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No. 14 Men's Volleyball Falls to No. 2 Long Beach

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Aaron Russell

March 16, 2014

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LONG BEACH, Calif. - Despite three double digit kill performances, the No. 14 Penn State men's volleyball team (14-5) lost its final match of the Active Ankle Challenge in straight sets (21-25, 23-25, 17-25) to tournament host, No. 2 Long Beach State (15-4) at Walter Pyramid Saturday evening.

Junior Aaron Russell paced the team with 11 kills, adding one ace and five digs. Redshirt junior Nick Goodell and redshirt sophomore Matt Seifert tallied 10 kills each. Goodell added a team-higheight digs.

Goodell and redshirt freshman Matt Callaway totaled one block each to lead the blocking effort. Callaway and Seifert each earned Active Ankle Challenge All-Tournament team honors for their performances in both matches this weekend.

Fighting back and forth throughout the first set, the 49ers cracked open a 10-all lead with a 3-0 run to go up 13-10 in the opening stanza, forcing Penn State to call a timeout. Rallying, Penn State used a 4-0 streak featuring a block by Goodell and Callaway to lift PSU ahead by one, 14-13.

The two teams battled through six more tied scores before LBSU connected on a block and a PSU error to pull ahead,21-19. An attack error cut the momentum short, but Long Beach State closed out the frame on a 4-2 stretch to claim a 25-21 win in the first set.

Trailing by three in the second set, 12-9, a kill from Callaway and an LBSU attack error put Penn State within one, 12-11. Rebounding, the 49ers used a 4-2 stretch to go ahead by as many as three, 16-13, forcing Penn State to call a timeout. Goodell connected on a kill in attempt to spark some momentum, but the two clubs continued to keep it close, 17-17.

Pulling away, PSU surged ahead on a 3-1 spurt to go up by as many as three, 20-18. Penn State and Long Beach State continued to battle back and forth battling to three more tied score before LBSU connected on an ace and a Penn State attack error to secure set two, 25-23.

Long Beach State shot out to a 13-7 start in the third set for any early lead. Aaron attempted to settle into an offensive rhythm with a kill, but the 49ers answered with a 5-2 run to go up by eight, 18-10.

Aaron and Seifert pounded two kills in between one from Long Beach State before the 49ers used a 3-1 spurt to move ahead by nine, 23-14. Freshman Chris Nugent made one final attempt to spark momentum with a kill, but a PSU service error made it set-point, 24-15. Two LBSU errors held off the attempt, but the 49ers finished off the frame with a kill to complete the sweep, 25-17.

Next up, Penn State remains on the road, traveling to Loyola and Lewis to close out a seven-match road test. The Nittany Lions take on Loyola Friday, March 21 before squaring off against Lewis Saturday, March 22.




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