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Freshman Nick Turko
March 21, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The sixth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team (16-4) suffered a 3-1 (25-30, 30-20, 27-30, 23-30) No. 14 Ohio State (13-7) on Sunday evening. The match will re-air tonight on the Big Ten Network tonight at 9:30 p.m.
The loss was the first in Rec Hall for the Nittany Lions since the NCAA National Championship match in 2006. UCLA won the title with a 3-0 sweep of PSU. Ohio State won its first match in the confines of Rec Hall against PSU since a 3-0 victory against the Lions on Jan. 12, 1999.
Senior Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) led the Lions with 15 kills, while redshirt sophomore Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) was second on the team with 14 kills and senior Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) had 13. Redshirt sophomore Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) dished out 51 assists and had two aces. Junior Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) had a team-best 12 digs. Freshman Nick Turko (Lewisberry, Pa.) led the team with five blocks, while Lipsitz had four with two solo.
Penn State's attack percentage was .314 to OSU's .283 and the Lions outblocked the Buckeyes 10-9. However, Ohio State put down 66 kills, had nine assists and 41 digs. The Nittany Lions posted 56 kills, just two aces and 40 digs.
The Buckeyes grabbed a 3-1 lead in the first set, but an OSU service error and back-to-back PSU blocks put the Lions in front, 4-3. Penn State maintained the lead until a 4-0 run by the Buckeyes pushed Ohio State in front, 12-11. By midway through the set, the score was tied at 15-15, but Penn State didn't take the lead until a Price kill and a OSU attack error made it 18-17 Penn State. The teams remained close and when the Buckeyes took a 21-20 lead, the Lions called a timeout. The break failed to slow the Buckeyes who used a 3-1 run for a 24-21 advantage. A Sunder kill and an OSU attack error brought the Lions within one and forced a Buckeye timeout. Two straight Ohio State kills put the Buckeyes within four points of taking set one, 26-23. Penn State called a timeout and managed just two additional points on OSU service errors before the Buckeyes claimed set one on a PSU service error, 30-25.
The second set started out close, but three straight Penn State kills had the Lions leading, 10-6. Following an Ohio State timeout, the Buckeyes fought to within two, 10-8, with a kill and a stuff. Penn State was soon back up by four with a joint block by Price, Turko and sophomore Ryan Wolf (York, Pa.) and an OSU error. Penn State maintained at least a two-point lead until two consecutive OSU kills had the Buckeyes within one, 15-14. A 6-0 PSU run shut down the Buckeyes as the Lions surged ahead to a comfortable 21-14 lead. Penn State closed out the set holding the Buckeyes to just 20 points. Price and Turko had two kills apiece and Sunder and Lipsitz had one to help Penn State win the second set, 30-20.
The third set was also close from the beginning with the scoring tying nine times before a 3-0 run by the Buckeyes had Penn State trailing, 13-10. The Buckeyes maintained control of the set and with the help of five PSU errors had a 20-15 lead. A putdown by Lipsitz and an OSU error brought the Lions within three, 20-17. The teams traded points, but two Lipsitz kills and one from Price put the Lions within two of tying the set, 23-21. The Nittany Lions came within one on four occasions, but an OSU kill and a PSU error allowed Ohio State the 30-27 win and 2-1 lead in the match.
Despite a small 6-4 lead in the fourth set, a 5-1 run by the Buckeyes was the beginning of the end of the match. An early PSU timeout failed to slow the Buckeyes who began a breakaway with an 8-5 run for a 18-12 lead. Turko, Sunder and Price each tallied a kill for Penn State in the run. The Nittany Lions called a second timeout and a service error put the Lions within five, 18-13. However, the Buckeyes did not slow and a kill and two straight OSU aces had Ohio State ahead, 24-16. After a service error by each squad, two Ohio State kills had the Buckeyes within three of winning the match, 27-18. A Sunder kill and an OSU attack error put PSU within seven, 27-20, but answered back with two kills to be in match-point position, 29-20. Penn State managed a 3-0 run and forced a Buckeye timeout, but OSU closed out the match with a kill for a 30-23 victory.
Penn State is back in action on Tuesday, March 23 at Juniata. Match action is set for 7 p.m. Penn State plays its final home regular season match on Friday, March 26 against Princeton. The Nittany Lions meet the Tigers at 7 p.m. in Rec Hall.
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.
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