Men's volleyball clinches EIVA title

Newark, N.J. — The eighth-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team clinched its 25th regular-season Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) title with a three-game sweep of NJIT (30-17, 30-20, 30-10) Saturday in Newark, N.J. With the win, the Nittany Lions improve to 21-3 and 10-0 in conference play, also earning a bye in the EIVA quarterfinals on April 25 and securing home-court advantage in the EIVA Semifinals and Championship, slated for April 30 and May 2 at Rec Hall.

Senior opposite Ryan Sweitzer (Lancaster, Pa.) led all players with 12 kills on .562 hitting as junior outside hitter Will Price (Gaithersburg, Md.) posted 11 kills. Senior middle hitter Max Holt (Cincinnati, Ohio) collected nine kills on an errorless 15 swings to hit .600 while junior middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) notched seven kills on .500 hitting. As a team, Penn State hit .439 for the match.

Redshirt freshman setter Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) directed the Lion offense with 38 assists and sophomore libero Dennis Del Valle (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico) led all players with nine digs and Price added in six digs. Holt collected four digs, as did redshirt freshman outside hitter Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) to go along with his three kills.

Penn State dominated the serving game, posting nine aces with only 10 errors. Holt provided four aces to increase his single-season record to 60 and become the first player in Penn State history to reach 60 service aces in a season. Goas added in three aces against the Highlanders while Price posted two.

The Nittany Lions also claimed the blocking battle, 9.5 to 3.0. Lipsitz and Sweitzer each posted five stuffs as Price and senior middle hitter Jon Sherrick (Mountville, Pa.) both collected three blocks and Sunder added in two.

The match started off close early on, with a Holt kill giving Penn State the 10-7 lead. A Sweitzer, Lipsitz and Sunder block made it 15-10 before three straight kills from Sunder, Price and Holt pushed the Lion lead to 21-12. Back to back kills by Price and Holt pushed Penn State up 24-14 and a Price kill and Holt ace made it 26-14. Two Lipsitz kills helped end the game, 30-17.

Penn State came out in the second game on fire, going up 8-1 behind kills from Lipsitz, Sweitzer and Price. A Lipsitz and Sweitzer block made it 10-4 and a Price put-away pushed the Lion lead to 17-11. Two Penn State blocks, one from Lipsitz and Goas and another from Lipsitz and Price, gave the Nittany Lions the 19-12 advantage and a Sweitzer kill made it 23-15. A Holt kill pushed Penn State up 28-17 before a Lipsitz kill ended the game, 30-20.

The Nittany Lions dominated the third stanza, taking the 10-2 lead behind a Sweitzer, Sherrick and Price kill and going up 14-2 on a Sherrick kill and NJIT attack error. Two Holt kills made it 19-6 before a kill by sophomore Alan Mars (Rochester, N.Y.) and strong Holt serving helped the Nittany Lions go on a 7-0 run to take the 26-7 advantage. A Goas ace and Sherrick kill made it 29-9 before a Highlander attack error ended the game, 30-10.

Penn State remains on the road, traveling to Princeton and George Mason on April 10-11 before facing Ball State and Ohio State on the road on April 17-18. The Nittany Lions have a bye in the EIVA Quarterfinals on April 25 and then host the EIVA Semifinals on Thursday, April 30. The EIVA Championship will be Saturday, May 2 at Rec Hall, with the winner earning an automatic berth in the NCAA National Collegiate Semifinals on Thursday, May 7 in Provo, Utah. The NCAA National Collegiate Championship is slated for Saturday, May 9 in Provo, Utah.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010