No. 11 Penn State Men’s Volleyball Takes Down Saint Francis In 5 Sets

Story posted February 6, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Trevor Grady

The No. 11 Penn State Nittany Lions came back from a 2-1 set deficit to get the victory over Saint Francis (PA) on Saturday afternoon at Rec Hall.

The Nittany Lions came into Saturday’s game with a 4-1 record on the season, and the Red Flash came in at 1-7. The two teams met on Thursday and Penn State swept the match. That certainly wasn’t the case today.

The Red Flash executed their gameplan great early on, and won the first set 27-25. The Nittany Lions came back strong in the second set and won convincingly 25-13. It felt as though Penn State was going to be in control of the match after the second set, but Saint Francis was not going to lay down lightly.

The Red Flash pulled out another close win in the third set 25-23, but Penn State was able to force a fifth and final set, winning set four 25-21.

The fifth set was about as back and forth as it could be. The score was knotted up at 11, 12, 13, and 14 until Michael Valenzi had the game-winning kill to give the Nittany Lions a 16-14 victory in the fifth set and a 3-2 victory for the match.

Head coach Mark Pavlik gave Saint Francis a ton of credit for the way it played, but was happy with the way his squad responded.

“They certainly came back and upped their level of play through what we saw on Thursday, they attacked the hole of the net a little bit better,” Pavlik said. “I thought that we created enough opportunities in every set to widen a lead or to get back into a tie.”

When Pavlik was asked if he could give one word to describe how he feels about where his team is at right now, he paused for awhile. “Hopeful,” Pavlik said.

No. 11 Penn State is back in action next weekend as the Nittany Lions will host the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Saturday at 3 p.m.

 

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