Penn State Men's Volleyball Defeats Juniata, 3-2
Huntingdon, Pa., March 23, 2004 - The eighth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team topped Juniata in five games (30-32, 30-32, 30-26, 30-25, 15-10) to improve to 13-6 for the season and 6-0 in EIVA Tait division play. The Eagles fall to 11-4 and 5-3 in conference action.
Junior Keith Kowal (Reading, Pa.), the Sports Imports/AVCA National Player of the Week, led the Lions with 20 kills and sophomore Nate Meerstein (Pittsburgh, Pa.) recorded a career-high 19 kills on 25 attempts with one error to hit .720 in the match. Sophomore Kevin Wentzel (Pittsburgh, Pa.) added 15 kills and sophomore Matt Proper (Guys Mills, Pa.) notched nine. For the match, the Nittany Lions outhit the Eagles, .423 to .306.
Sophomore setter Dan O'Dell (Rochester, N.Y.) directed the Penn State offense with 69 assists and added six kills and a team-high 13 digs and Meerstein recorded a career-high seven digs. Senior libero Ricky Mattei (San Juan, Puerto Rico) tallied nine digs to surpass Ramon Hernandez (1991-94) for first on the all-time career dig chart. Mattei now holds the record with 824 career digs.
Penn State won the blocking battle, 11.5 to 8.0, led by Meerstein with seven and O'Dell, Wentzel and Proper with four each.
The Nittany Lions visit Rutgers-Newark on March 26 and then travel to Princeton on March 27 before returning home on March 30 to face Big Ten-foe Ohio State at 7:00 p.m. at Rec Hall.
Please visit www.GoPSUsports.com for more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team.