The Nittany Lions were able to keep their hot streak alive.
For yet another night, Penn State was able to best an EIVA opponent defeating George Mason 3-0 (25-13, 25-22, 25-20), the Lions are currently 6-0 in the EIVA and 12-1 overall. They have not lost a set to any of their league opponents this season.
George Mason is one of the toughest EIVA teams Penn State has faced this season, and though most of the starters stayed in the game throughout the match, Penn State was able to maintain control, trailing only four points the entire game and by no farther margin than one point.
“I think so far George Mason has been our toughest EIVA opponent,” said coach Mark Pavlik. “It will be an interesting second half of the EIVA season.”
After struggles with their blocking the previous night, the Lions were able to step up with 10.5 blocks against the Patriots.
“I think the hitters on the other side of the net tried to challenge our block a little bit more,” Sunder said. “It’s kind of a pride thing, last night we let a few too many balls past us and we’re not going to do that two nights in a row.”
Top performers for the Lions were Joe Sunder with 13 kills and a .500 hitting percentage, as well as Nick Goodell with 13 kills and three service aces.
“It all starts with our passing, said Goodell. It gives me an Joe the opportunity, the way Edgardo sets to us is fast paced and makes it difficult for the defense to set our balls.”
For a second night in a row, Penn State was able to dictate the pace of the match through their serving. The Lions combined for five service aces, including, three by Goodell. The Lion’s serving has prevented opponents from building momentum.
“Anytime you can push the setter of the net, their offense slows down,” said Pavlik. “The teams we’ve been playing in the EIVA know that they have a big block in front of them so 80 percent of the time they’re trying to avoid our block. If they avoid our block they are either hitting at someone in that area or they’re hitting out of bounds.
The Lion’s will not have a match against another EIVA opponent until March 17th against Saint Francis (PA.) but will tested next week home against Ohio State. Penn State was able to sweep the Buckeyes in their first match this season.