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March 24, 2009
University Park, Pa. - The eighth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team defeated EIVA foe Juniata in three games (30-24, 30-25, 30-26) Tuesday night in Huntingdon, Pa. The Nittany Lions improve to 18-3 overall and 8-0 in the conference, and need just two more wins to clinch their 25th league title and secure home-court advantage for the EIVA Championship.
Senior opposite Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) led all players with 15 kills on .478 hitting while junior outside hitter Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) contributed 13 kills. Senior middle hitter and EIVA Player of the Week Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) posted seven kills on .667 hitting while junior middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) notched six kills. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .446 clip for the match.
Redshirt freshman setter Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) directed the Lion offense with 44 assists while sophomore libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) and senior outside hitter Jay Stauffer (Columbia, Pa.) both racked up 10 digs. The Nittany Lions outdug the Eagles, 35-16, in the contest.
Each team posted five aces, with Sweitzer notching three and Holt and Stauffer each adding in one. Goas and Holt each provided five blocks and Stauffer chipped in two stuffs as the Nittany Lions recorded 8.5 team blocks.
The first game started off close, featuring nine ties before a kill from redshirt freshman outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) gave Penn State the 14-12 lead. Juniata took the lead behind two aces from Matt Werle and the Eagles remained on top, going up 17-15 on a triple block. The teams traded kills before Lion put-aways from Holt and Lipsitz along with a Juniata attack error gave Penn State the 19-18 lead. The squads exchanged points twice and consecutive Sweitzer kills put the Nittany Lions on top, 23-20. Another Sweitzer kill coupled with a solo Price block and a Juniata attack error gave Penn State the 28-23 lead, and a Holt and Goas block along with another Eagle hitting error ended the game, 30-24.
Penn State went up 10-6 in the second game on a Stauffer ace but Juniata fought back to even the score at 10-10. Seven ties ensued before a Juniata service error and a Price kill put the Nittany Lions up 21-19. Penn State maintained the slight advantage, going up 23-21 on a Lipsitz kill. Juniata responded with a kill and a block, and along with a Lion attack error, the Eagles took the 24-23 lead. Out of a Penn State timeout, a Lipsitz kill evened the score and the teams exchanged points before two Holt kills along with a triple block by Stauffer, Holt and Goas put Penn State ahead 27-25. The Lions continued the run, with kills from Goas and Holt and a Sweitzer ace ending the game, 30-25. Penn State closed out the stanza scoring seven of the last eight points.
The third set again remained close early on, with consecutive Price put-aways giving the Lions the 12-10 lead. A Holt kill and Sweitzer ace made it 16-12 and three straight kills from Goas, Price and Sweitzer pushed the lead to 19-13. Another three-point run, this one on kills from Sweitzer, Price and senior middle hitter Jon Sherrick (Mountville, Pa.), gave the Lions the 23-16 advantage but Juniata pulled within four at 23-19 on a kill and back to back solo Werle blocks. An Eagle error halted the run and the teams traded points twice before a Sweitzer ace gave Penn State a six-point cushion at 27-21. A Sherrick kill ended the game, 30-26.
Penn State returns home, hosting Princeton and Mount Olive on Friday and Saturday, March 27-28 at Rec Hall at 7:00 p.m. ET each night. Saturday's contest with Mount Olive will be Senior Night, recognizing the efforts of the senior class prior to the match.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State men's volleyball 2009 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets At Hershey.