No. 5 Men's Volleyball Falls To No. 4 USC, 3-1
May 7, 2009
Provo, Utah - - Junior outside hitter Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) had 17 kills on .640 hitting but the fifth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team fell to fourth-ranked USC in four games (30-27, 26-30, 26-30, 24-30) Thursday night in the NCAA Semifinals in Provo, Utah. The Nittany Lions end their season with a 27-4 record.
In addition to Price's offensive output, redshirt freshman outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) posted 14 kills, senior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) pounded 13 kills on .600 hitting and junior middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) collected 11 kills on .400 hitting. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .402 clip for the match.
Redshirt freshman setter Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) dished out 60 assists as Price and sophomore libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) both picked up five digs and senior opposite Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) provided four digs.
Price led all players with five aces as Goas notched two and Holt added in one. Both teams recorded five blocks in the contest, with Holt and Goas each posting three.
Murphy Troy led Southern California with 24 kills on .595 as Tony Ciarelli notched 19 kills and Tri Bourne tallied 13 kills. Riley McKibbin dished out 62 assists as Luke Morris picked up 11 digs. Austin Zahn led the block with four stuffs.
The match started off as a back and forth affair, with four ties before USC took the 7-5 lead. Penn State pulled within one on a monster block from Lipsitz and Goas at 8-7. The Trojans remained on top, going ahead 13-10 on a kill off the block and the teams traded points before a Holt kill along with a Price and Holt block and a Sunder kill out of the backrow tied the game at 14-14. Three ties ensued before a Price kill and ace gave Penn State the 19-17 lead to force a USC timeout. Out of the break, the Nittany Lions remained ahead, going up 23-20 on a Sunder kill and 26-22 on a Lipsitz kill and Trojan service error. A Goas ace continued the run but three consecutive USC kills pulled the Trojans within two at 27-25. Following a Penn State timeout, a monster Price kill from the right side gave the Lions the 28-25 lead. A Trojan kill and Lion attack error pulled USC within on at 28-27 but a Price kill out of the backrow along with a Holt and Sweitzer block gave Penn State the game, 30-27.
The second game picked up where the first one left off, with USC taking the 8-7 lead on a kill. A Lipsitz kill tied the score at 8-8. The teams traded points and a Lipsitz kill and Price ace giving Penn State the 11-9 lead. A Sunder kill made it 12-10 but back to back USC aces evened the game at 12-12. The Trojans took the 15-13 lead heading into the television timeout and remained on top at 16-14 with a block. A Price kill from the right side trimmed the gap to one at 18-17 but a couple of Lion errors along with a USC kill gave the Trojans the 22-19 lead. Out of a Penn State timeout, Sunder went over the block for a kill to bring the Lions within two at 22-20 but USC claimed the next two points to go up 24-21. The Trojans remained ahead, going up 27-22 on a Nittany Lion attack error and two Price aces aided Penn State in pulling within two at 27-25. Following a Lion error, a Lipsitz kill trimmed the gap to two at 28-26 but two USC kills gave it the game, 30-26.
USC started the third game on fire, going up 8-3 before kills from Holt and Price aided Penn State to pulling within four at 11-7, but three Trojan kills pushed them ahead 15-8. The teams traded points five times before a Trojan service error, a Price off-speed kill out of the backrow and a Sunder kill off the block pulled Penn State within four at 20-16. But out of a USC timeout, a Trojan block after an amazing rally along with consecutive Lion hitting errors gave USC the 23-16 lead. The teams exchanged points three more times before a Holt kill and ace along with a Price kill off the block pulled the Nittany Lions within four at 26-22 to force a USC timeout. Out of the break, consecutive Trojan errors brought Penn State within two at 26-24 and the teams traded points before a Sunder kill out of the backrow trimmed the gap to one at 27-26. The Trojans responded with back to back blocks and an ace to take the game, 30-26.
The Trojans went up 4-1 to begin the fourth game but a Lipsitz kill and USC attack error brought the Lions within one at 4-3. The teams traded points three times, with a Sunder kill keeping Penn State within one at 7-6. Two USC kills pushed its advantage to three at 9-6 and Goas responded with a kill before a Holt kill and USC attack error pulled the Lions within one at 10-9. After three more exchanges of points, two Sunder kills tied the game at 13-13 but USC responded with two kills of its own to go up 15-13. A Holt kill trimmed the lead at 15-14 but the Trojans claimed four of the next five points to take the 19-15 lead and force a Penn State timeout. Two more exchanges of points after the timeout coupled with a Goas cross-court ace brought the Lions within three at 21-18 and following a USC kill, a Lipsitz put-away along with a Price ace that split the defenders trimmed the gap to 22-20 and forced a Trojan timeout. Out of the break, a Lion error and USC kill extended the Trojan lead to 24-20 but kills from Sweitzer and Price close the gap to 24-22. USC responded with two kills and an ace to take the 27-22 lead. A Sunder kill pulled the Lions within five at 29-24 but a USC kill ended the game, 30-24.
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.
USC Head Coach- Bill Ferguson-
"Right when Penn State got momentum we were able to take the wind out of their sail."
"We are all about slowing down the ball and that's where we've been making a living this year."
"We have developed a great continuity with our team out there and that's been critical in the last month."
"We knew if we stuck with our game plan we would start winning points."
"We thought we had some favorable matchups and we felt like we were able to exploit them pretty well."
USC Player- Murphy Troy-
Penn State Head Coach- Mark Pavlik-
"We certainly had our opportunities. USC was able to win the long and critical points."
"I don't think the serving issue was due to the altitude. The altitude doesn't make the net higher. I think it just gets in people's heads."
Penn State Player- William Price-
Penn State Player- Max Holt-