Penn State’s Calvin Mende Score Career-High 29 Kills Against Princeton

  0 Kenedy McGrath | February 13th, 2017 | College - Men's Indoor, EIVA, News


  • #14 Penn State def. Princeton 3-2 (22-25, 25-27, 25-19, 27-25, 15-9)
  • Penn State moves to 8-4 while Princeton drops to 3-6
  • Dillon Gymnasium in Princeton, NJ
  • Attendance: 1,160
  • Match Stats

#14 Penn State men’s team had a grueling against Princeton this weekend taking the set to 5 games. Penn State’s men’s team had a lot of career high and season high record breakers this match as a team and for individual players.

Penn State’s redshirt freshman Calvin Mende lead his team with his highest career attacking record of 29 kills hitting .659 and had 6 blocks.

Nittany Lions Chirs Nugent and Lee Smith also had double digit kills with a total of 19 and 13 kills and setter Nathan Smith had a career high of 62 assists. Penn State had a team total of 17.5 blocks this match, another season high.

Penn State wasn’t the only team to break records, Princeton’s Kendall Ratter had a career high of 27 kills in the match as well as 4 aces, 4 blocks, and 3 digs. Greg Luck and Corry Short had a team-best of 7 digs and senior setter Jonah May had 52 assists.

Press Release

Courtesy of: Penn State Athletics

PRINCETON, N.J. – The No. 14 Penn State men’s volleyball team made it two-for-two this weekend rallying from an 0-2 deficit to beat Princeton 3-2 (22-25, 25-27, 25-19, 27-25, 15-9) in five sets behind the arm of Calvin Mende Saturday night at Dillon Gym.

Calvin Mende led the Nittany Lions in kills recording a career high 29 kills hitting .659 for the night. The redshirt-freshman also contributed on the defensive side adding six blocks.

Chris Nugent and Lee Smith also recorded double digit kills on the night contributing 19 and 13 kills, respectively. Nathan Smith stepped in and recorded a career high 62 assists, while Penn State had four players with at least six blocks contributing to a team total of 17.5 blocks – a season high.

Princeton opened the match taking a 2-0 lead into the break holding firm against Penn State.

Head coach Mark Pavlik entered the match with a career EIVA record of 249-9, surrendering only nine matches to conference opponents over his 23 year career at the helm of the NIttany Lions, tonight would not be his 10th EIVA loss.

Penn State rattled off two wins to knot the match at 2-2 entering the fifth set.

This is where Penn State asserted their will to win as they opened the set on a 4-0 run led by two kills from Mende forcing a Princeton timeout.

The timeout did little to slow down Penn State as they led 8-5 at the break and continued to pour it on leading 11-6 as Princeton burned their final timeout.

A 4-3 run, capped by a kill from Mende, cemented the comeback and gave Penn State their third EIVA win of the season sporting an unblemished record of 3-0 in conference play.

Penn State returns to the court Tuesday night as they travel to Loretto, Pa. for a rematch with Saint Francis (Pa.) on Valentine’s Day at 7 p.m. ET.


Courtesy of: Princeton Athletics

The Princeton team that entered this EIVA-opening weekend will barely resemble the one that leaves it, and that isn’t good news for the rest of the league.

A youthful Tiger squad, one day after upsetting reigning EIVA finalist Saint Francis in a 3-2 thriller, nearly pulled off an even bigger stunner Saturday in front of more than 1,100 people at Dillon Gym. A second straight career night by junior Kendall Ratter helped Princeton push the 14th-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions to five sets, but the visitors fended off a match ball and rallied for the 3-2 win.

Ratter had set a career high with 26 kills Friday night against Saint Francis, and he topped it within 24 hours; Ratter had 27 kills, four aces, four blocks, three digs, two assists and hit .362 to push Princeton to the verge of the upset. He was the driving force in an otherwise-balanced offense; freshmen George Huhmann and Parker Dixon both recorded nine kills, while classmate Greg Luck added seven. Senior Jonah May paced the offense with 52 assists, while both Luck and Corry Short had a team-best seven digs. All-EIVA middle Junior Oboh, who battled back after missing Friday night’s game with an injury, added five kills and four blocks.

Serving helped push Princeton to a 2-0 lead, as the Tigers had eight service aces to only 12 errors. Following a strong performance in the opening set, Princeton rallied from a 23-22 deficit to earn a set ball in extra points, and a combo block by Huhmann and Ratter clinched the 27-25 win. Penn State had a convincing win in the third, but Princeton fought back in a tight fourth set and actually earned a match ball. Penn State’s Calvin Mende recorded one of his match-high 29 kills to fend it off, and the Nittany Lions won the next two points to take the set.

Penn State rode that momentum into the fifth and never let Princeton get back into it; Ratter fought off one match ball with his career-best 27th kill, but Mende finished the match to give Penn State its third win of the EIVA season.

Princeton (3-6, 1-1 EIVA) will remain home over the next week for two more league matches, including a Tuesday night showdown with NJIT (7 pm, ILDN).



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About Kenedy McGrath

Kenedy McGrath

Started writing for volleymob in December 2016 Graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.A. in Multimedia Communications on a full-ride volleyball scholarship as a libero. Originally from Hermosa Beach, California Kenedy started to play indoor and beach volleyball at 9 years-old. She first began as a setter and then realized being only 5'5 …

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