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Lions Volleyball Rallies Past Behrend 3-2; Smith Becomes All-Time Assists Leader

Lions Volleyball Rallies Past Behrend 3-2; Smith Becomes All-Time Assists Leader


1/28/2017 — ERIE, Pa. - Penn State Altoona men's volleyball overcame a 2-1 deficit to Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent Penn State Behrend on Saturday evening, coming back to win 3-2 in the Junker Center.

Penn State Altoona (3-1, 1-0 AMCC) won the first set 25-23 before Behrend (0-1, 0-1 AMCC) responded by posting 25-22 and 25-23 victories in the next two sets. Facing elimination, the Lions countered with a 28-26 win in the fourth set before taking the fifth set by a score of 15-13.

In the exciting win, Lions' sophomore setter Billy Smith (Pittsburgh, PA/Upper St. Clair) became the all-time set assists leader for the Penn State Altoona men's volleyball program. Smith passed former Lion Branden McGarvey (2013-2015) to move into first place on the all-time list, and he finished Saturday's match with 1,036 career assists in 118 sets since the start of the 2016 season.

Brandon Arentz (Mount Wolf, PA/Northeastern) led Penn State Altoona in kills and blocks, notching 14 kills to go along with five total blocks (one solo block, four block assists). He also contributed eight digs.

Bradley Colditz (Upper St. Clair, PA/Upper St. Clair) and Jacob Byers (Level Green, PA/Penn Trafford) each finished the match with 13 kills. Byers also chipped in eight digs.

Daniel Downs (Reading, PA/Daniel Boone) recorded 10 kills and three total blocks (one solo block, two block assists). Justin Bannister (Willow Hill, PA/Fannett-Metal) added seven kills and four total blocks (one solo block, three block assists).

Smith led the team with 33 set assists to go along with five digs. Tommy Kisick (Latrobe, PA/Greater Latrobe) recorded 17 assists, four kills, and two total blocks (one solo block, one block assist).

Waldemar Rivera-Berrios (Toa Alta, P.R./Samuel Clemens) posted a match-high 12 digs, and Brian Sheddy (Shrewsbury, PA/Susquehannock) finished with nine digs.

Penn State Altoona led 19-14 in the first set before Behrend clawed back into things, whittling the Lions' lead to 21-20. But Penn State Altoona used kills from Byers and Colditz, along with two Behrend errors, to take the first set by two points.

After losing sets two and three, Penn State Altoona was able to grind out a 28-26 victory in the fourth set to stave off elimination. Behrend was twice just one point away from winning the set, holding leads of 25-24 and 26-25. But a kill from Arentz and two more from Downs clinched the set in favor of the Lions and forced a fifth game.

In the fifth, Penn State Altoona nabbed a 5-4 lead and never trailed the rest of the way. The team used kills from Byers and Kisick to put the finishing touches on their comeback win.

Next, Penn State Altoona men's volleyball hosts its first home match on Tuesday, January 31 at 7:00 p.m. in the Adler Gym against Thiel College.

Photo: Penn State Altoona sophomore setter Billy Smith became the Lions' all-time assists leader in the win at Penn State Behrend on Saturday.

TAGS: men's volleyball