University Park, PA – The Sacred Heart men's volleyball team was unable to overcome #7 Penn State Friday night as the Nittany Lions downed the Pioneers in straight sets. Penn State recorded 15.5 total blocks as SHU was held to a .085 hitting percentage. Nick Hunt (Uniondale, NY) paced the Sacred Heart attack with nine kills.
Penn State (19-3, 12-0 EIVA) opened up an early 7-3 edge in the first set. The Pioneers used a 5-2 spurt, which included a pair of Bradley Borsay (Richmond, RI) kills, to close the gap to 9-8. Borsay finished the match with four kills and three digs. The Nttany Lions engineered an 11-6 run that gave the home team a 22-15 cushion. Joe Sunder tallied a match high 13 kills for Penn State. SHU fought off four set points but the Nittany Lions eventually claimed the first frame, 25-19.
Sacred Heart (5-20, 2-11 EIVA) fell into a hole in the second set as Penn State took a 7-2 lead. However, the Pioneers would rally back and leveled the score at 14-14 on a John Lutjen (Smithtown, NY) kill. Lutjen closed the match with 23 assists. SHU went on top, 18-17, on a block from Enzo Mackenzie (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Jason Kinney (Salem, NH). Penn State went on the final run of the set, claiming five of the last seven rallies, to pick up the 25-22 victory.
The Nittany Lions won the first four points of the third set and held the lead from wire to wire. PSU finished the match with a .380 hitting percentage, including a .391 mark in the final game. Sunders, Ian Hendries, and Nick Goodell combined for a block that gave Penn State the set, 25-15, and the match, 3-0.
The SHU men's volleyball team returns to action tomorrow night for a non-conference tilt with Juniata.