No. 6 Nittany Lions Sweep Red Flash
March 19, 2010
LORETTO, Pa. - The sixth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team secured a 3-0 (30-19, 30-19, 30-26) sweep of EIVA foe Saint Francis (8-9, 1-4). The Nittany Lions are back in action on Sunday, March 21 against No. 14 Ohio State. The match will air live on the Big Ten Network at 4 p.m.
Redshirt sophomore Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) had a match-high 17 kills to lead Penn State (16-3, 7-0). Redshirt sophomore Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) tallied 24 assists while sharing setting duties with sophomore Tor Covello (Yardley, Pa.), who registered 16. Sophomore Ryan Wolf (York, Pa.) led the team with nine digs and senior Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) had a team-best five blocks.
The Nittany Lions attacked at a .337 clip and held the Red Flash to .082. PSU totaled 47 kills, three aces, seven digs and 11.0 total team blocks. Saint Francis finished the match with 32 kills, four aces, 26 digs and 9.0 team blocks.
Despite a small 2-1 lead by the Red Flash in set one, the Nittany Lions jumped ahead, 4-2, with kills from Sunder and Lipsitz and a SFU service error. The Red Flash stayed within three until an 8-1 run by PSU had Penn State leading by nine, 16-7. Senior Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) had two aces in a row during the run and also teamed up with Lipsitz for back-to-back blocks. After a Saint Francis timeout, the two teams traded points with PSU's lead growing two 10, 23-13, thanks to two SFU attack errors. The Red Flash fought to within eight of the Lions on three occasions, however two Sunder kills and two SFU errors had Penn State leading by 12, 29-17, and in set-point position. A Jordan Varee kill and a Tyler Mattera ace held off the Lions momentarily, but Mattera followed his ace with an error to give PSU a 30-19 set one win.
The Nittany Lions grabbed a 5-1 lead early in set two as errors plagued the Red Flash. Mattera cut off the early PSU run, but three straight SFU errors had Penn State surging ahead with a 8-2 advantage. SFU called a timeout and two PSU errors followed to bring the Red Flash within four, 8-4. Each team notched another error before Saint Francis managed a 3-0 run to come within two, 10-8. The Nittany Lions managed to hold off the Red Flash and by midway through the set, the Lions went on a 7-1 run for a comfortable 20-13 lead. The Red Flash managed only six additional points before Penn State closed out the set with five straight points. Lipsitz tallied two kills in the run, Sunder had one and Wolf won the set with an ace for a 30-19 final score.
The third set started out in Saint Francis' favor as the Red Flash developed a 6-3 lead. Kills from freshman Tom Comfort (Orchard Park, N.Y.) and Sunder and a block by Covello and freshman Nick Turko (Lewisberry, Pa.) had the teams tied at 6-6. The teams tied it up again at 7-7 before the Red Flash jumped back out in front and had a five-point lead, 14-9, with kills from Nick Rivett and Varee. The Nittany Lions did not take the lead until an 8-2 run gave PSU a slim 18-17 lead. The Red Flash had five errors in the run, Wolf had two kills and Sunder one. SFU fought back to tie the set at 22-22, but two straight Wolf kills had the Lions taking control, 24-22. The Red Flash didn't let the Lions off easy, keeping it close until two consecutive errors and a comfort kill had PSU in match-point position, 29-25. SFU's Adam Roche held off the Lions momentarily, but Covello gave Penn State the win with a kill, 30-26.
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.