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March 17, 2012
LORETTO, Pa. - The eighth-r anked Penn State men's volleyball team (14-3, 7-0 EIVA) earned a 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-17) victory against conference foe Saint Francis (9-11, 4-3 EIVA).
The Nittany Lions were led by redshirt senior Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) who tallied 13 kills on .500 hitting. Freshman Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) was second on the team with eight kills in eight errorless swings, while redshirt freshman Nick Goodell (Ambridge, Pa.) posted seven. Redshirt senior Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) dished out 31 assists, while junior Nick Turko (Lewisberry, Pa.) had a team-best four aces. Sunder led the team with five digs and Turko had a team-best four blocks.
Penn State had a .315 hitting percentage and held the Red Flash to .152. The Nittany Lions totaled 37 kills, nine aces, 20 digs and 7.0 total team blocks. Saint Francis finished the match with 27 kills, one ace, 15 digs and 7.0 team blocks.
The Nittany Lions opened the match with a 6-0 run thanks in part to three aces from Turko. Despite a kill by Alex Stine, kills from Sunder and Goodell and two SFU errors had the Lions leading by eight, 10-2. Saint Francis called a timeout and tallied two points to close the gap to six, 10-4. The Nittany Lions maintained at least a six-point advantage for much of the middle of the set. The Red Flash came within five, 16-11, but three straight Nittany Lions points had Penn State leading by eight, 19-11. The squads traded points for much of the remainder of the set with Penn State moving closer and closer to a win. With a 23-17 lead, Sunder pounded a kill to put Penn State at set point. Mark Kochan spiked the ball one final time for SFU before a block by Goodell and Russell secured set one for PSU, 25-18.
The Red Flash did not let the Nittany Lions grab a strong early lead as in set one. Penn State held a narrow one-point lead, which allowed SFU to tie it up at 8-8 early on in the frame. Sunder pounded a kill to move Penn State back in front, but Adam Roche put down a kill to make it nine all. Sophomore Jace Olsen (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) moved Penn State back in the lead before a Saint Francis error gave Penn State a two-point cushion, 11-9. The Nittany Lions continued to maintain the lead until a 3-0 run by the Red Flash allowed Saint Francis to knot the score at 17-17. Penn State called a timeout and an SFU service error and a Turko ace pushed Penn State up by two, 19-17. The Lions never looked back. The Red Flash stayed within three until a Sunder kill and a solo stuff by Turko closed out set two for PSU, 25-21.
The Nittany Lions jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third stanza, a lead Penn State held on to for much of the first half of the set. With Penn State leading, 12-8, Saint Francis called a timeout and used a 5-1 run to tie it up at 13-13. Penn State called a timeout and capitalized on two SFU errors and a Sunder kill to move ahead by three, 16-13. The Red Flash closed the gap to one on two occasions, but another 3-0 run by the Lions had PSU leading by four, 20-16. Saint Francis called a timeout timeout, but was unable to slow the Nittany Lions. Penn State closed out the match with a 5-1 run for a 25-17 third set win.
Penn State is back in action on March 23-24 when the squad visits NJIT and Rutgers-Newark. Action is scheduled for 7 p.m. both nights.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State men's volleyball 2012 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.
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