PALO ALTO, Calif. -- The top-seeded Lewis University men's volleyball team used 18.5 blocks to defeat fifth-seeded Penn State 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-16, 25-20) in the NCAA NC Men's Volleyball semifinals."I'm excited, man, that was awesome," Lewis head men's volleyball coach Dan Friend said. "The guys did a great job (tonight). We executed our gameplan and what we wanted to do from a blocking standpoint. Our defense did a great job and we did a good job of putting serving pressure on Penn State."
The win advances Lewis to the 2015 National Championship. Lewis will play an opponent they know very well. The Flyers will face third seeded Loyola-Chicago on Saturday. Lewis handed Loyola its only two defeats in the regular season, but the Ramblers bounced back last Friday in the MIVA Championship to defeat the Flyers 3-1.
Junior Bobby Walsh was the defensive ring leader for the Flyers on Thursday against Penn State, recording a match-high 11 blocks (one solo). The Lewis defense helped the Flyers out-hit the Nittany Lions .298 to .142.
Offensively, senior Greg Petty led Lewis with 15 kills while adding nine digs. He recorded eight kills in game four. Senior Eric Fitterer finished with 12 kills.
Lewis controlled the first set, never trailing after taking a 5-4 lead. Penn State bounced back to tie the match with a win in the second set. Six Lewis hitting errors and four missed serves benefited Penn State in the second.
The third set was all Lewis with the Flyers limiting the Nittany Lions to a -.167 attack percentage in the set.
Lewis closed the match in the fourth with a five-point victory. Lewis had leads of 15-11 and 22-18 before Penn State cut the advantage to 22-20. The Flyers asked for time and went to Petty out of the break. He had a kill for point 23 to put the momentum back on Lewis' side. Petty returned two points later for a kill on point 25 to give the Flyers' the match.
Senior Lucas Yanez recorded 11 digs for the Flyers. Junior Scott Fifer dished out 41 assists while adding six block assists, five digs and two aces.
Penn State ends their 2015 season 21-10. Lewis improves to 27-3. It's the most wins in a single season for Lewis under head coach Dan Friend.