Despite a weather delay and a third set that pushed them to the brink, the Penn State men’s volleyball team earned its second win of the season Friday night.
The No.6 Nittany Lions defeated No.14 Loyola in three sets (25-21, 25-21, 26-24) to go 2-0 on the season. The Lions have not dropped a set through two matches.
The match was delayed 45 minutes because a referee was late due to the inclement weather in the Chicago area. Once it finally got underway, the Lions got out to a hot start easily winning the first set while hitting an impressive .444.
“I thought we continued to play a very mature methodical game,” coach Mark Pavlik said. I thought our offense started out really well.”
Pavlik said he really liked the way the team passed the ball.
“Our passers were great, they kept us in system really throughout the whole match,” Pavlik said. “When we needed a pass to run our offense, we got it. I can’t say enough about Connor [Curry] Joe [Sunder] and Jace [Olsen]. They did a real nice job.”
The Lions were never down in the match until the third set. They trailed for almost the entire set and were down 12-8 at one point, their largest deficit of the season. But the Lions went on a 9-3 run to take a 17-15 lead, thanks in part to four kills from redshirt senior outside hitter Joe Sunder.
Loyola wouldn’t go away easy and the two teams would trade points until Loyola was on the verge of winning the set 24-23. However, the Lions scored three unanswered points and won on a combined block from Sunder, freshman middle hitter Aaron Russell and junior opposite Tom Comfort.
The team struggled a bit serving the ball with 16 total service errors, but Pavlik said they came up with the big serves when they needed them.
Russell led the team in hitting at .625 and had ten kills. Olsen and Sunder lead the team with 11 kills.
The Lions’ next matchup is with No.9 Lewis tonight at 8 p.m.