Penn State Men's Volleyball Falls to #3 BYU, 3-1
PROVO, Utah, March 8, 2003 - The Penn State men's volleyball team fell to third-ranked BYU in four games (30-27, 27-30, 20-30, 23-30) Friday night in Provo, Utah. The Nittany Lions snap an eight-game winning streak and fall to 13-4 on the season while the Cougars improve to 13-3.
"This was a disappointing loss," said head coach Mark Pavlik. "We played our best volleyball of the year for the first 23 points of the second game, but we lost our poise and the crowd got to us. BYU gained back its confidence and did what they had to do to win."
Senior Carlos Guerra (Tamaulipus, Mexico) led all players with 15 kills while junior Keith Kowal (Reading, Pa.) pounded 14 kills on 22 attempts for a .545 hitting percentage. Seniors Zach Slenker (Dallastown, Pa.) and Zeljko Koljesar (Kitchener, Ontario) added nine and eight kills, respectively, as Penn State recorded 56 team kills to BYU's 53. But the Cougars outhit the Lions .235 to .189 as four BYU players hit above the .200 mark.
Freshman setter Dan O'Dell (Rochester, N.Y.) directed the Nittany Lion offense with 51 assists and junior libero Ricky Mattei (San Juan, Puerto Rico) tallied a season-high 16 digs, one shy of the Penn State single-match rally-scoring era record.
BYU won the blocking battle 19.0 to 15.0, but the total was Penn State's highest blocking output of the season. Junior Norm Keil (St. James, N.Y.) led the Lions with six blocks, including one solo effort, while Kowal, Guerra and O'Dell all added five. BYU's Michael Burke paced the Cougars with nine blocks while six other players posted at least one block for BYU.
Penn State remains in Provo, Utah, to face the Cougars again tonight, Saturday, March 8 at 11:00 p.m. ET. A link to livestats from the match can be found at www.GoPSUsports.com. The Lions then travel to Long Beach State for matches next weekend before returning home to face Ohio State on March 28 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Rec Hall.
Please visit Penn State's official athletic website, www.GoPSUsports.com for updated statistics and news on the Nittany Lion men's volleyball team and Penn State's 28 other sports.