Mount Olive made a late third-set rally, but nationally 12th-ranked Penn State came away with a 25-14, 25-13, 25-19 victory over the Trojans in non-conference men's volleyball Friday at University Park, Pa. Angel Dache recorded match highs of 11 kills and seven digs for the Trojans.
Mount Olive (1-5) trailed 20-10 in the third set before Dache's kill began a Trojan rally. Garrett Dimm and Alex Palmatier added kills to pull the Trojans within 21-14 and after the teams exchanged side outs, a block by Dimm and Lewis Einarson capped a 3-0 run to pull the Trojans within 23-18. After a Penn State block for a side out, Mount Olive saved a match point on a Nittany Lion service error. But a Trojan service error sealed the win for Penn State.
Mount Olive stayed within striking range early in the first set as a kill by Ben Boncella and a pair of kills by Steven Cruse cut Penn State's lead to 5-4. Penn State (4-2) pulled away as three straight Trojan attack errors helped the Nittany Lions build a 12-6 advantage. Mount Olive got as close as four points, but Penn State built a double-digit advantage as Aaron Russell's kill capped a 7-1 run and gave the Nittany Lions a 22-12 lead. Mount Olive answered with a kill by Dache and a block by Boncella and Palmatier. Penn State then scored the next three points to take the opening set.
The second set was all Penn State as the Nittany Lions scored nine of their first nine points and took their first double-digit lead at 13-3. Mount Olive trailed by as many as 14 points before the Trojans made a 4-1 run. Dache sandwiched a pair of kills around a Garrett Dimm kill and Lewis Einarson's solo block pulled Mount Olive within 22-12. Penn State came back to win three of the next four points and Joey Farrell's kill gave the Nittany Lions a two-set lead.
Einarson led Mount Olive with three blocks, while Boncella, Palmatier and Quaid Marin added two blocks apiece. Marin also recorded 20 assists in his first start of the season.
Spencer Sauter led a balanced Penn State attack with seven kills, while Matt Callaway had a match-high six blocks. Penn State out-blocked Mount Olive 14.0-6.0
Mount Olive concludes its weekend trip to the Keystone State Sunday as the Trojans head to Loretto, Pa., to take on Saint Francis. Match time is 3 p.m.