU ahead by four, 7-3, with a kill, forcing the Tigers to call a timeout. Princeton came out of the break with a 4-3 stretch to narrow the gap to three, 10-7.

Penn State and Princeton continued to battle as the Nittany Lions responded with 4-3 streak of their own to go back up by four, 14-10. The Tigers answered with two consecutive kills before a PSU bad set put Princeton within one, 14-13. Rallying, Penn State put together a 5-2 strike, capped off with two consecutive kills from Goodell to move the Lions ahead by four, 19-15, forcing the Tigers to call another timeout.

Princeton came out of the break looking to spark some momentum with a kill, 19-16, but Penn State continued to surge, closing out the frame on a 6-2 run to secure a 25-18 win in set one. After battling back-and-forth for most of the opening portion of the second set, the Tigers broke open an 11-all tie with a 4-0 spurt to go up by four, 15-11.

Regrouping, Penn State scored three unanswered points to arrive within one, 15-14. The Nittany Lions remained close behind, 17-16, until Princeton used a pair of kills pull ahead by three, 19-16.

Looking to settle into an offensive rhythm with a kill from Aaron, 19-17, but the Tigers used a 4-3 stretch to remain on top, 23-20. Rallying back, a Princeton error and a kill from Peter pushed Penn State back within one, 23-22. PSU couldn't continue the comeback as the Tigers secured a 25-22 win in set two with back-to-back blocks to tie the match at 1-1 heading into the intermission.

The Tigers came out of the second set firing, using an 8-1 run to construct an early lead. The Nittany Lions followed with a 3-1 strike to trim the lead back to five, 9-4, but a service error halted the momentum. After a Princeton service error, a kill from Aaron and another Tiger error moved PSU within three, 10-7.

Pulling away, Princeton used a 4-1 run to bolster the lead to as many as seven, 15-8. Penn State continued to fight, using two kills from Goodell and an ace from Seifert to offset a Princeton kill, making it 16-11. The Nittany Lions couldn't sustain the momentum as the Tigers followed with a 6-2 run to go up by nine, 22-13

Penn State made one final attempt to mount a comeback, using a 4-1 spurt to trim the margin to six, 23-17. Princeton cut off the streak with a kill to make it set-point, 24-17. Goodell pounded back-to-back kills to hold off the Tigers, but Princeton followed with a kill to seal a 25-19 win in set two.

Tied up at 5-all in the fourth set, the Nittany Lions used a 3-0 streak to take control of a three-point lead, 8-5. The Tigers fired back with a kill, but redshirt freshman Matt Callaway and Peter teamed up for two consecutive kills to lift PSU up by four, 10-6. Penn State continued to maintain the steady advantage until a pair of PSU attack errors put the Tigers within two, 12-10.

Powering ahead, the Nittany Lions opened up on a 6-0 unanswered run to take control of an eight-point lead, 18-10. Princeton cut off the streak with a kill, but Penn State closed out the stanza on a 7-4 run to lock up a 25-15 win in set four to send the match into a deciding fifth frame.

Princeton shot out to a 5-2 start in the fifth frame, forcing Penn State to use an early timeout. Following the break Aaron came out of the break with two consecutive kills to move PSU within one, 5-4. Continuing to battle, Penn State used a kill from Goodell and a block from Peter and Callaway to tie the set, 7-all.

After trading kills, the two teams battled to three more knotted scores before two Princeton kills and a PSU attack error moved the Tigers head by three, 13-10. A Tiger service error halted the momentum, but the Nittany Lions couldn't spark a comeback as Princeton closed out a 15-11 win in the fifth set with a kill and a block.

Cody Kessel, Pat Schwagler and Devin Stearns all the led Princeton offense with double-digit kills. Stearns led the group with a team-high 18 kills.

Next up, Penn State heads to George Mason to wrap up a weekend on the road with a matchup Saturday, March 1. The Nittany Lions and the Patriots will square off at 7 p.m.

 

 

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