No. 1 Penn State Sweeps Loyola-Chicago
Chicago, Ill. - The top-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team improved to 25-1 for the year with a three-game sweep of Loyola-Chicago (30-21, 30-18, 30-28) Friday in Chicago, Ill. The Nittany Lions close out the regular season Saturday night against IPFW in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Junior outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) led all players with 16 kills on .400 hitting as junior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) contributed 11 kills on .714 hitting. Junior opposite Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) provided 10 kills while sophomore middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) connected on eight of his 11 errorless swings to hit .727. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .455 clip for the match.
Senior setter Luke Murray directed the Lion offense with 43 assists as Anderson, Sweitzer and freshman libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) all provided six digs and junior outside hitter Jay Stauffer (Columbia, Pa.) recorded five. Penn State outdug Loyola-Chicago 28-14.
The Nittany Lions recorded six service aces, with Sweitzer and Stauffer providing two each and Holt and Anderson each notching one. Penn State outblocked the Ramblers, 8.0 to 6.0, led by Stauffer with four blocks, including two solo efforts. Holt recorded two blocks while Murray and Lipsitz each added two stuffs.
A Lipsitz kill and Stauffer ace gave Penn State the 12-7 to start the match and kills from Lipsitz, Anderson and Holt along with solo blocks from Holt and Stauffer extended the lead to 19-12. Two Sweitzer put-aways and another Stauffer solo block pushed the score to 22-12 before an Anderson service ace made it 27-17. A Lipsitz kill ended the game, 30-21.
The second game remained close early on, with a Holt kill putting the Nittany Lions up 14-9. Following a Loyola kill, consecutive Holt put-aways made it 16-10 and kills from Stauffer and Anderson coupled with a Stauffer ace extended the margin to 22-13. A Holt and Murray block put Penn State ahead 25-15. A solo Murray stuff gave the Lions the 26-17 advantage and a Sweitzer kill and block by Holt and Stauffer made it 28-17 before a Rambler service error ended the game, 30-18.
Game three featured 18 ties as a Loyola ace and kill knotted the game at 11-11. The Ramblers went up 18-15 on a block, kill and ace before an Anderson kill halted the run. Following a Loyola kill, Holt and Anderson put-aways, a Rambler attack error and a Sweitzer ace put Penn State back on top, 20-19. Following a Loyola timeout, two Rambler kills from Joe Guntli and a Lion error put Loyola ahead 22-20 before a Holt ace helped the Nittany Lions tie the score at 23-23. Four ties ensued and Penn State kills from Holt and Anderson put the Lions ahead 29-27. A Guntli kill brought the Ramblers within one at 29-28 before a Holt kill ended the game, 30-28.
As the top seed in the EIVA, Penn State earned a bye in the league quarterfinals and Rec Hall will once again host the EIVA Championship on Thursday and Saturday, April 24 and 26. The winner earns the league's automatic berth in the NCAA National Collegiate Championship Semifinal, held on the campus of UC Irvine on Thursday, May 1. The National Championship match will take place on Saturday, May 3.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.
Article courtesy of Penn State athletics.