No. 6 Men's Volleyball Pounds East Stroudsburg, 3-0
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., April 6, 2007 ĘC The sixth-ranked Penn State mení»s volleyball team pounded East Stroudsburg in three games (30-23, 30-21, 30-18) Friday night at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions improve to 18-6 overall and 11-0 in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association while the Warriors fall to 9-10 and 4-6 in league action.
Prior to the match, seniors Alex Gutor (Kiev, Ukraine), Aaron Smith (Forest, Va.) and Ryan Walthall (Irvine, Calif.) were honored for their contributions to Penn State and the mení»s volleyball program.
Smith fell just shy of his career high in kills with 15 on .545 hitting as Gutor chipped in 10 kills on .500 hitting. Sophomore opposite Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) posted nine kills and sophomore middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) added in eight kills as freshman Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) was perfect on all five of his attacks. As a team, Penn State hit a season-best .500 in the match while limiting East Stroudsburg to hitting .195.
Junior setter Luke Murray (East Petersburg, Pa.) dished out 39 assists and Walthall led all players with seven digs as Gutor provided six and Murray and Smith added four apiece.
Holt blasted four service aces in the match, giving him 47 for the season and a share of the single-season record with Robert Pierce, who also recorded 47 assists in 1989. Holtí»s mark of 47 is the highest in the rally-scoring era and also moves him up to ninth on Penn Stateí»s all-time career service aces chart. Zeljko Koljesar (2000-03) holds the school record with 130 total aces.
Smith, Lipsitz and redshirt sophomore Jay Stauffer (Columbia, Pa.) all also added one service ace in the match.
Penn State outblocked East Stroudsburg 8.5 to 7.5, led by Holt and Lipsitz with four each and Murray with one.
Keith Eckenrode led the Warriors with 10 kills as Jon Daley posted six.
Kills from Anderson and Holt, a Holt service ace and a Lipsitz block gave Penn State the 13-9 lead to start the match. Consecutive put-aways from Smith and Holt extended the lead to 20-12 and the teams traded points several times, with a Gutor kill making it 24-16. A Smith kill pushed the advantage to 27-19 before kills from Anderson and Gutor gave Penn State the game, 30-23. Smith posted five kills in the game as Gutor chipped in four. As a team, the Nittany Lions attacked at a .522 clip (16-4-23).
Game two was much of the same, with a Murray and Lipsitz block giving Penn State the 10-8 lead and back to back Smith kills pushing it to 14-9. Put-aways from Anderson and Smith extended the Lion lead to 17-12 and another Anderson kill made it 23-17. A block from Holt and redshirt sophomore Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) pushed the score to 26-19 before a Sweitzer kill ended the game, 30-21. Smith tallied six kills in the stanza as Penn State sided out at 86% in the game.
Back to back kills from Smith and Holt gave the Nittany Lions the 11-5 advantage to start the third game before a Holt kill and ace combination extended the lead to 14-9. A Holt kill and Smith ace and kill pushed the Penn State advantage to 22-14 and an Anderson put-away made it 26-16 before a Stauffer ace and Anderson kill ended the game, 30-18.
The Nittany Lions take to the road for their final EIVA contest on Saturday, April 7, facing George Mason at 7:00 p.m. in Fairfax, Va. The match marks the annual Uvaldo Acosta Memorial match, held in honor of Patriotí»s mení»s volleyball legend Uvaldo Acosta, who passed away at the age of 32 in a tragic swimming accident on Feb. 12, 1998 on a team trip to Hawaii while he was serving as the head coach of the squad.
For more information on the Penn State mení»s volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.