UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State men’s volleyball team (20-7, 12-1 EIVA) opened its final regular season weekend of play with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-20) win against Rutgers-Newark. Redshirt freshman Taylor Hammond (Mission Viejo, Calif.) was honored as the Mike Anderson Penn State Player of the Match.
Redshirt freshman Matt Seifert (Reading, Pa.) led the team with eight kills on nine swings for a .778 hitting percentage. Sophomore Aaron Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) was second on the team with six kills and had a match-high six digs. Hammond led the team with 23 assists in two sets, while freshman Zack Parik (Woodridge, Ill.) started set three and tallied 10. Senior Nick Turko (Lewisberry, Pa.) put up a match-high four blocks, while Russell tallied three.
Penn State hit .435 and held the Scarlet Raiders (4-10, 0-13 EIVA) to .112 hitting. The Nittany Lions totaled 36 kills, five aces, 19 digs and 11.0 total team blocks. Rutgers-Newark posted 29 kills, 16 digs and 3.0 team blocks.
Penn State grabbed a 9-4 lead in set one. After a Rutgers-Newark kill, Seifert sparked a 4-0 run for Penn State for a convincing 13-5 lead. The Scarlet Raiders called a timeout and grabbed a point on a Nittany Lion error. Junior Peter Russell (Ellicott City, Md.) pounded a kill beginning Penn State’s next run of 6-1 for a 19-8 advantage. After a Scarlet Raider kill, redshirt sophomore Nick Goodell (Ambridge, Pa.), Aaron Russell and Turko teamed up for a block. Two more Rutgers-Newark kills followed sandwiching a Seifert putdown. Penn State’s lead grew to 11, 22-11, after a Scarlet Raider error. Seifert notched another kill before an Aaron Russell ace had the Lions at set point, 24-11. Rutgers-Newark tallied one final point on a PSU error, but Penn State came away with the first set win, 25-12, on a RN service error.
The second set started out close until a kill from redshirt junior Scott Kegerreis (Honeybrook, Pa.) and a Seifert ace helped Penn State move ahead by four, 10-6. A Scarlet Raider kill moved Rutgers-Newark within three, but soon after a PSU kill and a solo stuff by Kegerreis had the Lions up by six, 13-7. The Scarlet Raiders pulled within four, 13-9, but a 5-1 run by PSU increased the gap to seven, 17-10. Rutgers-Newark notched a point, but Penn State took off on another 5-1 run for a 22-12 lead. Two PSU errors cut Penn State’s lead to single digits, 22-14, but the Nittany Lions allowed the Scarlet Raiders two more points before Hendries put away two kills for a 25-16 win.
Rutgers-Newark grabbed an early 3-1 lead, but a kill from senior Tom Comfort (Orchard Park, N.Y.) and a Scarlet Raider error had the score knotted at 3-3. The score tied four more times before an RN error and a Penn State ace had Penn State up by two. The Scarlet Raiders kept it close through the middle of the set, but with a 14-11 lead, a 4-1 PSU run increased the Lion lead to six, 17-11. The squads traded points briefly with the Scarlet Raiders fighting to within three, 21-18. A Comfort kill and a Penn State block gave the Lions a 23-18 lead. Despite two PSU service errors, a Rutgers-Newark mistake and a Seifert kill secured set three for the Nittany Lions, 25-20.
Penn State hosts NJIT in their regular season finale on Saturday, April 20 at 5:30 p.m. The match will be played in South Gym.
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