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March 31, 2012
FAIRFAX, Va. - After losing the first set, the eighth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball rallied for a 3-1 (21-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-20) victory at George Mason (8-14, 4-5 EIVA). Redshirt senior Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) paced the Nittany Lions (18-3, 11-0 EIVA) with 46 assists, three aces and five blocks as one of the top players for PSU.
Freshman Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) and sophomore Jace Olsen (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) posted 12 kills apiece. Redshirt freshman Nick Goodell (Ambridge, Pa.) and redshirt senior Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) each tallied nine. Sunder and redshirt freshman Connor Curry (Newport Beach, Calif.) led the squad on defense with 11 digs each. Aaron Russell joined Goas as a leader at the net with five blocks.
Penn State hit .376 against the Patriots and totaled 55 kills, five aces, 38 digs and 9.0 team blocks. George Mason finished the match with a .194 attack percentage and 42 kills, five aces, 33 digs and 8.0 team blocks.
The Nittany Lions trailed from the start of the first set, but midway through the frame the teams were neck-and-neck at 10-10. A 3-0 run for a 13-10 lead by the Patriots had Penn State calling a timeout. The Nittany Lions were unable to recover and were soon behind by six, 21-15, after three errors and a George Mason ace. A second Penn State timeout slowed the Patriots enough to allow Penn State to fight to within three with two blocks, 21-18. George Mason used a timeout and managed to hold of the Nittany Lions for a 25-21 win.
Penn State grabbed a 5-1 lead to start the second set and George Mason used an early timeout. The Patriots narrowed the gap to two, 6-4, but Penn State was leading by six at the midway point, 14-8. George Mason called another timeout and used three kills and an ace to come within four, 16-12. The Nittany Lions and Patriots traded points for the remainder of the set with the Patriots unable to come any closer than five points. Penn State won the stanza, 25-19.
The Nittany Lions grabbed the lead to start set three and was leading 11-7 when George Mason called a timeout. The Patriots failed to slow the Lions and thanks to three kills by Aaron Russell and a block by Sunder and junior Nick Turko (Lewisberry, Pa.), Penn State was leading 17-11. A service error by the Lions handed the ball to the Patriots to make it 17-12 in favor of the Nittany Lions. The Patriots managed only four additional points as Sunder helped close out the set in Penn State's favor with three kills, 25-16.
The fourth and final set was close from the start until three straight George Mason errors allowed Penn State to jump out in front, 14-11. George Mason called a timeout, but Penn State maintained its advantage thanks to a strong offensive push, including two Olsen kills and a Goas ace. With Penn State leading 19-14, George Mason headed to the bench a second time. The Patriots, however, were unable to come any closer than four points for the remainder of the set as Penn State ran away with a 25-20 victory.
The Nittany Lions return home after their seven-match road trip on April 6-7 when they host Sacred Heart and Harvard at Rec Hall.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State men's volleyball 2012 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.
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