Story Courtesy of Penn State
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - No. 9 Penn State took care of Sacred Heart 3-1 (25-15, 27-29, 25-21, 25-18) Friday night in Rec Hall to remain undefeated in EIVA play on the season.
"...I thought we took care of business pretty well," said head coach Mark Pavlik.
"We hit .370 for the match, our serving, while the argument can be made we missed 26 serves 'we gave them the game', I tell you what, I think our serving really won the match for us. They could not get any type of offensive rhythm going. With the aces and overpasses, with the times that we really knew where they had to go, they were so aware of our block that we had some easier balls to play. You take the good with the bad on that, and it was a lot more good than bad," Pavlik continued.
Penn State (7-2, 2-0) started the opening set on a 6-1 run and cruised to a 25-15 set taking an early 1-0 lead on the Pioneers who entered the match on a two-game win streak against the Nittany Lions.
Set two was not the same story as Sacred Heart (2-5, 0-2) matched the Nittany Lions point-for-point knotting the set on 20 different occasions.
Tied at 27-27, Sacred Heart's Taylor Bloomquist put a ball away to give the Pioneers a one-point lead. The next play was a costly one for Penn State as an attack error ended the set and tied the match at 1-1 heading into the break.
Out of the break, it was all Penn State as the Nittany Lions too set three 25-21 and closed out the Pioneers in the fourth set 25-18 to improve to 7-2 on the season and remain undefeated in EIVA play at 2-0.
Matthew McLaren, the Mike Anderson Player of the Game finished with a line of 13 kills, three service aces, three digs and one block. Joining McLaren in double-digit kills were Aidan Albrecht and Calvin Mende who each registered 14. Mende, who returned to the court after a short stint on the sideline with an injury, returned in impressive fashion hitting at a clip of .440 and adding nine digs and two blocks.
Penn State continues EIVA conference play tomorrow Feb. 17 in the South Gym of Rec Hall as the Nittany Lions take on Harvard at 4 p.m. ET.