Penn State Men¡¯s Volleyball Tops Juniata, 3-0
Click here for stats.
University Park, Pa., Feb. 4, 2003 - The eighth-ranked Penn State men¡¯s volleyball team defeated Juniata in three games (30-24, 30-25, 30-24) to improve to 4-2 on the season and 2-0 in EIVA Tait division play. The Eagles fall to 4-2 on the season and 0-2 in league action.
Senior Carlos Guerra (Tamaulipus, Mexico) tied former Nittany Lion standout Jose Quinones atop the career service ace list in the first game, recording his 99th career ace.
Guerra led the Lions with 12 kills on 19 swings to hit .474 while senior Zeljko Koljesar (Kitchener, Ontario) and Norm Keil (St. James, N.Y.) each chipped in five kills. Penn State outhit Juniata .338 to .250 for the match.
Junior Nate Matthews (Rochester, N.Y.) directed the Lion offense for two games, dishing out 25 assists before freshman Dan O¡¯Dell (Rochester, N.Y.) took over in the third stanza and recorded 11 assists.
Junior libero Ricky Mattei (San Juan, Puerto Rico) notched a match-high seven digs while Matthews posted five. Penn State outdug the Eagles 23 to 13. The Nittany Lions also won the blocking battle 9.5 to 5.0 with junior Keith Kowal (Reading, Pa.) providing five blocks and Guerra adding four.
Penn State jumped out to the 9-4 lead in the first game on a kill from senior Zach Slenker (Dallastown, Pa.). Juniata could not get closer than five points until a block by Chris Jones and Brian Dinning made the score 22-18 in favor of Penn State. The teams traded service errors before a kill by Matthews gave the Lions the 24-19 advantage. A Guerra kill ended the game at 30-24. Guerra led Penn State with seven kills in the stanza and .667 hitting. As a team, the Lions hit .520 to Juniata¡¯s .450, but both squads were plagued by service errors, committing a combined 14 misses.
Game two remained close early before Penn State grabbed the 9-5 lead on a Guerra kill. But Juniata fought back to within one at 17-16 on a kill by Kenny Eiser. The teams traded kills and a Juniata block tied the game at 18-18. The teams again traded points before a Kowal kill gave Penn State the 20-19 advantage. The Lions gained momentum and outscored the Eagles 10-6 for the remainder of the game to win 30-25. Guerra posted five kills in the stanza while Mattei racked up four digs. Guerra and Kowal also both chipped in three blocks apiece. Penn State outhit Juniata .292 to .147 and outblocked the visitors 5.5 to 1.0 for the game.
The third set was much like the second, with the score remaining even early. A Juniata service error allowed the Lions the 11-10 lead, which they held onto until a Penn State attacking error tied the game at 20-20. A kill by freshman Matt Proper (Guys Mills, Pa) broke the tie but Juniata answered with a kill of its own. The teams again traded points before a kill from junior Richard Schneider (Virginia Beach, Va.) gave Penn State the lead for good at 23-22. A kill by junior Josh Mowrey (DuBois, Pa.) ended the game at 30-24. Schneider and Proper pounded four kills each as O¡¯Dell recorded two blocks. Juniata outhit Penn State .233 to .200 but the visitors committed seven service errors to Penn State¡¯s two in the game.
The Nittany Lions host the Penn State Invitational the weekend of Feb. 7-8, taking on Springfield on Feb. 7 at 8:00 p.m. before facing Lewis the following night, also at 8:00 p.m. Fans wearing their ¡°Coast Wars¡± t-shirts from Penn State¡¯s fall match with Pepperdine will be admitted free to the contests. Tickets are $4 for adults and $2 for youth, students and senior citizens. Rutgers-Newark and Lewis will open up play at the Penn State Invitational on Friday at 5:30 p.m. The Scarlet Knights will then face Springfield in the 5:30 p.m. match on Saturday night.
For complete match and season statistics and updates, please visit the men¡¯s volleyball homepage on Penn State¡¯s official athletic website, www.GoPSUsports.com.