Third-Ranked Nittany Lions Sweep Terriers In 17th-straight Win

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Senior night provided to be special for the Nittany Lions as Will Bantle, Canyon Tuman and the third-ranked Penn State men’s volleyball team swept St. Francis Brooklyn (25-12, 25-21, 25-17) in straight sets Friday evening to remain unbeaten in the EIVA.

Penn State (21-3, 14-0 EIVA) has just two regular season matches remaining before hosting the league postseason tournament April 20-23 at Rec Hall. The Nittany Lions have now won 17-straight matches dating back to Jan. 29.

The Nittany Lions were led by Brett Wildman and Cal Fisher offensively as the pair combined for 28.0 points. Fisher had 10 kills, four aces, and a solo block while Wildman put down a team-high 13 kills while swinging .550.

Bantle reached double-digit digs with 10, while Tuman had six kills and three blocks in his first start of the 2022 season.

Penn State’s advantage from the service line was on display as the Nittany Lions aced nine serves to the Terriers’ three.

HOW IT HAPPENED

St. Francis Brooklyn aced two serves to begin the match, but when the Nittany Lions sided-out the next point and Fisher went to serve, he returned the favor with three aces during a seven-point run to get Penn State rolling.

The Nittany Lions never looked back in set one after Fisher’s service run, rallying off two more four-point runs in the game to quickly build a double-digit margin.

A pair of kills by Michael Valenzi and a set-clinching point by Canyon Tuman capped a 25-12 game one win for PSU to put them in front.

Set two was a much closer battle as the Terriers managed to pull the score within one at 16-15 thanks to a four-point spurt. However, Penn State rattled off six of the next eight points with kills from Wildman and Tuman to regain control.

The lefty Fisher put down a point to set up set point number two for Penn State and Toby Ezeonu came up with a solo block to end the frame 25-21 in Penn State’s favor.

In set three, a pair of solo blocks by Tuman and Fisher were the main highlights early in the frame as Penn State built an 11-7 lead.

The key run for the Nittany Lions was a 5-1 spurt after the Terriers pulled within two at 15-13. All three of Penn State’s primary hitters – Fisher, Valenzi, and Wildman – had kills while Bogner and Valenzi also aced serves to extend the margin.

As the two seniors Bantle and Tuman were subbed out to a standing ovation in Rec Hall, Penn State took care of business to end the match on a 5-2 run with a kill from Valenzi capping the victory for the Nittany Lions at 25- 17 in the third.

MATCH NOTES & STATS

  • The Nittany Lions’ 17-match win streak matches its longest since the 2015 season. The previous high before that was its 18 wins in a row in Penn State’s 2008 national championship season.
  • Penn State is 14-0 in league play for the first time since 2012.
  • The Nittany Lions also improved to 12-0 at home in 2022, its best mark at Rec Hall since finishing 15-0 in 2014.
  • Bantle’s 10 digs marked his first time with double-digit digs since Feb. 12 at Sacred Heart.
  • Wildman now has 7 matches this season with 10+ kills while hitting above .500.

NEXT UP

Penn State plays its final home match of the 2022 regular season Saturday evening against NJIT. First serve is scheduled for 7 pm

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