Nittany Lions Fall to Mastodons, 3-2
March 9, 2013
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The Penn State men's volleyball team (14-4, 8-1 EIVA) suffered a 3-2 (25-18, 23-25, 25-19, 25-27, 11-15) loss at IPFW Saturday night. The Nittany Lions look to rebound on Sunday, March 10 at Ball State. Action is set for 2 p.m.
Sophomore Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) led the Nittany Lions with 19 kills, while redshirt sophomore Nick Goodell (Ambridge, Pa.) posted 14 and redshirt freshman Matt Seifert (Reading, Pa.) had 11 on .500 hitting. Redshirt freshman Taylor Hammond (Mission Viejo, Calif.) posted 56 assists to pace the PSU offense. Redshirt sophomore Connor Curry (Newport Beach, Calif.) had a team-high 13 digs, while Russell recorded 10. Seifert and senior Nick Turko (Lewisberry, Pa.) each had a team-high three blocks.
The Nittany Lions hit .260 against IPFW and totaled 63 kills, eight aces, 53 digs and 6.0 total team blocks. The Mastodons hit .260 with 51 kills, four aces, 45 digs and 14.0 team blocks.
After a close start in the first frame, a 3-0 run by the Nittany Lions had Penn State with an 11-7 lead. IPFW called a timeout, but Penn State's lead grew to six, 14-8, after two Russell kills and an ace from senior Tom Comfort (Orchard Park, N.Y.). A PSU error and an IPFW kill helped the Mastodons move within five, 15-10, but a Seifert putdown, a Mastodon error and a Nittany Lion stuff pushed Penn State ahead by eight, 18-10. The squads traded points and the Mastodons managed to pull within six, 23-17. A PSU error had the Mastodons trailing by only five, 23-18, but a Mastodon service error had Penn State at set point, 24-18. Turko and junior Peter Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) closed out set one with a block for a 25-18 win.
The Nittany Lions grabbed and early lead in set two and were up by 11-7 when the Mastodons headed to the bench. IPFW answered with a 5-2 run to narrow the gap to one, 13-12. Shortly after the midpoint of the frame, a PSU error and an IPFW kill had the set tied at 15-15. The score tied three more times before a kill from IPFW and a Penn State error gave the Mastodons a slim 19-18 lead. Penn State called a timeout and used a 3-1 run to retake control, 21-20. IPFW used a second timeout and pounded a kill to knot the score at 21-21. Following two more tie scores, a putdown by IPFW and a PSU error ended set two in favor of the Mastodons, 25-23.
The third stanza was close from the start but the Nittany Lions took off on a 5-0 run for a comfortable 13-8 lead. IPFW called a timeout and scored three straight points to close the gap to two, 13-11, and force a Nittany Lion timeout. Goodell fired back after the break sparking a 5-1 run for a six-point advantage, 18-12. Penn State maintained at least a four-point lead through much the remainder of the set and was up by six, 22-16, when the Mastodons used their second timeout. It failed to faze the Nittany Lions as two IPFW service errors and a kill by Aaron Russell gave Penn State a 25-19 set three victory.
IPFW came out on fire in the fourth set taking a 7-2 lead. Penn State fought to within two, 10-8, with the help of kills from Seifert, Aaron Russell and Goodell and three Mastodons errors. Penn State managed to tie it up at 11 all, but a Mastodon ace sparked a 5-0 run for a 16-11 IPFW lead. The Nittany Lions took a timeout and four straight kills had the Lions on the Mastodons tails, 16-15. IPFW managed to maintain the lead until back-to-back Aaron Russell kills tied the set at 21-21 and a Seifert putdown pushed the Lions in the lead 22-21. The lead was short-lived as two IPFW kills had the Mastodons with a 23-22 edge. The score tied three more times before a the Mastodons scored on a kill and an ace to take set four, 27-25.
In the fifth and deciding set, IPFW grabbed the lead and never let it go. The Mastodons were up 7-4 when Penn State called their first timeout. The Lions closed the gap to two four times but it was the closest PSU would come for the remainder of the set. IPFW had a 14-10 lead when Penn State used its final timeout. Goodell stalled the inevitable with a kill before a PSU error closed out the set in IPFW's favor, 15-11.
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.