UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Top seeded Penn State (20-10) swept Princeton in the semifinals of the EIVA tournament Thursday night in Rec Hall behind the efforts of All-EIVA First-Teamer Chris Nugent and company.
"The Game plan was carried out to a T," said head coach Mark Pavilk. "Defensively, [Associate head coach] Collin threw together a great defensive plan."
Chris Nugent led the way for the Nittany Lions against the Tigers, finishing the night with 15 kills hitting at a .560 clip.
Royce Clemens led the defensive efforts for the Nittany Lions totaling seven digs on the night.
Luke Braswell followed Clemens as he posted six digs to go along with his 36 assists.
Calvin Mende and Aidan Albrecht contributed nine and eight kills, respectively, hitting .227 and .400.
Mende and Matt Callaway led Penn State in blocks individually with five apiece while the team registered 10.5 blocks on the night.
Trailing by as much as five in the first game, Penn State battled to a 25-23 set win to take a 1-0 lead.
Penn State carried their momentum into the second set winning 25-19.
Heading into the third set with a 2-0 advantage, Princeton matched Penn State point-for-point tying the set at 9-9.
A kill by Mende sparked a 5-0 run for the Nittany Lions giving them a 14-9 lead. Princeton chipped away at Penn State's lead coming within two-points brining the score to 22-20. A kill by Mende gave the Nittany Lions a three-point advantage; but a kill and a service ace by Princeton's Junior Oboh brought the Tigers within one of the Nittany Lions and forced a Penn State timeout. Out of the time, a kill by Nugent ignited what would ultimately be a 25-23 Penn State victory by way of a 3-0 sweep.
Penn State will return to the court Saturday night at 7 p.m. as they face Saint Francis (Pa.) in the finals of the EIVA tournament. The winner of the match will be granted an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.