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.