No. 4 Penn State Tops NAIA No. 2 Cal Baptist, 3-0
Long Beach, Calif. - Junior outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) pounded 17 kills on .500 hitting as junior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) chipped in 11 kills on .529 hitting and sophomore middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) posted 12 kills on .750 hitting to help the fourth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team to a three-game win over Cal Baptist (30-21, 30-27, 30-26) Friday night in Long Beach, Calif.
The Nittany Lions improve to 20-1 while the NAIA-power Lancers fall to 9-8. The win also gives head coach Mark Pavlik his 10th consecutive 20-win season.
Penn State attacked at a .371 clip for the match, its 17th match of the year hitting .300 or better. Junior opposite Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) produced nine kills and senior setter Luke Murray (East Petersburg, Pa.) chipped in three kills.
Murray directed the offense with 51 assists and junior Jay Stauffer (Columbia, Pa.) produced a match-high nine digs as freshman libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) provided seven digs and Anderson posted six. Penn State outdug Cal Baptist, 31-24.
The Nittany Lions recorded four service aces while allowing the Lancers two, as Sweitzer notched two winners and Holt and Anderson each tallied one. Holt and Anderson also led the Penn State blocking front, along with Lipsitz and Murray, as they all recorded two blocks in the contest.
An Anderson kill put Penn State up 11-8 to start the match and a Holt and Anderson block pushed the lead to 13-9. A Sweitzer service ace along with Holt and Anderson put-aways extended the advantage to 17-10 and a Stauffer kill made it 21-13. A Sweitzer kill made the score 26-17 and another block by Anderson and Holt gave Penn State the 28-19 lead before kills from Murray and Lipsitz ended the game, 30-21.
The second game remained close throughout, with an Anderson kill giving the Nittany Lions the 14-11 advantage and a Sweitzer kill maintaining the lead at 15-13. A Lipsitz kill to make it 18-16 sparked a three-point Lion run on kills from Sweitzer and Anderson to put Penn State ahead 20-16. Another Sweitzer kill gave the Lions the 23-19 lead but Cal Baptist capitalized on Penn State errors to pull within two at 24-23. Kills from Holt and Murray gave the Lions a three point cushion at 26-23 and a Lipsitz kill made it 28-25 before a Lancer service error ended the game, 30-27.
The third game started much the same as the second, with both teams trading scores several times. Two Lipsitz kills broke the 13-13 stalemate and the Nittany Lions captured the 20-16 lead on kills from Holt and Sweitzer along with a Sweitzer service ace. Penn State kills out of the middle from Holt and Lipsitz gave the Lions the 23-19 advantage and an Anderson kill made it 27-23 before kills from Holt and Sweitzer ended the game, 30-26.
Penn State remains in California, taking on No. 3 Long Beach State on Saturday, March 15 at 7:00 p.m. PT (10:00 p.m. ET) at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif., before returning home to host No. 11 Ohio State and No. 9 Ball State on Friday and Saturday, March 28-29 at Rec Hall.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.
Article courtesy of Penn State athletics.