Men's Volleyball Defeats Saint Francis in Five

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Junior Aaron Russell (picutred) led the squad with 11 kills along with Nick Goodell

Junior Aaron Russell (picutred) led the squad with 11 kills along with Nick Goodell

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Oct. 17, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's volleyball team opened its 2013 fall tournament with a close five set victory (25-21, 22-25, 25-19, 22-25, 15-13) against Saint Francis at home in Rec Hall Thursday evening.

Redshirt junior Nick Goodell, junior Aaron Russell and sophomore Andrew Roberts all tallied double-digit kills in the win, led by Russell and Roberts, who each notched 11 kills apiece. Goodell followed close behind with 10 kills, adding a team-high two aces. Sophomores Matt Callaway and Spencer Sauter tied for first on the team in blocks with two each, while Callaway added six kills on a .600 hitting clip. Redshirt junior Connor Curry led the squad with 14 digs.

The Nittany Lions and the Red Flash opened the first set battling from the start, as the opening frame featured a total of 17 ties. Both clubs traded the lead throughout the first half of the match until a Saint Francis rotation error gave Penn State a two-point edge, 14-12. Pulling away, PSU built a three-point advantage, 23-20, after Russell and redshirt sophomore Taylor Hammond tallied a pair of kills in between a ball handling error on Saint Francis. Goodell and Russell followed a Red Flash kill with two straight kills of their own to secure a 25-21 win in set one.

Trailing by three, 16-13 in set two, Penn State attempted to spark some momentum with a kill from Sauter. Unable to take control, the Nittany Lions continued to fight, battling within one, 22-21, after another kill from Sauter. The Red Flash answered back with a 3-1 spurt to finish off the set, 25-22, to tie the match, 1-1.

After trailing again early in set three, 10-8, Penn State used a 3-1 streak to tie the set, 11-11, but a Nittany Lion service error put Saint Francis back on top. After knotting the frame seven more times, Penn State broke open an 18-all mark with a 6-0 run to go up by as many as six, 24-18. The Red Flash halted the momentum with a kill, but Sauter pounded a kill to give the Nittany Lions a 25-19 win in the third set.

Holding on to a narrow two-point advantage in the fourth stanza, 11-9, Saint Francis continued to chip away at the lead. Despite eight more ties in the period, the Nittany Lions did not surrender the lead, bolstering it to two once more, 20-18, following a kill from Kyle Gregan and a Red Flash attack error. Rebounding, Saint Francis crept within one 22-21, before rattling off the next four consecutive points for a 25-22 victory in set four, forcing the match into a fifth set.

Penn State and Saint Francis kept it close early in the fifth set, as neither team could move ahead with a steady advantage. Tied at 10-10, PSU used a 3-0 strike to claim a three-point lead, 13-10. Saint Francis answered back with two points to cut the advantage to one, 13-12, but Roberts and Matt Seifert paired up for two kills to give the Nittany Lions a 15-13 win in the final set and the match.

Penn State returns to action tomorrow evening taking on Dalhousie tomorrow evening, Friday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Rec Hall.



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