No. 3 Penn State Men’s Volleyball Sweeps Harvard 3-0
No. 3 Penn State men’s volleyball (19-3, 5-0 EIVA) took care of business against Harvard (7-12, 0-5 EIVA) in its first conference matchup in over a month Friday evening in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
After only one game as the top-ranked team in the country resulted in an upset loss to No. 15 Ohio State, the Nittany Lions rebounded in dominant fashion on the road. Cal Fisher led the charge for Penn State, scoring early and often on his way to 10 kills in the victory.
How It Happened
Penn State started off hot in the opening set, jumping out to an early 3-0 advantage. Toby Ezeonu’s first service ace of the evening stretched the Nittany Lions’ lead to 8-2. Harvard attempted to claw back into the first set, however back-to-back kills from Owen Rose dwindled any momentum garnished by the Crimson.
Fisher made his presence known early and often, his fifth kill extended the Penn State lead to 14-7. The Nittany Lions continued to dominate the Crimson in the set. After a few back-and-forth points, a crucial Rose block brought the lead to 22-11.
Harvard showed signs of life, scoring three straight points, highlighted by an ace from junior, Ethan Smith. It proved to be too little too late for the Crimson as Ezeonu finished things off with his third kill of the set, winning it 25-16 for Penn State.
Harvard kept the momentum going to open up set number two, settling in against Penn State in a back-and-forth affair. Owen Fanning’s service ace for the Crimson tied it all up at seven. Kade McGovern rose to the occasion, scoring multiple kills to keep things close with the Nittany Lions.
Penn State finally earned some breathing room thanks to multiple attacking errors committed by Harvard. The score was 14-10 in favor of the Nittany Lions halfway through the second set. Head coach Brian Baise was forced to call a timeout down 18-13 in an attempt to turn things around for his Harvard squad.
The duo of Ezeonu and Fisher continued to be a dominant force for the Nittany Lions as the two teamed up for back-to-back kills forcing another Harvard timeout. Shortly after, Ezeonu picked up another kill once again, which capped off the set victory for Penn State, winning 25-15.
Harvard continued to show its fight, keeping things tied at six early on in set three. The Crimson earned their first lead since the first set at 11-10, thanks to three straight points, capped off by a Smith kill. Michal Kowal’s kill tied it all up at 12 between both squads.
Sam Marsh received some important playing time off the bench in the third set. The London, England product gave the lead back to the Nittany Lions 15-13. Marsh’s kill was only his fourth of the season.
Kowal served one into the net following a timeout called by Harvard, dwindling the lead to 20-18. The Crimson continued to battle, but Penn State proved to be too powerful late. The Nittany Lions finished off the set, taking it 25-23, resulting in an easy 3-0 match triumph.
- Penn State has been clear at the top of the EIVA this season, the Nittany Lions have yet to drop a set this season in conference play. Tonight’s victory brought that record to 15-0 in sets against conference foes.
- The Nittany Lions dominated Harvard with its efficiency. Coach Mark Pavlik’s squad recorded 39 kills in only three sets while hitting an impressive .457 along the way.
- Penn State likes being ranked third in the country, folks. After a week in the No. 1 spot and a loss to Ohio State, Penn State looked like the same old commanding force this time around against Harvard.
Penn State is back on the court against Harvard at 3 p.m. tomorrow, April 1 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Your ad blocker is on.
Please choose an option below.
Purchase a Subscription!
About the Author
The ranking comes after the Nittany Lions defeated Michigan State 42-0 on Black Friday.
This is the first time the Lady Lions have received AP Poll votes since 2014.
The Onward State crew headed to the Motor City for some football, pizza, and a swing set overlooking Canada.