Penn State Men’s Volleyball at St. Francis Preview
Coming off of massive victories over then No. 4 UCLA and No. 10 USC, the Penn State Nittany Lions will be traveling to St. Francis University to take on the 1-7 Red Flash.
The Nittany Lions sit third in the nation after their victory in the BigTen/PAC 12 tournament and look to keep to their winning ways.
The three leaders of Penn State’s squad are graduate students, Cal Fisher and Brett Wildman along with junior Toby Ezeonu who have been big factors as to why Penn State only has one loss on the season.
Even though Fisher was wearing KT tape during the win against UCLA, he showed zero signs of injury when he had a season-high 15 kills and 19 points to propel the Nittany Lions over the Bruins.
Wildman has 44 kills and 59 points over 20 sets this season and will look to be in assistance as best he can for the squad.
Ezeonu is an absolute defensive demon who guards the net and can block like no other. He tallied a season-high seven total blocks against UCLA and was an immense reason why Penn State pulled off the upset.
One area that Penn State will need to be sharp on is service errors since they have been giving away a lot of free points lately.
Cole Bogner who leads the Nittany Lions in sets played also leads the team with 40 service errors which is the top by a large margin.
Taking a look over at St. Francis, the record is the first thing that jumps off the page with their 1-7 mark. They have won nine sets all season and three of them came from their only win against Alderson Broadaddus.
There is still another win possible as St. Francis will be traveling to Teaneck, New Jersey to face Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday.
Nathan Zini is the focal point of this team at the outside hitter position.
He leads the Red Flash in points with 101.5 and kills with 93. Setter Ryan Parker and libero Peyton Blain lead the team defensively with 39 and 30 digs respectively.
Battling against Ezeonu will be St. Francis blocks leader Thomas Leahey who has 24 blocks on the season.
For the Red Flash to be successful against one of the best teams in the nation they will need to play a near-perfect game and have their top players stifle Penn State’s best as much as possible.
Parker is going to need to put St. Francis’s offense in as good of a position as possible to score early and often and force Penn State on their toes.
This game will likely be three sets to zero and a victory for the Nittany Lions who will continue their hot streak into their two-game set against Princeton.
Joey David is a Junior majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.