University Park, Pa. – January 31, 2009 – The top-ranked Penn State men’s volleyball team defeated Springfield in three games (30-28, 30-22, 30-28) Saturday night at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions improved to 7-0 and 3-0 in the EIVA while the Pride falls to 4-1 and 0-1 in the conference.
Junior outside hitter Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) led all players with 17 kills on .406 hitting as senior opposite Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) notched 15 kills. Redshirt freshman outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) posted eight kills on .583 hitting while junior middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) and senior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) contributed five and four kills, respectively.
Redshirt freshman setter Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) dished out 42 assists and added in three kills as sophomore libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) provided a match-high 14 digs as Price and Sunder each added in four.
For the Pride AJ Nally had a standout game with 17 kills, hitting .314, to go along with four blocks, while Mark Riberio chipped in with 10 kills. Eric Shoemaker paced the Pride attack with 38 assists. Ryan Fredrickson added nine kills in the loss.
The first set featured nine ties and three lead changes as two Price kills and a Sweitzer put-away gave Penn State the 14-10 lead. Springfield pulled within two at 15-13 on a block by Andy Sipe and AJ Nally. The teams traded kills before a Pride kill and block tied the game at 15-15. Three ties ensued before a Lipsitz put-away, a Springfield attack error and a Sweitzer kill put the Lions up 21-18. Penn State maintained the slight advantage, going ahead 23-21 on a Lipsitz kill and 26-24 on a price kill before Pride put-aways from Mark Ribeiro and Ryan Fredrickson evened the score at 26-26. The teams traded points before a Price kill and Springfield hitting error put Penn State ahead 29-27 and another Price kill ended the game, 30-28. Price led the Lions with six kills as Lipsitz and Sweitzer both added in five and Sunder posted four. As a team, Penn State attacked at a .567 clip with 20 kills, while the Pride were equally impressive hitting .515 with 19 kills.
Penn State jumped out to the early 8-1 lead behind a Sweitzer, Lipsitz and Price block, kills from Goas and Sweitzer and five Springfield errors. Two Pride kills and two Lion errors pulled Springfield within two at 8-6 before a Lipsitz and Sweitzer block and put-aways from Sunder and Sweitzer pushed Penn State ahead 11-6. Two Price kills aid the Lions in taking the 19-12 lead before a Sweitzer kill extended the score to 22-16. A Sweitzer ace and Holt kill made it 24-18 and kills from Goas, Holt and Price pushed the lead to 28-20 before a Springfield service error ended the game, 30-22.
Springfield took the 7-5 lead in the third game on an Sipe kill and the teams traded points three times before two Pride overpass kills put Springfield up 12-8 and forced a Penn State timeout. Out of the break, the teams traded points twice before a Holt and Sweitzer block and a Holt overpass kill pulled Penn State within two at 14-12. The squads exchanged points three times before a Sweitzer kill brought the Lions within one at 17-16 and forced a Springfield timeout. Out of the break, two Pride kills and a Lion attack error put Springfield up 20-16 but Price responded with a kill off the block to trip the gap to three at 20-17. A Price kill out of the backrow after a long rally, a Sherrick and Stauffer block and two Springfield errors gave Penn State the 21-20 lead. A Springfield kill knotted the score at 21-21 and four ties ensued, with a Goas, Price and Holt block tying the game at 25-25. The squads traded points twice more, as a Sweitzer kill tied the game at 27-27. A Penn State attack sailed long but a Springfield blocker was in the net, resulting in a point and a 28-27 lead for the Nittany Lions. Out of a Pride timeout, a Lion attack error knotted the score at 28-28 but a Springfield service error gave Penn State the 29-28 lead and a Pride attack that sailed wide gave the Nittany Lions the game 30-28. Penn State takes to the road next week to face Springfield on Sat., Feb. 7 at 7:00 p.m.