Penn State Defeats Rutgers-Newark, Extends Win Streak to 10
Following a 3-0 victory against New Jersey Institue of Technology, the No. 12 Penn State men’s volleyball team swept Rutgers-Newark in straight sets for their third conference win. The Nittany Lions defeated the Scarlet Raiders (25-16, 25-17, 25-13) in what may have been one of the shortest games of the season, finishing a few minutes after an hour. With this victory, Penn State (10-2, 3-0) has won 10 consecutive matches.
Leading the offense was redshirt junior Nick Goodell who had seven kills, hitting .545, followed by senior Peter Russell with five kills. Although he sat out for much of the game, junior Aaron Russell tallied a team-high four aces.
Almost every player came off the bench at some point during the match, many having season and career-high statistics. Redshirt freshman Spencer Sauter had five kills and two digs, along with freshman Chris Nugent’s four kills.
Down by one early in the first set, the Nittany Lions went on a 3-0 run, ending with a score of 8-6 after solo blocks from Aaron Russell and redshirt freshman Matt Callaway. This was followed by 7-0 spurt and topped off by a string of three aces from Russell to give Penn State a 16-8 lead.
The Scarlet Raiders were in a 10-point deficit after another 4-1 run by the Nittany LIons but answered with a 4-2 streak, reducing it to seven points. Penn State clinched the first set 25-16 after an attack error from Rutgers-Newark.
Neither team showed dominance early in the second set with a few ties and lead changes. But a kill from Nick Goodell brought the Lions to a 7-5 lead and later on, a strategically placed tip from setter Taylor Hammond extended the lead to 11-7. A 6-2 run by Penn State allowed them to obtain a seven point lead with a score of 18-11.
After a few more rallies, a service error brought the game to 20-13, a deficit that was too large for the Scarlet Raiders to come back from completely, however, they did manage to cut it to 23-17 after some errors on Penn State’s side of the net. Sophomore Zack Parik closed out the second set with an ace, giving the Lions a 2-0 lead heading into intermission.
Penn State started off the third set with a several previously benched players and Matt Callaway as the only remaining starter. They came out strong with a 3-0 streak and grabbing a 6-2 lead early on. They increased the lead to eight, 13-5, after a 7-2 run.
Rutgers-Newark could not seem to get anything going offensively and the deficit remained. Penn state almost made it to 20 points before the Rutgers had made it to double digits but a kill from a Scarlet Raider prevented that and the score stood at 19-10. The audience rose for the final time at game point, when Penn State celebrated as a net violation for Rutgers-Newark ended the game, 25-13.
The Nittany Lions will host two conference teams, Sacred Heart and George Mason, next Friday and Saturday.
Nicole Barros is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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