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No. 3 Penn State Men’s Volleyball Dominates Purdue Fort Wayne 3-0

No. 3 Penn State men’s volleyball (17-2, 4-0 EIVA) swept Purdue Fort Wayne (12-8, 3-4 MIVA) in the final match of the Outrigger Challenge. The Nittany Lions took care of business against the Mastodons after knocking off number-one-ranked Hawaii the night before.

The Nittany Lions torched the Mastodons on the stat line in a quick and decisive win. Penn State had double the kills of Purdue Fort Wayne and hit an impressive .507 en route to the victory. Cal Fisher dialed up 15 kills, including eight in the opening set. He also had three aces from the service line.

How It Happened

Fisher started the first set right where he left off the night before, recording the first kill of the night. Toby Ezeonu and Fisher notched back-to-back kills to give the Nittany Lions a 5-3 lead. Each team traded service errors, with Brett Wildman among the players to do so. Wildman’s error tied it up at 11.

Penn State followed that up with four straight points before Purdue Fort Warne head coach Ryan Perrotte called a timeout. Another Fisher kill brought the score to 20-14 in set one. Three more kills from Fisher finished things off in set one to give the Nittany Lions a 25-15 edge.

Wildman started off the second set with the hot hand, recording two kills early for a 3-1 advantage for the Nittany Lions. Carlos Mercado got a kill for Purdue Fort Wayne to get a point back. However, Michael Valenzi rocketed an ace that fell between two Mastodon players, making it an 8-3 game.

Valenzi dialed up another ace after the timeout and all of a sudden Penn State had stretched out a 19-9 lead in set two. More attacking errors by Purdue Fort Wayne hurt the Mastodons, and it was becoming a rout in Honolulu. Cal Fisher once again finished things off with a kill, winning the set 25-11.

Wildman scored his first ace of the match to start off set three and open up a 2-0 lead for the Nittany Lions. Hunter Clasen buried home a kill for the Mastodons, making it a 7-5 set three, still in favor of Penn State. Bryce Walker closed the gap a bit more and made it a one-point set with a kill of his own.

A Valenzi kill extended the lead to 12-9 for Penn State, which was aiming for the sweep over the Mastodons. Mercado was unable to block a Wildman strike, and the Nittany Lions’ lead was 16-12. Two more points for Mark Pavlik’s squad forced a timeout called by Purdue Fort Wayne.

Back-to-back attacking errors were committed by the Mastodons, making the score 21-13 with Penn State on the brink of sweeping the match. Purdue Fort Wayne called one more timeout in desperation to stop the momentum of the Nittany Lions.

Owen Rose dialed up a kill from his middle hitter position out of the timeout, and the score was 23-15. The man of the match, Fisher, ended the set and the match with his left hand and another kill. Penn State won the set 25-16 and the match 3-0.

Takeaways:

  • If you were expecting a sluggish start from the Nittany Lions after a quick turnaround and emotional win, that just didn’t happen. Penn State started hot and stayed hot against Purdue Fort Wayne and took care of business.
  • Cal Fisher proved once again why he is the leader of this squad. He showed no let-up after the win over Hawaii and dominated all night, especially in set one against the Mastodons.

What’s Next

Penn State will return home to take on Saint Francis at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 18, at Rec Hall.

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About the Author

CJ Gill

CJ is a sophomore from McVeytown, Pennsylvania majoring in broadcast journalism and an associate editor at Onward State. He has the great privilege of living in central Pennsylvania...Which isn't so great. You can send all disagreements to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @CJGill14.

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