No. 9 Men¡¯s Volleyball Pounds No. 14 George Mason, 3-0
University Park, Pa., Feb 25, 2006 ¨C The ninth-ranked Penn State men¡¯s volleyball team pounded No. 14 George Mason in three games (30-18, 30-24, 30-21) Saturday afternoon to secure first place in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA). The Nittany Lions improve to 9-4 and 6-0 in the league while the Patriots fall to 13-3 and 4-1 in conference action.
¡°I thought we picked up where we left off last night,¡± said head coach Mark Pavlik. ¡°I like what our block was doing, and even though we didn¡¯t block a lot of balls, we forced them to hit 16 balls out of bounds. We made Mason completely change their personality from what they¡¯ve been doing the last 15 matches. If we pass well, it¡¯s tough for any team to beat us. If we¡¯re predictable, yeah, we can be beat.¡±
Senior Matt Proper (Guys Mills, Pa.) led the Lions with 14 kills on .571 hitting as senior Kevin Wentzel (Pittsburgh, Pa.) tallied 11 kills. Freshman Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) posted nine kills as freshman Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) produced eight kills. As a team, Penn State hit .394 while limiting George Mason to hitting .200, including .077 in the third game alone.
Senior setter Dan O¡¯Dell (Rochester, N.Y.) directed the Penn State offense with 43 assists and added four kills on an errorless five attempts to hit .800 for the match, also adding a match-high six digs. Junior libero Aaron Smith (Forest, Va.) tallied five digs for the Lions as Proper and Anderson each chipped in four digs.
George Mason won the blocking battle, 9.0 to 4.0. Proper and Holt led the Lions with three blocks each as Meerstein and junior Alex Gutor (Kiev, Ukraine) both tallied one.
Shaun Powell led the Patriots with 17 kills as Hudson Bates and Matt Steinfurth each chipped in six kills. Bryan Newcomb dished out 33 assists and Powell topped the squad with six digs. Newcomb and Steinfurth topped the squad with five blocks apiece.
Penn State takes to the road to face Division III No. 1 Juniata on March 1 in Huntingdon, Pa. The Nittany Lions return home on March 3 versus Princeton at 7:00 p.m. Admission to the event is free, and all fans will have the opportunity to win tickets to the 2006 National Collegiate Championship, to be held May 4 and 6 at Rec Hall.