Penn State Men’s Volleyball Enters Crucial Stage of Season
The Penn State men’s volleyball team won two matches last week as the team enters the final portion of their regular season schedule. The Nittany Lions next face three crucial conference matches that will determine their seeding in the EIVA Conference Championship.
Last Friday, Penn State squared off with Ball State for the second time this season, and once again Penn State came away with a sweep. Led by a match-high 17 kills from Joe Sunder, the Nittany Lions won 3-0 (25-18, 36-34, 25-17). Penn State won the match with relative ease, though a wild second set could have gone either way. Tom Comfort continued his run of solid play with nine kills and four aces.
On Saturday, Penn State swept the Mastodons of IPFW, 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-22). The Nittany Lions had a balanced attack that was led by Joe Sunder with 12 kills. Penn State was also aided by 15 serving errors committed by IPFW. Neither team hit well, and each team committed 19 errors in the sloppy match.
With the two victories, Penn State improves to 17-5 on the season. The Nittany Lions have six matches remaining, but the next three are vital. As it stands now, Penn State is leading the EIVA at 7-0. The winner of the EIVA regular season earns a bye in the first round of the tournament and gets to host the semifinal and final rounds. With George Mason just one game behind, Penn State needs to win its upcoming games to remain in first place.
Next weekend, the Nittany Lions will travel to New Jersey for two matches. First, on Friday, Penn State will take on last-place Princeton. Then, on Saturday, Penn State will face Rutgers-Newark. The Nittany Lions beat both of these teams at home earlier in the year, but Rutgers-Newark will be a tough victory, as they have compiled a 9-2 home record this season.
Friday: at Princeton, 7 p.m.
Saturday: at Rutgers-Newark, 7 p.m.