Penn State Men’s Volleyball Continues Winning Streak, Handles Saint Francis With Ease

Story posted February 20, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Sam Woloson

Riding four straight 3-0 sweeps, No. 4 Penn State looked to keep up the momentum against Saint Francis in Rec Hall.

The Red Flash also came into Saturday night’s game with a six game winning streak. The Nittany Lions, however, were poised to be a serious test for the visiting squad.

By night’s end, it was the red-hot Nittany Lions who won in a comfortable three set sweep.

In the first set, the Nittany Lions got off on the right foot, taking a close set, 25-21.

The blue and white remained hot in the second set, quickly taking control and mercilessly downing the Red Flash, 25-10.

Saint Francis battled back in the third set, keeping things more competitive. They had to work for it, but the Nittany Lions would still close out the set, 25-20 and earn the win.

The trio of Brett Wildman, Michael Valenzi and Cal Fisher led the way offensively for Penn State, finishing with 13, 11 and 10 kills, respectively while earning a combined hit percentage of .508%.

“I think the respect that we gave St. Francis paid off for us big time,” head coach Mark Pavlik said. “We went in expecting them to hang with us and the question that I had was ‘how long can we continue to play at a high level?’ I’d say we stayed at a high level all match long.”

One of the highest level players on the court for the blue and white was senior setter Cole Bogner. He finished the match with a team-best 41 assists.

“It all relies on the passers [and they] were pretty locked in tonight,” Bogner said.

Of Penn State’s 45 total kills on the night, 41 of them were assisted by Bogner, who was seemingly everywhere on the court against the Red Flash.

“At the end of the day, I just have to put the ball up and they have to go hit it again. It’s the guys out there that did a really good job tonight, it just happens to fall into my category for once.”

Penn State has been on a tear in EIVA play, winning its first five games in conference by a total of 18 sets to none.

With 10 matches remaining in the regular season, the focus is slowly starting to shift towards postseason aspiration for the Nittany Lions.

“We spent the better part of the week talking about some of the subtle things that we need to do to get better,” Pavlik said. “I’m not sure I’ve ever had a team at this point where [we aren’t] worrying about the big things.”

“The curiosity of how good we can be is starting to creep in at an appropriate level right now.”

Sam Woloson is a first-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email

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