Princeton Upsets Penn State; Loyola Hangs On in Five Setter

  0 Wendy Mayer | March 03rd, 2018 | College - Men's Indoor, Conference Carolinas, EIVA, MIVA, News

Princeton won its third straight, toppling No. 11 Penn State in five sets after facing eight match-point attempts in Set 4.

No. 5 Loyola hangs on for five-set win over Lincoln Memorial, while No. 8 Lewis and No. 9 Ohio State also notched victories Saturday night.


Princeton def. #11 Penn State 3-2 (25-16, 22-25, 18-25, 31-29, 15-13)

Key Stats: Seventeen blocks helped lift the Tigers to victory. Penn State led Princeton in every other statistical category, outhitting the Tigers .228 to .225 and besting them in kills (68-53) and aces (7-3). Princeton won the block 17-13. The Tigers did outhit the Nittany Lions in each of the final two sets (.394 to .318 in Set 4 and .231 to .150 in Set 5).

Stat Leaders: Sophomore middle George Huhmann downed his 24 kills on a .667 hitting effort, making just two errors in 33 swings, while also notching a match-high nine blocks and two aces. Sophomore outside Greg Luck added a 15-kill, 10-dig double-double and five blocks. Senior middle Junior Oboh turned in six kills and five blocks. Freshman setter Joe Kelly registered a 44-assist, 17-dig double-double and three blocks, while guiding the Tigers to a .225 hitting effort.

Redshirt junior outside Matthew McLaren posted 22 kills to lead the Nittany Lions, while redshirt senior outside Aidan Albrecht (18) and redshirt sophomore opposite Calvin Mende (13) followed. Redshirt senior middle Kevin Gear added nine kills and seven blocks, while hitting at a team-best .350 clip. McLaren and Albrecht each served up two aces, while Mende added five blocks.

It Was Over When: Princeton rallied from down 24-21 and fought off five more Penn State match-point tries in Set 4, before winning 31-29. The Tigers carried the momentum into the decisive fifth set, cruising to a 6-2 advantage. Huhmann led the way with two kills and a block and Princeton capitalized on two PSU hitting errors. Princeton raised its lead to five at 10-5 with help from a pair of Nittany Lion service errors. Penn State called timeout and scored six of the next eight out of the break to narrow the gap to one at 12-11. Albrecht and Penrose turned in two kills each in the PSU rally. A service error and hitting error put Princeton on the hill at 14-11. A Mende putaway and solo stuff by Gear kept the Nittany Lions in the game. Princeton called timeout and Huhmann delivered his 24th kill to close out the unlikely victory.


#5 Loyola def. Lincoln Memorial 3-2 (25-17, 23-25, 25-15, 23-25, 15-12)

  • Loyola moves to 15-3); Lincoln falls to 6-8
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Box Score
  • Loyola Recap / Lincoln Recap

Key Stats: Loyola won its fifth straight match, hanging on for the five-set win over Lincoln Memorial. The Ramblers hit .248 for the match and served up 10 aces, while allowing just six. The Railsplitters won the block 16-13. LMU hit .476 in Set 4 to force the final stanza, but managed just a .059 effort in the Set 5 loss. Sixteen different players got into the match for Loyola with nine posting at least one kill.

Stat Leaders: Junior outside Will Tischler downed 17 kills and served up four aces to lead the Ramblers. Senior middle Jeff Jendryk, junior outside Markus Melbardis and sophomore outside Kyler Kotsakis chipped in eight kills apiece. Melbardis hit at a team-best .375 clip, while Kotsakis and Jendryk tallied five blocks apiece. Tischler and Kotsakis paced the defense with seven digs each.

Sophomore opposite Evan Cory (15), senior outside Josh Riblett (10) and sophomore middle Pedro Carvalho (9) led the Railsplitter offense. Cory hit at a team-best .387 clip and added seven digs, four blocks and two aces. Freshman middle Dimitrios Kyridis put up eight blocks, while Cory and redshirt junior outside Jordan Walley added four stuffs apiece.

