Despite losing a set in EIVA play for the first time this season, it was business as usual for the Penn State men’s volleyball team.
The No. 8 Nittany Lions defeated NJIT for the second time this year, winning the match 3-1 (25-15, 25-21, 22-25, 25-20.)
With the win, the Lions moved to 15-3 on the season and 8-0 in the EIVA.
The Lions played a strong defensive game recording 26 digs. Connor Curry once again was a strong presence on the floor, leading the team in digs with 13.
The Highlanders made Penn State earn the victory tonight. When the Lions appeared on the verge of putting the match away at several points in the game, NJIT would make a little run to close the gap.
After the Lions got out hot and cruised to an easy first-set victory, NJIT stayed close. The Highlanders didn’t trail by more than four in the second set and were able to win a back-and-forth third set that saw five lead changes.
After losing the third set the Lions replaced junior Tom Comfort and senior Ryan Wolf, with regular starters Nick Goodell and Peter Russell which allowed the Lions to close out the game.
Redshirt senior Joe Sunder led the way offensively for Penn State. He had a big night with 19 kills on .441 hitting.
Penn State coach Mark Pavlik said the team didn’t pass the ball well but he was pleased with its defensive effort.
It was Penn State’s first visit to NJIT in three seasons so Pavlik said the team had to get adjusted to the gym.
The Lions resume action tomorrow night when they travel to Rutgers-Newark for a 7 p.m. match.