No. 4 Penn State Falls To No. 9 BYU, 3-2

3/13/2009

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LONG BEACH, Calif. - The fourth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team dropped a five-game heartbreaker to No. 9 BYU Friday night in Long Beach, Calif. (30-21, 27-30, 24-30, 30-28, 11-15). The Nittany Lions fall to 15-2 while the Cougars improve to 10-8.
 
Junior outside hitter Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) led the Lions with 16 kills as senior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) posted 13 kills, junior middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) recorded 12 kills on .440 hitting, redshirt freshman outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) notched 11 kills and senior opposite Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) tallied 10 kills. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .276 clip while Brigham Young hit .262.
 
Redshirt freshman setter Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) directed the offense with 55 assists and added in four kills as Price led the defense with 10 digs. Sophomore libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) chipped in nine digs as Sweitzer recorded seven.
 
Penn State narrowly claimed the blocking battle, 9.5 to 8.5. Lipsitz led the blocking list with a match-high seven stuffs and Price posted four stuffs while Holt, Sweitzer and Sunder all added in two blocks. Holt also led the way with two aces.
 
Andrew Stewart led BYU with 20 kills as Kevin Sagers posted 14 kills. Yamil Perez dished out 52 assists and Joel Silva picked up 15 digs while Russell Lavaja notched five blocks for the Cougars.
 
Penn State took the early 3-1 lead in the fifth and decisive game on a Goas ace but BYU used three straight kills to jump ahead 4-3. A Lipsitz kill knotted the game at 4-4 before two Cougar kills and a Lion error put BYU ahead 7-4. A Lipsitz kill and Holt and Sunder block pulled Penn State within one at 7-6 and the teams traded points four times before a Nittany Lion attack error gave the Cougars the 12-10 advantage. Out of a Penn State timeout the teams traded points before two Steward kills gave BYU the game, 15-11.
 
Kills from Price and Goas broke the 8-8 stalemate to start the match before kills from Sunder and Holt aided Penn State in going ahead 17-11. Penn State remained in control for the rest of the stanza, going up 23-16 on a Sweitzer and Lipsitz block along with a Price ace before a Lipsitz and Price kill ended the game, 30-21.
 
The second game remained even throughout, with a Cougar error tying the set at 12-12. BYU jumped ahead 18-13 behind two blocks before Penn State responded with kills from Holt and Price along with two Holt aces to even the score at 21-21. The teams traded points five times before the Cougars used a three-point run to go up 28-25. A Sweitzer kill halted the run and pulled the Lions within two at 28-26 and the teams traded points before a Penn State error ended the game, 30-27.
 
BYU claimed the early lead in the third game and held it throughout the stanza, going up 14-11 on a Lion error and 22-18 on back to back kills from Kevin Sagers. Two Penn State errors and a Cougar ace gave them the 26-19 lead before an ace and kill ended the game, 30-24.
 
Penn State fought back in the fourth set, evening the score at 14-14 on a Sweitzer ace and going up 18-17 on a Price kill. A Sunder kill made it 22-20 before two BYU errors gave the Lions the 26-23 lead. A Price kill made it 27-24 and the teams traded points several times before a Sweitzer kill and Cougar attack error gave Penn State the game, 30-28. 
 
Penn State remains on the West Coast, facing No. 7 Long Beach State on Saturday, March 14 at 7:00 p.m. PT (10:00 p.m. ET) at the Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. The Nittany Lions then return home to host IPFW and Loyola on March 20-21.
 
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.

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