Sunder and Price Lead No. 9 Lions in 3-1 Setback to No. 4 BYU
March 12, 2010
LONG BEACH, Caiif. - The ninth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team suffered a 3-1 setback at the hands of the fourth-ranked Brigham Young Cougars (11-7). The Nittany Lions are back in action on Saturday, March 13 against No. 6 Long Beach in the closing match of the Active Ankle Challenge.
Senior Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) and redshirt sophomore Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) led the Lions with 21 kills apiece. Senior Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) was not far behind with 20 kills of his own. Redshirt sophomore setter Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) dished out 68 assists. Three Nittany Lions posted double-digit digs, including Goas with 11, Price with 13 and junior Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) with a team-best 16. Freshman Nick Turko (Lewisberry, Pa.) led the Lions with four blocks.
Penn State registered a .271 attack percentage, while the Cougars hit .309. Penn State had 74 kills, three aces, 59 digs and 6.0 team blocks. BYU finished the match with 71 kills, one ace, 57 digs and 18.0 team blocks.
The Nittany Lions opened the match taking a 3-1 lead against the Cougars. Price put down a kill and Lipsitz and Goas joined forces for a joint block. Despite a Lipsitz kill, BYU fought back to tie the set at 4-4. The score tied three times before the Cougars grabbed the lead on a kill from Otavio Souza, 8-7. The Cougars on to a slim lead, but by midway through the frame, BYU's lead had grown to three, 16-13, after two consecutive PSU errors. After a Penn State timeout, a BYU service error put the Lions within two, 16-14, but two PSU errors and one by the Cougars kept Penn State behind by three, 18-15. A 3-0 Cougar run sent Penn State back to the bench as BYU's lead had grown to five, 21-16. Penn State answered with a 6-3 run to cut the gap to two, 24-22. BYU called a timeout and despite kills by Lipsitz and Turko, four PSU errors had the Cougars winning set one, 30-26.
Penn State got off to a 5-2 start in set two with three BYU errors and kills from Price and Lipsitz. Two straight kills by Kevin Sagers the Cougars within one, 5-4, but a block by Price and Turko and another Price kill had Penn State back up by three, 8-5. Two PSU errors had BYU back within one. A Souza block and an Andrew Stewart kill had the score knotted at 9-9. A BYU service error put Penn State back in the lead, but Stewart notched another kill to tie it at 10-10. A 3-0 run by the Cougars had the Lions trailing by three, 13-10, and calling a timeout. The Cougars held on to a slim lead until a 3-1 run by PSU put Penn State in front, 20-19. Sunder, junior Thomas Pereira (Brasilia, Brazil) and Lipsitz each had a kill in the run. BYU called a timeout, but did not regain control of the lead until a block by Kent Tuttle and Otavio Souza gave the Cougars a slim 27-26 lead. A Penn State timeout slowed BYU enough for Penn State to scoot ahead, 28-27. The score would tie four times before back-to-back Cougar kills secured set two for BYU, 33-31.
Set three was close from the beginning until kills from Price and Pereira and a BYU attack error had Penn State leading, 7-4. The Cougars fought to within two on four occasions, but back-to-back Sunder kills gave the Lions a comfortable four-point lead, 13-9. After a BYU timeout, the Cougars answered with a 3-0 run to be within one of tying the set. The Cougars stayed within two of the Lions until kills by Lipsitz and Sunder moved PSU up by four, 20-16. A 7-4 BYU run cut Penn State's lead to just one, 24-23, and forced the Lions to call a timeout. However, two Lipsitz kills and a BYU attack error had the Lions back ahead by three, 27-24. A BYU timeout failed to slow the Lions as two Pereira aces and a Sunder kill gave PSU a 30-25 set three victory.
The fourth set started out much like the third with neither team able to develop any substantial lead. By midway through the frame, the teams were tied at 14-14. However, a 3-0 run by the Cougars gave BYU a 17-14 advantage and sent PSU to the bench for a timeout. Penn State fought to within one twice, but with a 23-21 lead, the Cougars embarked a 7-3 run to close out the fourth and final set. Sunder led the Lions with six kills, while Lipsitz tallied five.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State men's volleyball 2010 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets at Hershey.