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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Chris Nugent's match point kill lifted No. 13 Penn State (14-9, 6-2) to a pulsating 3-2 victory over No. 1 Ohio State (23-2, 12-0) Tuesday night in historic Rec Hall.
Tonight's win over Ohio State marks the first time Penn State has defeated the No. 1 team in the nation since May 4, 2006 when the Nittany Lions upset the then-No. 1 UC-Irvine Anteaters in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship tournament in Rec Hall.
"When you come into a match with the Buckeyes, you know it's going to be a pretty physical match, " said head coach Mark Pavlik.
"You know that they're going to be taking great swings, and you know that they're going to be teeing off from behind the service line," Pavlik continued.
Entering the fifth set tied 2-2, Penn State bolted to a 2-0 advantage in the deciding fifth game with a kill by Albrecht and an attack error by the Buckeyes. Ohio State tried to find their way back early in the set; but, Penn State forced a Buckeye timeout as the Nittany Lions earned another set of back-to-back points to take a 6-3 lead.
Nugent provided the eighth-point of the set giving Penn State an 8-4 lead and triggering the switch of sides'. Ohio State battled back as came within one point of Penn State, forcing the Nittany Lions to take a timeout while leading 8-7.
Tied at 10-10, the teams preceded to trade points before Albrecht and Nugent dished out consecutive kills to give Penn state a 14-12 lead and force Ohio State's second and final timeout of the set.
The timeout did not hinder the Nittany Lions, as Nugent was able to find his 19th kill of the match, giving Penn State a 3-2 win over Ohio State.
Three different Nittany Lions tallied double figure kills in tonight's match. Nugent posted 19 kills while redshirt junior Aidan Albrecht finished second on the team with 14 kills. Redshirt junior Jalen Penrose followed to finish third with 10 kills.
Freshman Nathan Smith recorded a double-double performance with 39 assists and 10 digs for the Blue and White.
Penn State out-dug the Buckeyes 42 to 35, led by a match-high and career-high 10 digs from freshman Nathan Smith. Redshirt sophomore libero Royce Clemens and Nugent tied for the second highest dig total on the team with eight digs apiece.
Tonight's win moves the Nittany Lions' overall record up to 14-9 and 8-7 in non-conference play.
The teams met once earlier this season, with Ohio State capturing a 3-0 win on January 24, 2017 in Columbus, OH.
Penn State returns to action this weekend as they host Princeton Tigers Friday Night, followed by a Saturday night match against the Highlanders of NJIT at Rec Hall. Both matches are slated for a 7 p.m. serve.
For more on Nittany Lion men's volleyball, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateMVBall