Penn State Men's Volleyball Downs Ball State, 3-0
MUNCIE, Ind., March 23, 2003 - The Penn State men's volleyball team avenged a four-game loss earlier in the season by sweeping Ball State in three games (30-26, 30-26, 30-28) Sunday night in Muncie, Ind. The Nittany Lions improve to 16-5 while the Cardinals fall to 13-7.
"This match went better than expected," said head coach Mark Pavlik. "We had comfortable leads at the end of each game and we withstood Ball State's final rallies. All in all, it was a good win and a good sign of how we're playing."
The three-game win marks the first time since Jan. 9, 1998, that Penn State has won the meeting in straight sets.
Senior Carlos Guerra (Tamaulipus, Mexico) led all players with 18 kills while hitting .452 and senior Zeljko Koljesar (Kitchener, Ontario) added 13 kills, hitting .526. Junior Keith Kowal (Reading, Pa.) and senior Zach Slenker (Dallastown, Pa) chipped in nine and eight kills, respectively. As a team, Penn State outhit Ball State .388 to .242.
Freshman setter Dan O'Dell (Rochester, N.Y.) led the Lion offense with 49 assists while Guerra and junior libero Ricky Mattei (San Juan, Puerto Rico) both tallied a match-high seven digs. Penn State outdug the Cardinals 24 to 20.
The Nittany Lions also outblocked Ball State 10.0 to 7.0, led by seven blocks by Kowal. Koljesar and Guerra both added three blocks while O'Dell and junior Norm Keil (St. James, N.Y.) chipped in two blocks apiece.
The Lions remain on the road, traveling to Juniata on Wednesday, March 26 for a 7:00 p.m. match. The contest can be heard in the State College area on WMAJ 1450 AM or on the web at www.GoPSUsports.com. Penn State returns to Rec Hall on March 28 to face Ohio State in a 7:30 p.m. match. That contest can also be heard on 1450 AM and on the web.