No. 1 Penn State Pounds NJIT, 3-0
University Park, Pa. - The top-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team improved to 18-0 overall and 9-0 in the EIVA with a three-game sweep (30-20, 30-24, 30-22) of NJIT on Saturday night in the South Gym of Rec Hall.
Junior outside hitter Matt Anderson (West Seneca, N.Y.) posted a match-high 16 kills on .520 hitting while junior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) and junior opposite Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) each contributed 11 kills, with Holt's coming on .667 hitting and Sweitzer's coming on .450 hitting. Sophomore middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) chipped in seven kills without an error on 10 swings to hit .700. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .481 clip, including hitting .682 (17-2-22) in the third game.
Senior setter Luke Murray (East Petersburg, Pa.) directed the offense with 43 assists and Anderson led the squad with eight digs as freshman libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) picked up seven digs and junior outside hitter Jay Stauffer (Columbia, Pa.) tallied five.
Penn State outblocked NJIT, 9.5 to 3.0, led by Holt with five, Sweitzer with four and Lipsitz, Anderson and Murray with three apiece. Holt and Stauffer each added in one service ace for the Lions.
Amobi Armstrong led the Highlanders with 12 kills as Leonardo Paludo chipped in nine kills.
NJIT jumped out to the quick 6-2 lead to start the match but Penn State fought right back to even the game at 8-8 on a Highlander attack error. The teams traded points six times before an Anderson kill and NJIT hitting error gave the Nittany Lions the 16-14 lead and sparked a 10-1 run to put Penn State on top 24-15. Kills from Sweitzer and Anderson pushed the lead to 27-17 before a Murray kill ended the game, 30-20. Anderson and Holt each had four kills in the game while Sweitzer posted three. Penn State attacked at a .542 clip in the stanza.
The second game remained close early on, with a Holt and Murray block giving Penn State the 13-8 lead. Consecutive Anderson and Sweitzer kills coupled with a Lipsitz and Sweitzer block pushed the advantage to seven at 18-11 and a Lipsitz kill made it 21-13. A Murray kill gave Penn State the 25-19 lead and a Stauffer put-away made it 27-20 before a Lion triple block from Lipsitz, Sweitzer and Anderson ended the game, 30-24. Anderson and Sweitzer both contributed six kills in the stanza, both on better than .400 hitting.
Penn State took the 10-5 lead on an Anderson kill and back to back NJIT hitting errors to start the third game. Consecutive Lion triple blocks from Murray, Anderson and Holt pushed the score to 17-8 and Anderson and Lipsitz kill gave Penn State the 20-13 lead. Two more Lion kills, this time from Holt and Sweitzer, put Penn State up 24-17 and Anderson and Lipsitz put-aways extended the cushion to 28-21 before an NJIT hitting error ended the game, 30-22. Anderson and Holt both recorded six kills on .625 hitting in the game as Penn State hit .682 in the stanza as a team, (17-2-22).
The Nittany Lions take to the road to face George Mason and Princeton next weekend, March 7-8. Penn State then heads west to take on Cal Baptist and No. 2 Long Beach State on March 14-15 in Long Beach, Calif., before returning home to host No. 10 Ohio State and No. 14 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.