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