No. 10 Men's Volleyball Suffers 3-1 Loss at Ball State
March 10, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - It was a rough afternoon on the road for the 10th-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team (14-5, 8-1 EIVA) as the Nittany Lions suffered a 3-1 (20-25, 17-25, 25-18, 20-25) loss to Ball State.
Sophomore Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) led Penn State with 15 kills, while his brother junior Peter Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) posted 12 on .455 hitting. Redshirt freshman Taylor Hammond (Mission Viejo, Calif.) dished out 44 assists and was second on the team, tying with Aaron Russell, with seven digs. Redshirt sophomore Connor Curry (Newport Beach, Calif.) had a team-best eight digs. Senior Ian Hendries (Cardiff, Calif.) led the Lions at the net with three blocks, while Peter Russell and redshirt freshman Matt Seifert (Reading, Pa.) had two apiece.
Penn State was held to a .218 hitting percentage for the match. The Nittany Lions put down 49 kills and had four aces, 33 digs and 6.0 total team blocks. The Cardinals (10-5, 3-5 MIVA) hit .379 and totaled 43 kills, three aces, 38 digs and 9.0 team blocks.
Ball State grabbed a 3-0 lead to start the match before a 3-1 PSU run had the Lions within one, 4-3. Two straight Cardinal kills increased the BSU lead to three, 6-3, but a kill and a block from Peter Russell again pulled Penn State within one, 6-5. Ball State answered with a 5-2 run for an 11-7 lead, but Penn State fought back with kills from senior Nick Turko (Lewisberry, Pa.) and Tom Comfort (Orchard Park, N.Y.) to close the gap to one, 12-11. Ball State called a timeout and managed to maintain at least a one-point lead for much of the middle of the set. Leading 20-19, two straight kills had the Cardinals leading by three, 22-19. Penn State used a timeout, but a PSU error and another Cardinal kill had Ball State at set point, 24-19. Peter Russell pounded one final kill before the Cardinals claimed set one, 25-20.
The Cardinals flew to a 7-2 lead in the second stanza. It wasn't until after the midpoint of the set that Penn State was able to narrow the margin to four, 14-10. The teams traded points with the Nittany Lions unable to develop any momentum as Ball State's lead grew to six, 21-15, nearing the end of the set. Redshirt sophomore Nick Goodell (Ambridge, Pa.) put down a kill to bring Penn State within five, 21-16, but back-to-back Ball State putdowns and an ace had Penn State trailing by eight, 24-16. Aaron Russell scored on a kill, but the Cardinals closed out set two, 25-17.
After a close start, the Nittany Lions had a two-point lead, 12-10, halfway through the third frame. A Cardinal kill and block knotted the score at 12 all, but a BSU error and two points by the Nittany Lions had Penn State up by three, 15-12. Ball State fought to within one, 16-15, but a 5-2 Penn State run had the Lions with a comfortable four-point advantage, 21-17. Ball State used a timeout and managed one final kill before two Aaron Russell kills and a PSU block secured the third set for Penn State, 25-18.
Ball State wasted no time in the fourth set and had a 7-3 lead when Penn State called a timeout. Kills from Seifert and Goodell and a BSU error helped move Penn State within two, 8-6. Ball State maintained at least a four point lead until a Goodell ace, an Aaron Russell putdown and a joint stuff by Peter Russell and Seifert moved Penn State within one, 15-14. Two PSU errors gave Ball State some breathing room, 17-15, but Penn State was soon back within one, 20-19. Despite an Aaron Russell kill, Ball State capitalized on a Nittany Lion error to move into set point position, 24-20. Another PSU error ended set four in Ball State's favor, 25-20.
Penn State heads to Ohio State on March 16 for a 7 p.m. matchup with the Buckeyes. The Nittany Lions follow that with a visit to Saint Francis on March 23.
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.