Penn State drops No. 4 Stanford
Sunder’s match-high 17 kills lead Nittany Lions past Cardinal
Columbus, Ohio. -- Penn State (3-1) upset No. 4 Stanford 3-1 (26-24, 16-25, 25-17, 25-17) in the opening match of the Ken and Dave Dunlap Invitational hosted by Ohio State. Penn State is now 6-3 all-time versus the Cardinal.
Senior Joe Sunder posted a match-high 17 kills with only one error in 25 attempts for a .640 hitting percentage. Redshirt freshman Nick Goodell was second on the team with 10 kills. Sophomore Peter Russell was third with eight kills on .462 hitting. Senior Edgardo Goas dished out 49 assists, while Sunder posted a team-best seven digs. Freshman Aaron Russell was a wall at the net with six total blocks.
Penn State hit .361 against the Cardinal and posted 54 kills, five aces, 24 digs and 9.0 total team blocks. Stanford hit .309 and had 48 kills, two aces, 27 digs and 7.5 team blocks.
The Cardinal grabbed a 7-3 lead to open the match, but by midway through the set the Nittany Lions had the score knotted at 12-12. After a Stanford timeout, Brian Cook pounded a kill to allow the Cardinal to take the lead again. However, a service error and a kill by A. Russell pushed Penn State in front, 14-13.
Stanford tallied two consecutive points for a slim 15-14 lead, but it was short-lived as another Stanford error and a Sunder kill had Penn State leading, 16-15. The score tied three more times before a kill and an ace from Sunder gave Penn State a two-point cushion, 20-18. Stanford called a second timeout and managed to tie it up at 21-21.
A Cardinal block and a Steven Irvin kill moved Stanford on top, 23-22. The Lions called a timeout and junior Tom Comfort put down a kill to make it 23 all. A PSU error gave Stanford a 24-23 lead, but back-to-back kills by Sunder and a joint stuff by Comfort and junior Nick Turko gave PSU a 26-24 win.
Stanford opened set two with a 7-3 lead, just like in the first frame. Penn State called an early timeout, but was unable to close the gap. Stanford had a 16-9 advantage with Penn State used its second break. It failed to slow the Cardinal as its lead grew to nine, 19-10.
The teams traded kills with Stanford slowly moving towards a second set win. Stanford led 23-14 when Goodell pounded a kill and Stanford’s Evan Barry registered an error, which brought PSU within seven, 23-16. However, Penn State was unable to develop any momentum so late in the set and two Stanford kills secured a 25-16 second stanza victory.
The Nittany Lions dominated early on in set three taking a 7-2 lead and sending Stanford to the bench for a timeout. A 4-1 Stanford run had the Cardinal within two, 8-6, but three Sunder kills kept Penn State leading by three, 12-9. Following a Stanford kill, a 5-1 PSU run at Penn State leading 17-11. The Cardinal came as close as four, 20-16, but P. Russell pounded a kill to spark a 4-1 Nittany Lion run for a 25-17 triumph.
The fourth and final set was close from the start until a 4-0 Lion run had Penn State with a 16-12 lead. Stanford called a timeout, but the teams went on to trade points with Penn State maintaining at least a three-point lead. With a 20-16 lead, Turko began a 5-1 run with a kill, which included two PSU blocks and a kill by Russell. Two Stanford errors closed out the set for PSU, 25-17.