No. 9 Penn State Men’s Volleyball falls to No. 15 Saint Francis in Season Ender
Last Thursday, men’s volleyball had an unexpectedly disappointing close-out to their otherwise successful season. No. 15 Saint Francis (Pa.) was too much for the Nittany Lions to handle in the semifinals of the EIVA championships.
The four-set game was filled with back-and-forth scoring from Penn State and Sacred Heart. The Red Flash established a lead in the opening set 7-6, but Penn State was determined to stay in the game. Before the end of the first set, the Nittany Lions had established a 10-7 lead thanks to four consecutive service aces.
The set was dominated by Penn State thanks to plays from Matt Seifert (Reading, Pa.) and Matt Callaway (Wheaton, Ill.), ending with a 29-27 lead.
The second set followed suit, with Penn State establishing a confident lead, but then losing steam and the set, 26-28.
Heading into the third set, Penn State gained momentum with a 4-1 run against the Red Flash, at one point up 23-20. However, it was a timeout by SFU that resulted in a more even playing field, and after much back-and-forth scoring, resulted in SFU barely clinching the set, 24-22.
The fourth and final set was claimed by the Red Flash, 25-23, granting SFU a 3-1 win over Penn State.
Penn State head coach Mark Pavlik had some post-game observations: “When you pour your heart and soul into obtaining excellence in anything you do, and the biggest matches…that you want to take advantage of and you don’t, it hurts… but it should also serve as a motivator.”
Despite a season that ended earlier than most predicted, Penn State men’s volleyball is a legendary program with incredible young talent. The coaches and team are confident that the program will continue to grow and develop for years to come. The sentiment is best summed up by redshirt sophomore Aidan Albrecht (Old Bridge, N.J.).
“We know we have a good group of guys who have experience and can help us build a very good team next season as well. We just have to work hard and make sure we’re ready.”