NEWARK, N.J. – The ninth-ranked Penn State men’s volleyball team (14-3, 8-1 EIVA) closed out the weekend with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-17, 25-13) win at NJIT (3-12, 1-5 EIVA). Two Nittany Lions posted double-digit kills in the three set match.
Redshirt sophomore Nick Goodell (Ambridge, Pa.) led Penn State with 12 kills on .435 hitting, while sophomore Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) posted 11 with a .444 hitting percentage. Junior Peter Russell (Ellicott City, Md.), who was second on the team in digs with eight, and senior Nick Turko (Lewisberry, Pa.) put down eight kills each. Redshirt freshman Matt Seifert (Reading, Pa.) posted six kills on eight errorless swings for a .750 hitting percentage. Redshirt freshman Taylor Hammond (Mission Viejo, Calif.) paced the offense with 41 assists and redshirt sophomore Connor Curry (Newport Beach, Calif.) recorded a match-high 10 digs. Turko was the team leader in blocks with three.
Penn State hit .487 against the Highlanders and recorded 48 kills, four aces, 29 digs and 6.0 team blocks. The Lions held NJIT to .198 hitting with 29 kills, one ace, 16 digs and 4.0 team blocks.
Early on in set one, Penn State grabbed a 7-4 lead after kills from Turko and Peter Russell. By midway through the set, the Lions moved ahead by five, 13-8, thanks to an NJIT error and putdowns from Aaron Russell and Seifert. NJIT narrowed the gap to three, 14-11, but the Lions responded with four points to NJIT’s two to move back ahead by five, 18-13. NJIT called a timeout and the Highlanders use a 3-0 run to come within two, 19-16. Despite a service error by the Highlanders and an Aaron Russell kills, two putdowns by NJIT and a big solo block had NJIT behind by only one, 20-19. Penn State called a timeout and a Goodell kill and NJIT error had the Lions up by three, 22-19. NJIT again fought to within one, 22-21, but a Turko kill and an NJIT mistake had Penn State at set point, 24-22. After one final Highlander kill, Peter Russell closed out set one with a kill for a 25-22 win.
Despite NJIT taking a 7-5 lead to start the second stanza, Penn State used a 5-1 run to move ahead, 10-8. A double block by the Highlanders cut off the run, but the Nittany Lions responded with three straight points for a 13-9 advantage. NJIT called a timeout, but after a Highlander kill another 5-1 Nittany Lion run had Penn State in the lead by seven, 18-11. A kill and an ace moved NJIT within five, but another 3-0 run by PSU increased the gap to eight, 21-13. The two squads traded points with Penn State edging slowly towards another win. With a 24-17 lead, Aaron Russell pounded a kill for a 25-17 set two victory.
Penn State wasted no time in the third frame and jumped out to a 10-4 lead. NJIT used a timeout, but Penn State’s run continued to increase its lead to nine, 14-5. Two PSU errors aided NJIT, but a kill and a block by Aaron Russell kept Penn State comfortably ahead, 17-8. After an NJIT putdown, two Highlander errors and two Aaron Russell aces gave Penn State a double-digit advantage, 21-9. Even with three PSU errors and an NJIT block, Penn State found itself at set point, 24-13, with the help of two kills from redshirt junior Scott Kegerreis (Honeybrook, Pa.). Kegerreis and senior Ian Hendries (Cardiff, Calif.) teamed up for a block to secure the set for the Nittany Lions, 25-13.Penn State is back on the road on March 9-10 with visits to IPFW and Ball State, respectively. The Lions face IPFW on Saturday at 7 p.m. and the Cardinals on Sunday at 2 p.m.
For more information on the Penn State men’s volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State men’s volleyball 2013 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets.
Story courtesy of Penn State