UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - No. 13 Penn State (13-7, 6-2) pushed past Cal-Baptist (3-17, 1-13) 3-1 (26-24, 25-16, 23-25, 26-24) Friday night at Rec Hall in non-conference action.
"We were tested several ways," said head coach Mark Pavlik.
"I thought it would've been real easy for us to at any point in game three and four to just kind of roll over a little bit and say 'ah here we go' and I thought we just kept fighting and fighting and kept coming back."
Penn State capped set four with a kill from Calvin Mende, assisted by Kevin Gear, to take the match 3-1 over the Lancers in their first visit to Happy Valley since 2012.
Gear, the Mike Anderson Player of the Match, finished with a line of 10 kills hitting .500 while adding three assist, two digs and three blocks on the night.
Luke Braswell led Penn State in assist with 42 while Aidan Albrecht recorded a team-high 11 digs.
Jalen Penrose led the team behind the service line racking up five service aces -- three straight at one point -- with the team finishing with seven for the match.
Matt Callaway led the Lions in blocks with four helping Penn State record 11.5 team blocks against the Lancers.
Penn State built a 2-0 lead downing Cal-Baptist 26-24 and 25-16 in the first two sets before dropping set three 25-23.
Set four saw both teams keep in touch with each other, neither team able to extend the lead by more than four points as well as tying the set at 10 different points down the stretch.
Tied at 21-21 off a service ace from Luis Palos, Penn State used a timeout to collect themselves.
The Nittany Lions scored on two of the next three points to force a timeout from Cal-Baptist.
Cal-Baptist took two of the next three points out of the timeout to even the set at 24-24.
The Lancers committed a costly service error that opened the door for Penn State to grab the
match on the next play with a Mende kill.
The Nittany Lions travel to Illinois to complete the home and away series with non-conference foes Lewis and Loyola. Penn State will face Lewis Friday Mar. 24 at 7 p.m. followed by a Saturday night match with the Loyola Ramblers Mar. 25 at 7 p.m. ET.