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No. 14 Men's Volleyball Rallies Past No. 10 Lewis

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Aaron Russell led the team with a match-high 22 kills, marking his third performance of the season with 20 or more kills

March 22, 2014

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ROMEOVILLE, Ill. - Rallying from behind by one set, the No. 14 Penn State men's volleyball team (15-6) knocked off No. 10 Lewis (15-6) in four sets (21-25, 25-19, 26-24, 25-20) on the road at Neil Casey Arena Saturday evening. With the victory, the Nittany Lions close out their 2014 non-conference slate with a 9-5 record.

Junior Aaron Russell led the team with a match-high 22 kills, marking his third performance of the season with 20 or more kills. Russell also tallied five digs to go along with a squad-best four aces. Redshirt junior Nick Goodell kept his streak alive, recording his eighth consecutive double-digit kill performance of the season. Goodell logged 19 kills and 11 digs for a double-double, adding three aces. Senior Peter Russell rounded out the group of double figure hitters with 11 kills on .450 attacking.

Redshirt sophomore Taylor Hammond paced the team to a .402 hitting clip, dishing out 50 assists, while also recording 11 digs for his first double-double of the season. Redshirt freshman Matt Callaway anchored the defense with two blocks, while also adding four kills on seven errorless swings.

Trailing by one, 7-6, following some early back-and-forth action, the Flyers fired two consecutive kills to take over a 9-6 advantage. Despite another Lewis kill, a service error and a kill from Aaron pushed the Nittany Lions back within one, 10-9. Keeping it close, Penn State managed to hang within three, 16-13, until Peter pounded a pair of kills to make it 16-15. Lewis answered with two more kills to remain in control of a slim, three-point lead, 18-15.

As the two teams continued to trade points, Seifert looked to spark a run with a kill, 22-20, but the Flyers followed with a kill and a block to make it set point, 24-20, forcing Penn State to call a timeout. A service error held off the attempt, but a Lewis kill secured a 25-21 win in favor the Flyers.

Down by two, 8-6, in the second set, the Nittany Lions put together a 5-0 streak to capture a three-point lead, 11-8. The Flyers cut off the streak with a kill, but PSU responded with another 5-1 strike to extend its lead to six, 16-10. Recovering, Lewis used a 6-2 run to trim the advantage to four, 18-14. Penn State responded with a 3-1 spurt to remain on top, 21-15, forcing the Flyers to call a timeout.

Lewis came out of the break with two quick points, 21-17, but the Nittany Lions rallied to the end, closing out the frame on 4-2 stretch to lock up a 25-19 win. Lewis came of the intermission with a 7-4 run to open the third set.

Aaron halted the momentum with a kill, but the two clubs continued to trade points. Down by three, 9-6, Penn State opened up a 6-2 run to move ahead by one, 12-11. Keeping it tight, the Flyers and the Nittany Lions battled to five more ties before two kills from Lewis put PSU behind by two, 18-16, forcing Penn State to call a timeout.

The Nittany Lions came out of the break with a 3-0 strike to go up by one, 19-18, sparked by a solo stuff from Callaway. A service error put an end to the streak, locking the score at 19-all. Penn State and Lewis continued to battle back and forth through another three ties before Aaron put PSU at set point, 24-22 with a kill and an ace. The Flyers answered with two kills to knot the frame at 24-all, but a kill from Peter and a Lewis attack error sealed a 26-24 win in the third frame to put PSU up 2-1 in the match.

Penn State shot out to a 5-2 advantage, paced by two kills from Peter. Lewis regrouped with a 3-1 stretch to arrive within one, 6-5. After trading another set of 3-1 spurts, PSU remained up by one, 10-9, before a Lewis service error extended the lead to two, 11-9. Both teams struggled to take control of a steady advantage, as both clubs continued to keep the score knotted up.

Tied at 16-16, Penn State broke away on a 4-1 streak, led by three kills from Goodell to move ahead by three, 20-17. The Flyers called a timeout to break up the momentum, but two more aces from Goodell and a Lewis attack error stretched the PSU advantage to 23-17.

The Flyers made one final attempt to mount a comeback with a kill and an ace, but Aaron made it set point, 24-19 with a kill. Lewis held off the attempt with a block, but another kill from Aaron closed out a 25-20 win in the fourth set to secure a 3-1 victory.

Next up, the Nittany Lions return home from the road to close out the 2014 home slate with a pair of EIVA conference matchups. Penn State hosts Princeton to Rec Hall Friday, March 28 before welcoming George Mason Saturday, March 29 on senior night. First serve for both matches is set for 7 p.m.




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