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No. 8 Men’s Volleyball Sweeps Princeton, Earns Seventh Straight Victory

Eight-ranked men’s volleyball continued its dominant stretch on Friday night in Rec Hall with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-23) win against Princeton, earning its seventh straight victory to remain undefeated in EIVA conference play.

The Lions continue to remain undefeated in the month of March, maintaining a two-game lead in the conference standings.

How It Happened

Penn State and Princeton traded points to start the opening frame, with the Tigers taking an early 11-9 lead. Aaron Russell pulled Penn State ahead with back-to-back aces, 12-11, and after a Princeton kill, the Lions went on a 5-3 run to stay ahead by two points, 17-15. Russell helped widen the margin with two kills and a block to put Penn State ahead by four, 20-16. A service error halted the momentum, but the Nittany Lions tallied four unanswered points to arrive at set point, 24-17. After another attack error and Princeton block, Jalen Penrose put down the final kill to secure set one, 25-19.

Tied 9-9 in set two, Penn State put together a 3-0 stretch to take a 12-9 lead, and never looked back. A Tigers kill pulled Princeton within two, but the Nittany Lions responded with a 5-2 run to pull ahead by six, 17-12. Princeton once again tried to claw its way back with two-straight points, but Penn State shut the door with a commanding 6-4 stretch to move ahead 23-19. The Lions arrived at set point leading by four, 24-20, and after a PSU service error, the Tigers committed one of their own to give Penn State 25-21 win in the second set to lead 2-0.

With the score knotted at 15-15 in the third set, Penn State raced ahead with a 4-1 run capped off by a pair of blocks from Penrose and Matt Seifert to make it 19-16. Princeton would pull within one down the stretch, 21-20, but a Tiger service error gave Penn State a two-point cushion 23-20. The Tigers added a kill to pull closer, but another Princeton error gave Penn State match point, 24-22. Chris Nugent put down the final kill to secure a 25-23 win in the third set to complete the sweep.

Player of the Match

Jalen Penrose. The redshirt freshman was an all-around force, adding 10 kills on .571 hitting to go along with three blocks, two aces and one dig.

Match Notes

  • Aaron Rusell added a team-high 12 kills on.348 hitting and three aces.
  • Redshirt junior Taylor Hammond paced the team to a .356 hitting clip, dishing out 23 assists and collecting a match-high six digs.  Seifert paced the team with four blocks.
  • As a team, the Nittany Lions out-aced the Tigers, 6-4.
  • Princeton collected 28 service errors in the match, compared to just 8 from Penn State.

What’s Next?

Penn State returns to action Saturday afternoon for another conference matchup with NJIT, set for 4 p.m. ET in south gym.

About the Author

CJ Doon

CJ is a senior journalism major from Long Island and Onward State's Sports Editor. He is a third-generation Penn Stater, and his grandfather wrestled for the university back in the 1930s under coach Charlie “Doc” Speidel. Besides writing, one of his favorite activities is making sea puns. You can follow him on Twitter @CJDoon, and send your best puns to [email protected], just for the halibut.

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