No. 5 Men's Volleyball Pounds Ball State, 3-0
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., February 16, 2007 ¨C Senior outside hitter Alex Gutor (Kiev, Ukraine) racked up 18 kills and sophomore outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) provided 11 as the fifth-ranked Penn State men¡¯s volleyball team pounded Ball State in three games (30-19, 30-25, 30-22) Friday night at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions improve to 7-2 while the Cardinals fall to 7-5.
¡°I¡¯m really pleased with the outcome of the match from the standpoint that we put together two good practices this week and that translated into the match tonight,¡± said head coach Mark Pavlik. ¡°I wasn¡¯t concerned with the scores at the beginning of the games, I wanted to make sure that Ball State earned its points instead of us giving them away. Overall I was very pleased with the offensive and defensive efforts.¡±
Gutor¡¯s 18 kills came on .483 hitting as Anderson¡¯s came on .450 hitting. Freshman middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) and sophomore middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) both posted seven kills in the win, with Lipsitz attacking at a .600 clip. As a team, Penn State hit .376 while Ball State attacked at a .191 clip.
Junior setter Luke Murray (East Petersburg, Pa.) dished out 41 assists as senior Aaron Smith (Forest, Va.) led all players with seven digs and senior libero Ryan Walthall (Irvine, Calif.) posted six digs.
The Nittany Lions dominated the serving game, racking up a season-high 10 service aces while committing only 12 errors. Gutor racked up a career-high five aces, one shy of the rally-scoring-era record, as Holt posted a career-high four aces.
Penn State outblocked Ball State, 10.0 to 6.5, led by Holt with a season-high-tying six and Murray with a season-best five as Lipsitz posted three and Anderson added two.
Nick Meyer led the Cardinals with 12 kills as Matt McCarthy, Mark Rumschik and Todd Chamberlain all added six kills. The match started out even, with a Gutor kill and Ball State attack error giving the Lions the 11-6 lead. Penn State continued to build up points, going ahead 18-10 on an Anderson kill and 22-12 on a block by Lipsitz and Gutor. A solo Smith block pushed the Lion lead to 28-17 before a Gutor kill ended the game, 30-19. Gutor ranked up eight kills in the game on .700 hitting as Holt posted three blocks.
Ball State began the second game out in control, going up 11-8 on a kill from Nick Meyer. But aided by back to back Anderson kills, Penn State fought back to knot the game at 12-12 and three blocks by Murray and Holt helped the Lions go up 15-13. Another block, this one by Anderson and Lipsitz, gave Penn State the 19-15 lead and a Holt kill put the Lions ahead 23-20. A Lipsitz kill made it 27-23 before Lipsitz and Gutor kills ended the game, 30-25. Holt and Anderson each notched five kills in the stanza.
Two kills from Gutor and another from Lipsitz gave Penn State the 13-7 lead to start the third game before a Smith kill made it 17-10 and an Anderson kill pushed it to 20-14. A Holt ace extended the lead to 22-14 and back to back Gutor aces made the score 28-16. A kill by redshirt sophomore Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) put the Lions up 29-17 before a kill from redshirt sophomore Jay Stauffer (Columbia, Pa.) ended the game, 30-22. Gutor posted six kills as Smith, Lipsitz and Anderson each tallied three kills in the stanza.
Penn State takes to the road, traveling to EIVA opponent Princeton on Friday, Feb. 23 at 7:00 p.m.