Nittany Lions Sweep Series Against Charleston

Story posted March 7, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Trevor Grady

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The No. 10 Penn State Nittany Lions cruised to a three-set victory over Charleston on Friday night behind juniors Cal Fisher and Brett Wildman, who combined for 21 kills. Wildman had a team high four aces for the match, and Fisher added nine digs to his stat line.

Charleston posed a little bit of a challenge in the first set, but Penn State closed it out in the end winning the set 25-20. The Nittany Lions took the second set with little resistance, winning 25-14 and finished off the match, winning set three 25-21.

It was a very similar story on Saturday night as well. Penn State took another victory over the Golden Eagles three sets to none. Once again, Fisher and Wildman combined for 21 kills, and Fisher tacked on four service aces in the match.

The Nittany Lions were dominant from the beginning of the first set. They got out to an early 15-6 advantage and never looked back. Freshman middle blocker Toby Ezeonu finished off the set with a service ace, giving Penn State a 25-16 victory in the first frame.

The second set was close throughout, but it felt as if the Nittany Lions were in control the entire time and just waiting for the right moment to put it away. The Golden Eagles were trailing 24-20 but battled back with a 3-0 scoring run to make it a one-point game. On the fourth match point of the set, Michal Kowal decided he had seen enough and finished off the set with a kill, giving Penn State the 25-23 win.

The third set was a crazy one. The Golden Eagles were leading 22-19 when Penn State called a timeout. Penn State head coach Mark Pavlik talked about the run that followed that timeout.

“Being down whatever we were down in game three and to climb back in it, and to put ourselves in a position to be up and win in regulation speaks volumes towards these guys,” Pavlik said. “When they focus and when they are able to do what they are trained to do, I think they carry that out real well.”

Penn State went on to win the third set 25-23 on Cal Fisher’s 11th kill of the match. The Nittany Lions finished with a .519 hitting percentage compared to the Golden Eagles’ .421. Charleston’s main Achilles heel was its service errors, as the Golden Eagles finished with 24 of them compared to Penn State’s nine.

The No. 10 Nittany Lions will be in action once again on Friday, March 12 at 7 p.m. when they travel to Loretto, Pennsylvania, to take on Saint Francis. The two teams matched up earlier in the season, and Penn State took both contests, the first in a sweep and the second in five sets.

 

Trevor Grady is a junior majoring in management information systems and minoring in journalism. To contact him, email tmg5685@psu.edu.