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Joe Sunder had a team-high 22 kills
March 10, 2011
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The 10th-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team (14-4) suffered a 3-2 (23-25, 26-24, 20-25, 25-22, 19-17) setback to eighth-ranked UCLA (12-9). Redshirt junior Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) had a match-high 22 kills against the Bruins.
Following Sunder, sophomore Tom Comfort (Orchard Park, N.Y.) put down 18 kills. Redshirt junior setter Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) dished out 49 assists and tied for second on the team with three blocks. Senior Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) made a team-high 10 digs and sophomore Ian Hendries (Cardiff, Calif.) put up six blocks.
UCLA hit .319 in the match and held Penn State to .234 hitting. The Nittany Lions totaled 59 kills, two aces, 36 digs and 10.0 team blocks. The Bruins finished the match with 70 kills, four aces, 46 digs and 8.5 team blocks.
The Bruins opened the match with back-to-back blocks to take a 2-0 lead and soon after used a 3-0 run for a 6-3 advantage. Kills from sophomore Nick Turko (Lewisberry, Pa.) and Sunder and a UCLA attack error allowed Penn State to tie it up early at 6-6. The score tied five times before a Bruin service error and a Comfort kill moved the Lions ahead by two, 13-11. The Nittany Lions maintained control as a block and ace by Sunder and a joint stuff by Hendries and freshman Jace Olsen (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) had PSU with an 18-14 lead. UCLA called a timeout, but Penn State's lead grew to six, 20-14 on a Comfort kill and a Bruin error. The Bruins fought back within two, 21-19, with the aid of two PSU errors. Penn State called a timeout, but the Bruins managed two straight points to tie it up at 21-21. The Nittany Lions used their second timeout, but the Bruins tallied a kill and a block to take a 23-21 lead. A UCLA error put PSU within one, but Kyle Caldwell pounded a kill to keep the two-point edge for UCLA. Turko put down one final kill for PSU before Weston Dunlap closed out the set for UCLA, 25-23.
The second set started out close before a 3-0 PSU had Penn State with a three-point lead, 8-5. Olsen had a kill and a block in the short run. UCLA called a timeout and answered with a 4-0 run for a 9-8 edge. Comfort put down a kill to tie it up at 9-9. The score tied twice more before the Bruins used a 3-0 run for a 14-11 lead. However, four straight UCLA errors pushed Penn State in front, 15-14. A UCLA kill tied it up at 15-15, but two Sunder kills and a Sunder ace kept the Nittany Lions on top, 18-16. Penn State maintained a slim lead as the set began to wind down until two straight Bruin kills tied the score at 23-23 and sent the Lions to the bench. Sunder put the Lions back into the lead with a kill, but Thomas Amberg kept UCLA in the hunt. A Comfort kill and a Bruin error secured set two for PSU, 26-24.
The Bruins opened the third frame taking a 5-2 lead. Their lead grew to four, 10-6, before a 3-0 PSU run had the Lions within one, 10-9. The Nittany Lions were unable to grab the lead and a 3-0 run had UCLA leading, 14-11. Two Sunder kills and two UCLA errors had the score knotted at 15-15, but another 3-0 Bruin run had UCLA with an 18-15 advantage. UCLA continued to dominate with Penn State unable to steal any momentum. Trailing 24-18, two straight UCLA errors had the Bruins calling a timeout. Dunlap closed out the set with a kill for UCLA, 25-20.
UCLA took a 3-1 lead to begin the fourth stanza, but two consecutive kills from Goas had Penn State tying it up at 3-3. The score tied two more times before UCLA took a two-point lead, 7-5. The Bruins held onto the lead until a 3-1 run by PSU had the Lions up by one, 11-10. A block by Comfort and Hendries and two UCLA errors pushed Penn State's lead to three, 14-11. A PSU error had the Bruins trailing by only two, 14-12, but a UCLA service error and a kill by the Lions moved Penn State's lead to four, 16-12. As the set began to wind down, the Nittany Lions were continuing to hold on to the lead, 21-18. The Bruins fought to within two twice, but kills from Comfort and Olsen had Penn State at set point, 24-20. UCLA managed two final points before Sunder pounded a monster kill down the pipe for a 25-22 victory.
The Bruins leapt out to a 5-2 lead to start the fifth set. A 5-2 PSU run tied the set at 7-7 and forced a UCLA timeout. Penn State notched a point to take the 8-7 lead before the teams switched sides. A PSU error knotted the score at 8-8, but a Comfort kill and UCLA error gave Penn State a 10-8 lead. The Bruins came within one on two occasions before a Gonzalo Quiroga kill and a PSU error had it tied up at 12-12. Penn State burned a timeout and Sunder put down a kill for a 13-12 lead. The score tied twice more before back-to-back kills by UCLA put the Bruins in the lead, 15-14. A UCLA attack error and solo block by Hendries put the Lions at match point, 16-15. A UCLA timeout settled the Bruins and allowed them to take a 17-16 lead. However, a service error tied the set at 17-17. UCLA closed out the set with two straight kills, 19-17.
Penn State remains on the road this week, taking on UC Santa Barbara on March 11 and Long Beach on March 12. The Nittany Lions return home March 18-19 to face Ball State and IPFW.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State men's volleyball 2011 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets at Hershey.
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