Men's Volleyball, Outside hitter Brett Wildman (12), Libero Will Bantle (20)

Outside hitter Brett Wildman (12) and libero Will Bantle (20) celebrate a point during the men's volleyball game against George Mason at Rec Hall on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.

Coming in at No. 1 in the EIVA, Penn State is taking home yet another win over Sacred Heart at the start of this weekend’s series.

The Nittany Lions defeated the Pioneers 3-0 in straight sets, earning their 15th win of the campaign with just two losses to their credit.

Penn State is currently in a nine-match winning streak, the highest streak in the EIVA. The run is tied for the longest streak this season with NJIT, whose streak was halted last week by the blue and white.

In their second series against the Pioneers, the Nittany Lions did not leave room for redemption, despite the best efforts of Sacred Heart’s squad.

Winning in straight sets, the blue and white made it clear that it is No. 1 for a reason.

The blue and white’s epic EIVA crusade is not over yet, as it has five more matches and is getting closer and closer to winning the conference with each passing victory.

This weekend’s series is a big one for Penn State as coach Mark Pavlik took home his 599th career win in the opener, approaching his 600th win leading all active Division I-II head coaches.

Timing is everything

In Friday’s match, the blue and white had a bit of a rocky start in regards to timing, something that was immediately capitalized on by Sacred Heart.

It did not take long, however, for Penn State to re-evaluate and put itself back in a position to win.

Both teams struggled with communication and had a difficult time adjusting to the offense, but the Nittany Lions were quick to acclimate and soon turned the tables back to their favor.

Finishing up with a hitting percentage that was well above Sacred Heart’s .072, Penn State finished with a .480 percentage that directly led to the outcome.

Easy point giveaway

In the start of its weekend series, Penn State showcased the same level of aggression that we have come to expect — something that Sacred Heart struggled to compete with.

While both teams were assertive in their attack attempts, there was a clear power struggle between the two squads that resulted in several unnecessary errors on both sides of the court.

Sacred Heart wound up with 19 total attack errors Friday and was noticeably shaken by the blue and white, scrambling all over the court in an attempt at damage control.

Despite Penn State’s dominating performance, it was clear the Pioneers were their own worst enemy in tonight’s match.

Sacred Heart got aggressive too late

The Pioneers are once again going home with a series loss, but not for a lack of trying.

Sacred Heart started out on a bad foot, giving away numerous offensive and defensive errors that could have easily been avoided.

In their second set against the blue and white, the Pioneers made a solid attempt at turning the match around by maintaining a solid lead for a majority of the set but lost their hold and allowed the blue and white to close the gap at 17-17.

With three players taking home EIVA Offensive Player of the Week awards this season, Penn State’s offense is showing more improvement with each match.

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