No. 4 Men's Volleyball Pounds Mercyhurst, 3-0
University Park, Pa., March 18, 2005 - Behind 11 kills from junior Matt Proper (Guys Mills, Pa.), the fourth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team pounded Mercyhurst in three games (30-23, 30-17, 30-16) in an hour and 13 minutes. The Nittany Lions improve to 18-3 while the Lakers fall to 7-9.
Junior Nate Meerstein (Pittsburgh, Pa.) connected on nine of his errorless 11 attempts to hit a season-high .818 while junior Kevin Wentzel (Pittsburgh, Pa.) posted eight kills and sophomore Aaron Smith (Richmond, Va.) collected six kills. As a team, Penn State hit a season-high .600 (42-6-60) while holding Mercyhurst to a .062 hitting percentage.
Junior setter Dan O'Dell (Rochester, N.Y.) directed the offense for a game and a half, dishing out 20 assists before handing control over to freshman Luke Murray (East Petersburg, Pa.), who directed the offense with 16 assists.
Smith led the Lions with five digs while freshman libero Gary Vogel (Lancaster, Pa.) notched three digs and Proper chipped in two. As a team, Penn State outdug the Lakers 15 to 10.
Penn State also dominated the blocking battle, 11.0 to 2.5. Meerstein led all players with five blocks as Proper, Murray and senior Keith Kowal (Reading, Pa.) each notched three stuffs and Wentzel, Smith and sophomore Kyle Masterson (South Barrington, Ill.) all chipped in two. The 11-block output marks Penn State's 19th double-digit blocking match of the year. The only two contests in which the Nittany Lions failed to reach the plateau were versus IPFW on Feb. 18 (7.0 team blocks) and versus Springfield on Feb. 26 (9.5 team blocks).
Mercyhurst was led by Dave Schmidl with 13 kills as Dan Kick directed the offense with 30 assists. Kick and Dennis Telaak each collected three digs as Schmidl led the team with two blocks.
Penn State remains at home, hosting Ball State on Saturday, March 19 at 7:00 p.m. in the south gym of Rec Hall, due to a conflict with women's gymnastics in the main gym at the same time. Gametracker will not be available for this match.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.