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April 21, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The No. 7 Penn State men's volleyball team defeated EIVA Saint Francis, 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-23) on Senior Night. The Nittany Lions honored the team's four seniors prior to the match.
Redshirt senior Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) led the Lions with 12 kills, while freshman Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) was second on the team with seven. Redshirt senior Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) dished out 28 assists. He was relieved by senior Tor Covello (Yardley, Pa.) who tallied six assists in the third set. Goas also tied for first on the team with three aces and was second on the team with eight digs. Redshirt freshman Connor Curry (Newport Beach, Calif.) totaled 10 digs and Sunder led PSU in blocks with three.
Penn State hit .283 for the match and had 43 kills, 10 aces, 37 digs and 6.5 team blocks. Saint Francis (12-15, 7-7 EIVA) recorded a .237 hitting percentage with 28 kills, one ace, 23 digs and 5.0 team blocks.
The Nittany Lions opened the match taking an 8-4 lead, but a 4-0 run by the Red Flash had the score tied at 8-8. The teams stayed neck-and-neck until well past the midpoint of the set. A SFU service error and a Sunder kill moved Penn State ahead by two, 16-14. Penn State's lead slowly grew to four, 20-16 before a Russell kill and a Goas ace had PSU leading, 22-17. Saint Francis called a timeout and closed the gap the three, 22-19. However, a block and a kill by Sunder had PSU at set point, 24-19. The Nittany Lions tallied a service error before Russell pounded a kill for a 25-20 set one win.
Penn State once again took an 8-4 lead to start the second frame and Saint Francis called a timeout. Saint Francis was able to work to within one, 11-10, but a 5-1 Penn State run had the Lions with a 16-11 lead. SFU's John Skarupa ended the run, but kills by juniors Tom Comfort (Orchard Park, N.Y.) and Nick Turko (Lewisberry, Pa.) pushed Penn State's lead to five, 18-13. The Red Flash used its second timeout, but a Sunder kill and a Comfort ace increased the Lions' lead to seven, 20-13. The Red Flash scored three of its final four points off of Penn State service errors, but still trailed by seven when the Nittany Lions were at set point, 24-17. Senior Ryan Wolf (York, Pa.) closed out the set with a kill for 25-17 victory.
Despite the Nittany Lions grabbing an 8-3 lead to start the third stanza, by midway through the frame the score was knotted at 12-12. A Wolf kill and a Goas ace pushed Penn State into the lead by two, 14-12. Saint Francis stayed close, never letting the Lions get more than three points ahead. With Penn State leading 19-16, the Red Flash called a timeout and fought to within one, 20-19. A kill by Wolf gave Penn State a two-point cushion. Saint Francis' Alex Kane traded kills with redshirt freshman Nick Goodell (Ambridge, Pa.), which kept the Nittany Lions narrowly in the lead, 23-21. Logan Patterson put down a kill for the Red Flash before a Sunder kill had Penn State at match point, 24-22. SFU's Adam Barba scored the Red Flash's final point before Goodell registered a kill to win the set, 25-23, and the match.
Penn State (20-5, 14-0 EIVA) will host the EIVA Championship on April 26-28 at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions are the No. 1 seed and will take on fourth-seeded Princeton, who defeated George Mason Saturday evening to secure a spot in the tournament, at 7:30 p.m. on April 26. Harvard earned the No. 2 seed and will face third-seeded George Mason in the earlier match at 5:30 p.m. The winners of both matches will place in the championship match at 7 p.m. on April 28 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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