No. 7 Mení»s Volleyball Advances To EIVA Final
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., April 26, 2007 ĘC The seventh-ranked and top-seeded Penn State mení»s volleyball team downed fourth-seed Princeton in three games (30-16, 30-22, 30-22) Thursday night to advance to the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) championship match Saturday night at Rec Hall at 7:30 p.m. The Nittany Lions (21-7) will face the Red Flash of Saint Francis University, who defeated George Mason in four games in the first semifinal match.
Penn State improves to 52-3 all-time in the EIVA Championship and 34-1 under head coach Mark Pavlik, advancing to its 12th league championship final match.
Penn State and Saint Francis will square off in the EIVA Championship match for the second consecutive year on Saturday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Rec Hall in a match that will be televised live on CSTV. Penn State students are free with their university ID and tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for youth and $2 per person for groups of 10 or more.
Against Princeton in the semifinal match, senior outside hitter Alex Gutor (Kiev, Ukraine) led all players with 15 kills as sophomore opposite Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) and sophomore middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) each tallied 11 kills, with Holtí»s coming on .625 hitting. Freshman middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) provided eight kills as senior outside hitter Aaron Smith notched four. As a team, Penn State hit .418 in the match while limiting Princeton to hitting .101, including .000 in the third game (7-7-27).
Junior setter Luke Murray (East Petersburg, Pa.) dished out 45 assists and senior libero Ryan Walthall (Irvine, Calif.) notched 10 digs, his 10th double-digit dig match of the year. Smith provided eight digs, one shy of his season high, while Murray posted five and Lipsitz and Gutor tallied four each, a career-best for Lipsitz.
Penn State racked up seven service aces in the match, with Smith, Lipsitz and Murray each recording two and Anderson chipping in one.
The Nittany Lions also claimed the blocking battle, 9.0 to 5.0, led by Murray and Lipsitz with four each and two from Anderson.
Peter Eichler led Princeton with nine kills and 10 digs as Evan Pasion posted six kills.
Penn State opened up an 11-5 lead in the first game behind two Lipsitz service aces, and a block and two kills from Anderson and Holt. A Gutor kill pushed the Lion lead to 18-8 and another Gutor kill coupled with a Murray service ace and back to back Lipsitz kills made it 23-11. An Anderson kill and ace aided Penn State in taking the game, 30-16. Anderson posted five kills in the set as Gutor and Holt both provided four.
Game two remained close early on, with Penn State going ahead 12-8 on kills from Holt and Gutor. A Smith ace helped give the Nittany Lions some momentum as two Lipsitz kills made it 16-11 and back to back Murray put-aways pushed the Lion lead to 22-14. Another Gutor kill gave Penn State the 27-17 advantage before a Holt kill ended the game, 30-22. Lipsitz recorded four kills in the game as Gutor, Holt and Murray all posted three.
An Anderson kill coupled with an Anderson and Lipsitz block put Penn State up 15-8 to start the third game. Two more Anderson put-aways made it 18-11 and a Smith kill pushed the score to 21-13 before an Anderson kill and Murray ace gave the Nittany Lions the 25-17 advantage. Kills from Gutor and Anderson pushed the lead to 27-20 before a Princeton service error ended the game, 30-22. Gutor posted eight kills on .700 hitting in the stanza as Anderson chipped in five put-aways.
In the first EIVA Semifinal match, second-seed Saint Francis took down third-seed George Mason in four games (30-24, 30-22, 27-30, 30-27). EIVA Player of the Year Marc Honore led the Red Flash with 25 kills on .742 hitting (25-2-31) as Jordan Varee pounded 24 and Pete Freyer chipped in 10. Libero Zach Nanni provided 23 digs in the win.
For George Mason, William Price notched 20 kills as Kyle Gramit tallied 17 put-aways.
For more information on the Penn State mení»s volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.