Trojans Fall In Four Sets At No. 9 Penn State

Trojans Fall In Four Sets At No. 9 Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. --- The University of Mount Olive men's volleyball team fell in four sets to the Nittany Lions of Penn State University on Friday evening in the season opener for both squads. For the first time in program history, the Trojans forced four sets against PSU, something that no UMO team had done in the past nine contests.

Score: #9 Penn State 3, Mount Olive 1 (23-25, 25-19, 25-12, 25-14)
Records: Mount Olive (0-1), #9 Penn State (1-0)
Location: University Park, Pa.

How It Happened


  • No. 9 Penn State started the match off going up 3-1 over Mount Olive, but the Trojans came back to tie and challenge the Nittany Lions for control of the scoreboard.
  • UMO took a two-point lead following a PSU service error and a kill by Bret Rutledge to go up 10-8.
  • The Trojans maintained a two to three-point lead over the Nittany Lions through the middle of the set until Penn State tied the score at 17 all.
  • The score tied four times until the Trojans took a two-point lead, 23-21 following an ace from Jerell Rogers and a PSU attacking error.
  • Penn State closed the gap to one, twice, but Mount Olive regained the two-point lead to win the first set 25-23.
  • The set one win was the first time in program history that Mount Olive took a set over Penn State through nine previous encounters.


  • The Nittany Lions came out in the second set taking a quick 4-1 lead over the Trojans.
  • Mount Olive responded by going on a 6-1 run that included two kills and an ace by Robert Poole and three errors by the Penn State squad.
  • PSU retook the lead 9-8 on a 4-1 run, but a kill by Rogers tied the set at nine all.
  • Following the tie, Penn State took the lead and held an average lead of four to five points through the remainder of the set as they took the second set 25-19.


  • Penn State came out of the intermission quickly going up 5-1 over Mount Olive.
  • The Trojans cut the lead to three, 6-3, but the Nittany Lions went on an 11-4 run as they pulled away going up by ten points, 17-7, forcing a UMO timeout.
  • Mount Olive scored five points following the timeout but could not cut the double-digit Penn State lead who won set three 25-12.


  • Mount Olive and Penn State went back and forth in the opening services of the fourth set with neither team holding more than a one-point lead until the Trojans went up 5-3 on back-to-back Trojan kills by Rogers and Brad Monaghan.
  • UMO held on to a two-point lead, 8-6, following two kills and a Penn State service error, but the home Lions countered by five unanswered points to take a three-point lead, 11-8.
  • The Trojans scored six more points through the remainder of the set as PSU closed on a 14-6 run to win the set 25-14 and the match 3-1.


  • Bret Rutledge led the Trojans with 10 kills on 29 attacks while Robert Poole followed with nine kills on 20 attacks and Jerell Rogers was third with seven kills on 11 attacks for a team-high .545 hitting percentage.
  • Jeff Yasalonis tallied 30 assists on the night while Luke Visgitis was the leading blocker for UMO with four assisted blocks.


"It was a really great effort from our returning seniors," said head coach David Heller. "They helped lead this team emotionally in a very loud and rowdy environment. It meant a lot to have the support in the stands and on the bench. Our freshman middles did a great job of controlling that and they will definitely continue to improve. Our serving pass game struggled in sets two, three and four. But I'm really excited about the future with his team. They put themselves in a really good position to be a strong team throughout the entire year. I think our confidence will continue to grow after this match heading into tomorrow at St. Francis. It's very tough opening your season on the road. But our team culture is on point and everyone plays for the player next to them."

Up Next

Mount Olive returns to action on January 13 as they travel to Loretto, Pa. to face the Red Flash of Saint Francis. First serve is set for 7 p.m. at Degol Arena