Sweep Puts Penn State Men in EIVA Finals

  0 Wendy Mayer | April 20th, 2017 | College - Men's Indoor, EIVA

Match Stats

  • No. 13 Penn State 3, Princeton 0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-23)
  • Penn State moves to 16-14; Princeton falls to 12-14
  • Penn State advances to the EIVA Finals to face Saint Francis
  • University Park, Pennsylvania
  • Attendance: 624
  • Box Score

The No. 13 Penn State men used efficient offense and a strong blocking presence to get past Princeton via sweep in the EIVA Tournament semifinals.

The Nittany Lions hit .413 in the match and put up 10 blocks in the 25-23, 25-19, 25-23 win.

For its part, Princeton hit .259 and managed four blocks.

Senior outside hitter Chris Nugent led all hitters with 15 kills on a .560 hitting effort, while also serving up three aces and pulling up five digs. Redshirt freshman opposite Calvin Mende chipped in nine kills and a team-best five blocks. Redshirt junior outside Aiden Albrecht managed eight kills, three blocks and four digs. Redshirt sophomore libero Royce Clemens pulled up a team-best seven digs.

Junior outside Kendall Ratter and freshman outside Parker Dixon each tallied 12 kills in the match to pace the Tigers. Ratter hit at a .381 clip and added four digs. Junior middle Junior Oboh chipped in seven kills, while hitting at a .500 clip and serving up two aces. Sophomore libero Corry Short pulled up a team-best nine digs.

Princeton led 15-10 midway through Set 1. Three kills and two blocks by Oboh and two kills each by Ratter and Greg Luck helped the Tigers gain the advantage. Penn State chipped away, eventually tying it up at 20-all as Nugent turned in four kills and an ace. Putaways by Ratter and Dixon and an ace by Oboh put Princeton up 23-21, but Penn State scored four straight to steal away the win. A block by Matt Callaway and Mende capped the stanza.

After a tie at 8-all, Penn State took control of Set 2 with five of the next six points. A kill and a block each by Nugent and Kevin Gear pushed the Nittany Lions out to a 13-9 lead. A Dixon putaway slowed PSU momentarily, but the Nittany Lions followed with five straight points, including back-to-back blocks by Callaway. Dixon turned in three kills as Princeton scored eight of the next 11 to cut the margin to four at 22-18. A Nugent ace and a hitting error put PSU on the hill at 24-18. Another hitting error clinched the set.

The teams played to a 9-9 tie early in Set 3, before a 5-0 Penn State run, including two Mende kills and two Callaway blocks, made it 14-9. Three Nittany Lion miscues and a pair of Ratter kills pulled the Tigers within two at 18-16. Penn State worked the lead back to four at 22-18, but Princeton scored four of the next five, with two Ratter kills and a kill and an ace by Oboh to make it a one-point game at 23-22. A Nugent putaway made it 24-22. Ratter held off the first match point, but Nugent closed out the night.

PRESS RELEASES

Courtesy: Penn State Athletics

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Top seeded Penn State (20-10) swept Princeton in the semifinals of the EIVA tournament Thursday night in Rec Hall behind the efforts of All-EIVA First-Teamer Chris Nugent and company.

“The Game plan was carried out to a T,” said head coach Mark Pavilk. “Defensively, [Associate head coach] Collin threw together a great defensive plan.” Chris Nugent led the way for the Nittany Lions against the Tigers, finishing the night with 15 kills hitting at a .560 clip. Royce Clemens led the defensive efforts for the Nittany Lions totaling seven digs on the night. Luke Braswell followed Clemens as he posted six digs to go along with his 36 assists.

Calvin Mende and Aidan Albrecht contributed nine and eight kills, respectively, hitting .227 and .400.

Mende and Matt Callaway led Penn State in blocks individually with five apiece while the team registered 10.5 blocks on the night.

Trailing by as much as five in the first game, Penn State battled to a 25-23 set win to take a 1-0 lead.

Penn State carried their momentum into the second set winning 25-19.

Heading into the third set with a 2-0 advantage, Princeton matched Penn State point-for-point tying the set at 9-9. A kill by Mende sparked a 5-0 run for the Nittany Lions giving them a 14-9 lead. Princeton chipped away at Penn State’s lead coming within two-points brining the score to 22-20. A kill by Mende gave the Nittany Lions a three-point advantage; but a kill and a service ace by Princeton’s Junior Oboh brought the Tigers within one of the Nittany Lions and forced a Penn State timeout. Out of the time, a kill by Nugent ignited what would ultimately be a 25-23 Penn State victory by way of a 3-0 sweep.

Penn State will return to the court Saturday night at 7 p.m. as they face Saint Francis (Pa.) in the finals of the EIVA tournament. The winner of the match will be granted an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.

For more on Nittany Lion men’s volleyball, log onto www.GoPSUsports.com or follow the team on Twitter @PennStateMVBall.

Courtesy: Princeton Athletics

The young Princeton men’s volleyball team brought big dreams to Rec Hall Thursday night, and they played like a team ready to make them a reality early in its EIVA semifinal showdown at top-seeded Penn State. Unfortunately, a Nittany Lion rally in the opening set laid the foundation for a tough 3-0 win over the Tigers, who end their impressive 2017 season one match short of the league championship round.

Princeton, which won only six matches last season, ends the 2017 season with a 12-14 record after a 25-23, 25-19, 25-23 loss to the Nittany Lions, who will face second-seeded Saint Francis Saturday night in the EIVA championship. Penn State is 36-1 in its last 37 EIVA postseason matches; its lone loss came to the Red Flash in last year’s semifinal match.

This one got away from Princeton midway through the first set. A kill by Kendall Ratter opened a 15-10 lead, but Penn State scored the next two, and then got a third point on an overturned challenge by Penn State. Princeton got one back, but Penn State stayed close and then added another 3-0 run later on the serve of Chris Nugent to even the match at 20-20. A Ratter kill and a Junior Oboh ace gave Princeton a 22-20 lead, but the hosts rallied with four of the final five points to take the opening set.

Penn State clearly fed off the momentum and took control of the second set fairly early.

The Nittany Lions led the third most of the way as well, but Princeton showed impressive fight in getting back to within one point late. Oboh got the Tigers to within 23-22 on a service ace, and Ratter fended off one match ball with a kill to make it 24-23. Nugent took a swing for Penn State on the ensuing point, which Corry Short was able to dig, but the ball floated just beyond the Penn State back line to end the match.

Both Ratter and All-EIVA rookie Parker Dixon led Princeton with 12 kills, while Oboh added seven kills, two aces and two blocks. Freshman Greg Luck added six kills, while EIVA Newcomer of the Year George Huhmann — who joined Oboh on the All-EIVA First Team — added three kills and two blocks.

The lone senior starter for Princeton, setter Jonah May, guided the offense with 36 assists, while Short had nine digs.

Princeton is the only team with three returning All-EIVA players, and it has six starters returning for next season.

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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 Volleymob.com after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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