Penn State Men’s Volleyball Dominates George Mason in Straight Sets
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — It was two very similar sets that got coach Mark Pavlik’s team in position to defeat the George Mason Patriots in straight sets on Saturday at Rec Hall.
Penn State came into this matchup confident off of back-to-back wins after its West Coast trip struggles.
It was the seniors Brett Wildman and Cole Bogner who paced the Nittany Lions in three straight sets.
Wildman had 17 kills on the night and was vocally leading his team to yet another victory. Penn State looked as experienced and talented as most saw the team coming into the season on Saturday night.
Pavlik was optimistic about where his team is heading while entering conference play.
“You know yesterday someone said to me about how we were finding different ways to win and that's just what these guys do,” Pavlik said.
Penn State used three big runs to capture its first two sets, one during the first set that put the Nittany Lions up for good, and then two separate runs that helped them come from behind to win the second set.
Every George Mason lead never seemed to worry the Nittany Lions.
The Nittany Lions offense was consistent all night totalling 47 team kills and a .379 hitting percentage.
However, it wasn’t only the offense that was putting the Patriots in trouble. Penn State held George Mason to 19 kills throughout the match to go along with a .119 hitting percentage.
Pavlik was successful with his substitutions today he was able to use both John Kerr and Toby Ezeonu in key spots to help block the Patriots kill attempts. The effort Penn State also got from sophomore Michael Valenzi who consistently made big plays and hit crucial serves for the Nittany Lions was much needed.
Coming into the season there were high hopes for Penn State. With all the experience playing together and the amount of senior leaders, it has been no surprise to see this team respond well off its early-season struggles.
Pavlik is finally starting to see what he expected out of this team.
“I feel as if we are in the right zip code of where I want this team to be but maybe not just at the right house,” Pavlik said.
Penn State now is 2-0 so far in conference play. This win puts Penn State at 7-3 on the year. Its upcoming games come next weekend with a trip to Harvard and Sacred Heart before it returns home to host Saint Francis on Feb. 19.
Even though George Mason went down in straight sets they led at one point in time during each set and fought hard throughout the match.
The Patriots didn’t have many standout performers on Saturday besides sophomore Omar Hoyos who had a team-high six kills. George Mason falls to 3-4 on the year the Patriots will play at NJIT on Feb. 11 followed by a trip to St. Francis Brooklyn on Feb. 12.
Sam Kirk is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Junior / Broadcast Journalism
Sam Kirk is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism at Penn State. He is a writer and podcaster for the CommRadio sports department. He is also featured weekly in the CommRadio news department on Thursday newcasts. Sam has written articles all across the board that deal with baseball, football and basketball. He is also working for a football media company called Inside the Hashes, writing articles, interviewing players and contributing to their YouTube channel.