Lions Have Strong Start; Men's Volleyball Defeats Altoona

Lions Have Strong Start; Men's Volleyball Defeats Altoona

ALTOONA, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend men's volleyball team opened the season with a 3-0 win over Penn State Altoona and a five-set loss to Eastern Mennonite in a tri-match on Saturday hosted by the Altoona Lions.

The Lions (1-1) posted a 25-14, 25-16 and 25-16 victory over Altoona. In the first match against Eastern Mennonite, the Royals (2-1) dropped the first set 25-19, before winning 25-15 and 25-22 to take a 2-1 lead. After Behrend tied the match at 2-all, EMU pulled out the win with a 15-13 set five victory.

On the day, Trenton Munk (Baden, PA/Ambridge) led with 20 kills and Eric Theiss (Plum, PA/Plum) added 19 kills. Setter Mitch Farabaugh (North Huntingdon, PA/Norwin) handed out 54 assists in two matches, while libero Derek Polishen (Plum, PA/Plum) registered 29 digs.

In the win over the Altoona Lions, Behrend hit .329 as a team for the match only recording 10 hitting errors in three sets. Josh Oertly (Cochranton, PA/Cochranton) had a .667 attack percentage with a game-high 13 kills, one error on 18 attempts. Farabaugh handed out 20 assists and freshman Ryan Robida (Cheektowaga, NY/Maryvale) added 13.

Behrend jumped out to an 18-11 lead in the first set and got the next three points off kills by Oertly, before he served to get the Lions to set point. An Altoona attack error gave the Lions a 25-14 set-one victory.

Behrend took early leads and only surrendered 16 points in each of the next two sets to sweep Altoona. Oertly went 12-for-12 in the first two sets, including seven kills in the second to keep the Lions out front.

Against the Royals, Ty Sheehan (Cochranton, PA/Cochranton) posted a double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs and four blocks.

The Lions never trailed in the first set and took a five-point lead after a kill from Farabaugh and two errors by the Royals to make it 18-13. Behrend closed out the set with three kills, including two from Munk with the last giving the Lions the set at 25-19.

EMU were nearly flawless in the second set with nine kills and one error to even the match at 1-all with a 25-12 win. The momentum from the second carried into the third set for the Royals, helping them to a 25-22 victory.

In the decisive fourth set for Behrend, Sheehan tallied five of his 10 kills to force a fifth and final set.  The Lions were down three early in the set and turned it around to post their biggest lead of seven points on three occasions. Behrend won five of the final eight points to earn a 25-20 victory.

The Royals opened the fifth set on a 5-1 run, but the Lions closed in on EMU and eventually tied it at 13-all. A service error and an attack error by Behrend gave the Royals the final two points for the match.

The Lions return to action Tuesday at D'Youville. Match begins at 7 p.m.