It Was Over When: Loyola went up 7-4 in Set 5 behind four Lincoln errors and two Collin Mahan putaways. The Railsplitters tied it up at 7-all, but the Ramblers pulled away with a 7-1 run. Two Mahan kills, two Paul Narup blocks and a Garrett Zolg ace gave Loyola a match-point try at 14-8. Lincoln stayed in the game with four-straight points, including two blocks, to pull within two at 14-12. A bad set spelled the end of the night for the Railsplitters.


#8 Lewis def. King 3-0 (25-14, 25-18, 25-22)

Key Stats: Lewis hit at an eye-popping and season-high .530 clip, committing just six hitting errors in the match, in a quick sweep of King. The Flyers dominated the Tornado across the board: kills (50-31), aces (6-1) and blocks (4-2). For its part, King hit at a respectable .273 clip, including .444 in Set 3, but could not match Lewis’ offensive efficiency.

Stat Leaders: Redshirt sophomore outside Ryan Coenen and redshirt junior opposite Mitch Perinar turned in 15 and 13 kills respectively, each with error-free efforts and hitting efficiencies of .650 or better. Redshirt freshman middle Tyler Mitchem and sophomore outside Kyle Bugee added seven kills apiece, each hitting better than .333. Bugee also added a team-best eight digs, while Mitchem put up a team-leading three blocks.

Senior right side Kiel Bell was tops among the Tornado with 13 kills and seven digs, while hitting at a .524 clip. Senior outside Jeff Sprayberry chipped in nine kills and five digs. The next highest output was three kills by senior middle Adrian Besson and junior middle  Jon Wheaton.

It Was Over When: Neither team led by more than three in Set 3 of the match, until two King miscues and a block by Mitchem and Bugee made it 21-16 Lewis. The Tornado scored five of the next six to slice the margin to one at 22-21. Bell and Sprayberry downed two kills apiece in the rally. The Flyers called timeout and scored three of the final four to secure the win. Two Mitchem putaways set up the final blow by Coenen.


#9 Ohio State def. McKendree (RV) 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 25-19)

  • Ohio State moves to 13-4, 6-2 MIVA; McKendree falls to 6-10, 3-5 MIVA
  • Lebanon, Illinois
  • Box Score
  • Ohio State Recap / McKendree Recap

Key Stats: McKendree won the block 9.5 to 7, but could not get out of its own way, committing 17 errors and hitting just .104 in a sweep at the hands of No. 9 Ohio State on Saturday. The Buckeyes bested the Bearcats in kills (43-25) and aces (5-2), while hitting .294 for the match. OSU hit .360 or better in the first two sets, but managed just a .176 effort in Set 3.

Stat Leaders: Senior outsides Maxime Hervoir and Nicolas Szerszen notched double-digit kill tallies, posting 14 and 10, to lead OSU. Redshirt freshman opposite Jake Hanes and redshirt junior middle Blake Leeson added nine and eight putaways respectively. Leeson hit at a team-best .600 clip (8-2-10) and put up a team-high five blocks. Szerszen served up two of the team’s five aces, while Hanes added four blocks.

Senior outside Jared Wilcox managed seven kills and four blocks to lead McKendree. Redshirt senior middle Brendan Schmidt, senior outside Nolan Rueter and senior setter Pasquale Fiduccia turned in four kills apiece. Schmidt and redshirt freshman middle Wyatt Dimke also added four stuffs.

It Was Over When: Ohio State snapped a 6-all tie in Set 3 with a 9-1 run, including two Szerszen putaways and three blocks. McKendree narrowed the gap to four at 16-12 as Wilcox and Schmidt each notched a kill and a block. Three Hervoir kills and one each by Szerszen and Martin Lalleman put OSU up seven at 21-14. Two Will Frank putaways pulled the Bearcats within four at 22-18. A stuff by Leeson and Sanil Thomas, a Szerszen kill and a setting error wrapped up the 25-19 win and the sweep.



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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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