No. 1 Penn State Downs IPFW, 3-1
FORT WAYNE, Ind.- Behind career nights from senior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) and junior middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.), the top-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team defeated IPFW in four games (30-27, 30-32, 30-28, 30-22) Saturday night in Fort Wayne, Ind. The Nittany Lions improve to 11-1 while the Mastodons fall to 7-4.
Lipsitz led all Lion players with a career-high 22 kills coming on .724 hitting as Holt chipped in 18 kills on .593 hitting. Junior outside hitter Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) tallied 14 kills while senior opposite Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) posted eight kills and redshirt freshman outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) recorded five kills. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .415 clip for the match.
Redshirt freshman setter Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) led the Lions with a career-high 60 assists while sophomore libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) picked up his sixth double-digit dig match of the year with a season-high 15. Goas chipped in eight digs as Sunder picked up six.
Penn State dominated the blocking game, putting up a season-high 19.5 team blocks. Lipsitz provided a season-best 10 stuffs while Holt tied his career high with nine blocks. Goas also set a new career mark with six blocks while Sweitzer posted a season-best five blocks and both Price and Sunder chipped in four stuffs.
The Nittany Lions recorded three service aces, with Sweitzer picking up two and Sunder adding in one.
Darryl Shank led IPFW with 25 kills as Phil Peterson and Ben Duckworth recorded 17 and 15 kills, respectively.
The first stanza remained close throughout, with Penn State going up 15-14 on a Lipsitz and Sunder block. Another Lion stuff out of a television timeout, this one from Sweitzer and Lipsitz, coupled with a Price kill gave the Lions the 17-14 lead but IPFW crept back in to within one at 19-18 on a Duckworth kill. A Holt put-away gave Penn State the two-point cushion at 20-18 before a Lipsitz kill and Lipsitz and Sweitzer block pushed the Nittany Lions ahead 24-21. A Holt kill and a stuff by Holt and Sunder pushed the Penn State advantage to 27-24 but two Mastodon kills by Peterson and Oliver Kook pulled them to within one at 27-26. Out of a Penn State timeout, a Holt kill halted the IPFW run and put the Lions ahead 28-26 and the teams traded points before a Lipsitz kill ended the game, 30-27.
Penn State took the 15-12 lead in the second game on a Holt kill and went up 18-14 on a Price and Holt block, a Lipsitz kill and a Lipsitz and Goas block. The Lions maintained the slight advantage at 21-19 on a Lipsitz kill before the Mastodons fought back to knot the game at 24-24. Four ties ensued before a Sunder kill put Penn State up 28-27. Following a Lion error, another Sunder kill made the score 29-28 but IPFW responded with a kill of its own to tie the game at 29-29. A Penn State attack error put the Mastodons ahead 30-29 but they returned the favor with a service error to knot the score at 30-30. Kook gave IPFW the 31-30 lead with a kill before a Lion attack error gave the game to the Mastodons, 32-30.
IPFW took the early advantage in the third game, going ahead 14-11, but Penn State charged back to tie the game at 15-15 aided by a triple block from Holt, Sweitzer and Sunder along with a Holt put-away. The squads exchanged points twice before a Sunder ace and IPFW attack error gave Penn State the 19-17 lead. The Lions maintained the cushion, going ahead 24-22 on a Holt kill before a Duckworth kill and ace tied the game at 25-25. Holt responded with a kill to put Penn State back on top, 26-25, but two Lion errors swung the momentum to the Mastodons and gave them the 27-26 lead. A Goas kill out of a Penn State timeout evened the score at 27-27 and consecutive Lion kills from Price and Lipsitz put Penn State up 29-27. IPFW's Berg produced a kill to pull the Mastodons within one but a Price put-away ended the stanza, 30-28.
The teams traded points 10 times to start the fourth game before an IPFW attack error and a Sweitzer kill pushed Penn State ahead 13-11. Several Mastodon errors coupled with two Lipsitz and Goas blocks gave the Nittany Lions the 20-16 advantage and another Penn State block, this one from Holt and Sweitzer, made it 23-20. Following an IPFW kill, the Lions rattled off four straight points to take the 27-21 lead before a Holt and Goas block along with a Mastodon attack error gave Penn State the game, 30-22.
The Nittany Lions return home on Wednesday, Feb. 25 to host Saint Francis, before welcoming Lewis on Friday, Feb. 27 at 7:00 p.m. and NJIT on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 2:00 p.m. in the South Gym of Rec Hall.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State men's volleyball 2009 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets At Hershey.
Article courtesy of Penn State athletics.