Penn State Men's Volleyball Falls to Ball State, 3-0
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., Jan. 23, 2004 - The ninth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team dropped to 2-3 for the season with a three-game loss to No. 13 Ball State (26-30, 19-30, 26-30) Friday night in Muncie, Ind.
"We didn't play well," said head coach Mark Pavlik. "We're trying to find an identity as a team and Ball State came out and didn't make mistakes. Keith [Kowal] and Ricky [Mattei] played real well for us, but we just need to find a team personality and correct these problems."
Junior Keith Kowal (Reading, Pa.) posted a match-high 17 kills in the loss, attacking at a .609 clip. Sophomore Matt Proper (Guys Mills, Pa.) chipped in 12 kills while sophomore Nate Meerstein (Pittsburgh, Pa.) added seven. Ball State outhit Penn State, .253 to .210 for the match, including holding the Nittany Lions to a .097 attack percentage in the second game.
Sophomore Dan O'Dell (Rochester, N.Y.) directed the Penn State offense with 44 assists while also leading the team in digs with eight. Senior libero Ricky Mattei (San Juan, Puerto Rico) posted five, as did sophomore Kevin Wentzel (Pittsburgh, Pa.). The Nittany Lions held the 28 to 19 advantage in digs.
The Cardinals dominated the blocking game, 14.0 to 5.0. Kowal led the Lions with three while O'Dell and freshman Aaron Smith (Richmond, Va.) each posted two and Meerstein and freshman Alex Gutor (Irving, Texas) added one apiece.
Penn State remains on the road, facing IPFW on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 7:00 p.m. in Fort Wayne, Ind. The Nittany Lions open up the home slate on Tuesday, Jan. 27 at 7:00 p.m. versus EIVA foe St. Francis at Rec Hall.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.