Shampine, Wildman Power No. 8 Penn State Past Sacred Heart
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — It was a dominant performance inside Rec Hall on Friday afternoon by No. 8 Penn State, as it defeated Sacred Heart in straight sets. The Nittany Lions improved to 15-2 on the year, while the Pioneers remain winless.
Junior outside hitter Brett Wildman was the best player on the court. Wildman finished the match with a game-high 17.5 points and 17 kills. “In general, a good fun night,” is what Wildman said when he spoke about his overall performance.
“I really liked the focus of this group, it didn’t matter who was on the court,” Penn State head coach Mark Pavlik said about his team’s performance. “Now we got to turn around and do it again in less than 24 hours.”
The Nittany were down some players, so there were some depth players that got significant playing time. “It shows that we can stick anybody out there on our team, we’re all going to have the same intensity and same drive to win,” Wildman added.
Penn State was without AVCA National Player of the week Cal Fisher, who was sitting out to get some rest. Michael Valenzi was also out, as he rolled his ankle during practice.
Sophomore Jack Shampine was one of the players that benefitted and picked up the start. Shampine finished second on the team in kills, 11, and points, 11.5, in his first start at Rec Hall.
“It was awesome,” Shampine said about starting at Rec Hall and his overall performance. “Knowing what I could do in the practice gym, just try to bring that onto the court,” Shampine continued.
In the middle of the second frame, the Nittany Lions found themselves trailing Sacred Heart 17-14. Wildman then went back to serve and Penn State scored the next six points to go up 20-17, they would win the second set, 25-20.
“We harp on it in the gym where it shouldn’t matter what the score is, we just go back there keep repeating best serve,” Wildman said about that run.
The Nittany Lions also benefited from the 19 attack and 16 service errors that Sacred Heart had. The Pioneers struggled the whole night and hit a woeful .072 as a team. While Penn State hit .480, thanks to the phenomenal play of Cole Bogner.
It was a special afternoon for coach Pavlik who picked up career win No. 599. With a win tomorrow he would become the fifth men’s volleyball coach with 600 career wins. He would join the company of legendary coaches Al Scates and Don Shondell.
Pavlik and Penn State will look to get win No. 600 and complete the sweep as it faces Sacred Heart tomorrow at 2 p.m.
Matthew Scalzo is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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