No. 6 Penn State was holding an ice cream social after Saturday night’s match, and Mark Pavlik alluded to it in his presser, saying he wanted it to be short so the ice cream wouldn’t melt.
Pavlik must have also said that to his team as the Nittany Lions defeated Sacred Heart in straight sets (25-12, 25-18, 25-23) in Rec Hall on a snowy Friday night.
“Tonight’s match, certainly the first two games, thought we controlled what we could control,” Pavlik said. “As the match went on we made them pretty predictable and they struggled to put balls away on us. Third game I thought they came alive a little bit.”
Penn State (5-1) extended its winning streak to five and the win was the first EIVA conference win for the Lions. Penn State is also on a seven set winning streak as the Lions last lost the fourth set in the Lewis match.
Penn State hit .313, while the Pioneers (0-4) hit a mere .060. Offensively, Aaron Russell and Tom Comfort once again led the Lions in kills, both with seven apiece.
The Lions jumped out early in the first set leading 15-4 at one point, and finished the first set with their biggest lead of the match, 25-12. A taller Penn State team and Sacred Heart only tied three times in the first set.
“Size difference was a bit of a factor,” Sacred Heart coach Kalani Efstahiou said. “Once we settled in we did the best we could in that situation.”
Sacred Heart, however, hung with Penn State for most of the second and third sets. The schools tied 21 times in the final two sets. However, there were only six lead changes in the entire match.
The Nittany Lions will play Harvard in the South Gym of Rec Hall at 4 p.m. Saturday night.