GREENVILLE, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend men's volleyball team defeated Thiel in five sets, winning 21-25, 25-14, 22-25, 25-19 and 15-11 in non-conference action on Wednesday night.
The Lions (3-5) rallied back from two-sets down to post their third straight win over the Tomcats (3-8) and third five-set win since the series began in 2012. Dillon Hildebrand (Red Lion, PA/Red Lion) led with 15 kills and three blocks, while Trenton Munk (Baden, PA/Ambridge) posted his second error-free game with 13 kills on 19 attempts for a .684 hitting percentage.
Thiel had a game-high 26 kills from Cody Patterson, while Mitchell Patterson tallied 17 kills and nine digs in the loss.
After falling 25-21 in the first set, Behrend only allowed 14 points and forced 10 attack errors to even the match at 1- all. Tyler Herrmann (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley) put the Lions ahead by serving six straight points for an 8-1 lead. The Tomcats cut the deficit to three points at 16-13 but they would only get one more point while Calvin Nowicki (Eden, NY/Eden) served the final five points with two aces and a kill from Hildebrand.
In a close third set, Thiel broke open an 18-all game with a pair of errors and four kills by C. Patterson for a three-point decision. Behrend forced a fifth set with a 25-19 fourth-set win.
It was point-for-point in the decisive set, with the Lions holding a slight lead nearly throughout. A service and then attack error by the Tomcats put Behrend up 10-8. Derek Kuhn (Baden, PA/Ambridge) and Joey Reynolds (Saegertown, PA/Saegertown) kept the two-point lead at 12-10. Three straight attack errors helped the Lions seal the victory at 15-11.
Nowicki dished out 27 assists and Herrmann led with 14 digs to go with seven kills.
Behrend returns to action on Saturday at Penn State Altoona in a tri-match with Southern Virginia. Matches begin at 1 p.m.