Penn State Sweeps its Way to Eighth Victory

Story posted February 3, 2013 in CommRadio, Sports by Zach Hottinger

The No. 6 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions Men’s Volleyball team faced off against the Mt. Olive Trojans in a Saturday night volleyball showdown. The Nittany Lions came into the match with a 7-1 record, fresh off a sweep against the Pheiffer Falcons and won their eighth match of the season against the Trojans 3-0, in a fairly tight matchup at South Gym in Rec Hall.

Sophomore Nick Goodell won the honor of player of the match with 13 kills, one service ace, two digs and one block. It was the sixth time in history that the Nittany Lions and the Trojans faced off and Penn State’s sweep extended its straight set streak against the Trojans to 18.

The first set started off with an ace by Mt. Olive player Adam Miracle that began a back and forth battle up until the score was tied at 8-8. The Trojans then went on to capture a four point lead over the Nittany Lions but Penn State battled back tying it up at 17-17. Then the game went back into a back and forth battle up until the teams were tied at 24 a piece.

A Mt. Olive service error and a crucial Penn State block by Ian Hendries and Tom Comfort gave the Nittany Lions the first set victory 26-24. Aaron Russell set the tone for the Nittany Lions in the first set by scoring 8 kills while Taylor Hammond was all over the court racking up 16 assists.

The second set saw even more excitement as the Mt. Olive Trojans came into University Park with some major passion. During the set two separate players on separate occasions ran into announcing media tables trying to keep the ball in play. David Heller, first year coach of Mt. Olive, was proud of his team proclaiming that “they really turned it on tonight, as a team they never preformed this well against Penn State.”

“Naturally they all hustle, but when you face a team like Penn State you may just hustle a little more and I think we saw that tonight,” said coach Heller.

The back and forth battle lasted until the two teams were tied at 10 all. Penn State started to break away gaining a four point advantage, but as the Nittany Lions inched closer to victory Mt. Olive didn’t give up, fighting back within two of the Nittany Lions when the score was 24-22. A kill by Nick Goodell ended the Trojans hopes of winning the second set though as Penn State took the second set victory 25-22.

19th year head coach of the Nittany Lions, Mark Pavlik, believed that the Mt. Olive Trojans gave Penn State a great game in terms of skill.

“I think that Mt. Olive presented a different sort of challenge tonight and they took advantage of having us be off guard. They scored seven great aces against us but once we settled down and got our offense going we took it to them.” said Pavlik. “They made us play which is something we want this time of year.”

The third and final set of the match was considered the Nick Goodell show as Nick pounded eight kills in the set along with a service ace and a block that lead the Lions to a 25-22 set and match victory. The sophomore was excited throughout the match and it definitely showed.

“I love getting on the court; it’s a big sense of relief being out there,” said Goodell. “Anyone can have their night to go off and tonight I was lucky enough to say it was mine.” 

The Penn State Nittany Lions will face off against Saint Francis next Friday, February 8th at 7:00 pm in Rec Hall and will face Ohio State in a white out game the following night at 8:00 pm.

Zach Hottinger is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email