It seemed like it would never end. Back and forth, the team exchanged powerful attack after powerful attack and chaos quickly ensued.
Who else to step up to the plate other than the most calming of influences Penn State has to offer: fifth-year senior All-American Joe Sunder.
The outside hitter finished Princeton off in the heated final rally of the first set with a forceful kill to take the competitive game. Penn State went on to sweep the Tigers, 3-0 (25-20, 25-12, 25-22) and advance to play George Mason in the EIVA championship tomorrow in Rec Hall at 8 p.m.
For the match overall, Penn State hit an excellent .418 while the Tigers were held to just .208.
Penn State helped its cause by holding freshman Cody Kessel, a First-Team All-EIVA attacker, to just 13 kills and a hitting percentage of .176. Not only this, the Lions also prevented any other Tigers from stepping up.
"That was our goal coming in, we had to slow [Kessel] down," Pavlik said. "That's the key to their team. You gotta serve well enough to take [Michael] Dye and [Will] Siroky out of their offense, and you gotta control Cody. And I think we did a good job of that."
For the Penn State attack, sophomore Jace Olsen and junior Tom Comfort paced the attack with 11 of the team's 16 kills in the first set but Sunder led the team with 9 kills in the last two games. All three Lions finished with at least seven kills.
Princeton head coach Sam Shweisky said for his team to compete with Penn State, his roster would have to play well top-to-bottom.
"They have a lot of depth and that's something that we've struggled with," Shweisky said. "I think for us to go toe-to-toe to them we have to all play well."
The Lions are 2-0 against their upcoming opponent George Mason this season. Pavlik said the third ranked team in the EIVA will present a solid defensive effort.
"[George] Mason is a good blocking team, they're gonna compete hard.... I think it's gonna be a match similar to this one. We're gonna have a lot of big guys going toe-to-toe with each other."