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Lions Fend Off SUNY Polytechnic 3-1, Advance to NEAC Championship

Lions Fend Off SUNY Polytechnic 3-1, Advance to NEAC Championship

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4/14/2017 — ALTOONA, Pa. - In Friday afternoon's North Eastern Athletic Conference semifinal, the #1 Penn State Altoona men's volleyball team defeated #4 SUNY Polytechnic Institute 3-1 in the Adler Gym.

The win propels the Lions (25-6, 15-1 NEAC) to the NEAC championship match, where they will face #3 Wells College. That match is tomorrow, Saturday, April 15 at 1:00 p.m. in the Adler Gym.

Penn State Altoona cruised to a 25-18 win in the first set before SUNY Polytechnic (16-17, 11-5 NEAC) found some momentum in the second set, when it picked up a 25-20 win. But the Lions battled for a 27-25 win in the third set, then won the fourth set 25-22 to take the match.

Bradley Colditz (Upper St. Clair, PA/Upper St. Clair) led all players in kills with 16, and he also contributed eight digs and one solo block. Daniel Downs (Reading, PA/Daniel Boone) had nine kills, two solo blocks, and two block assists, and Brandon Arentz (Mount Wolf, PA/Northeastern) had nine kills to go along with five digs, one solo block, and two block assists. Jacob Byers (Level Green, PA/Penn Trafford) finished with seven kills and one solo block.

Tommy Kisick (Latrobe, PA/Greater Latrobe) led his team in set assists with 30. Waldemar Rivera-Berrios (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico/Samuel Clemens) had a match-high 17 digs.

Penn State Altoona won the first set comfortably. The Lions opened up a 6-3 lead, including Arentz and Downs combining for back-to-back blocks. Colditz's kill gave the home team a six-point lead, 15-11, and Downs' kill later kept the difference at six points, 19-13. Kills by Arentz on consecutive plays scored the Lions' 24th and 25th points of the set.

SUNY Polytechnic responded by winning the second set, and the Wildcats led for the majority of the third set. But Penn State Altoona, trailing 18-13, outscored the visitors 14-7 over the remainder of the set. Justin Bannister's (Willow Hill, PA/Fannett-Metal) service ace tied the score 23-23, and Byers' kill kept the score knotted at 24. Downs' block made it 25-25, and the Lions used a SUNY Polytechnic attack error and a kill from Colditz to pull out the win.

In the fourth, SUNY Polytechnic kept things close, but Penn State Altoona maintained a lead for most of the set. The Wildcats committed nine attack errors in the set, including errors on the Lions' final four points to wrap up the match.

Next, the Lions face off against Wells for the NEAC title tomorrow, Saturday, April 15. The winner of tomorrow's match will receive an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament.


Photo (by Joel Nelson): Penn State Altoona sophomore outside hitter Bradley Colditz puts a swing on the ball during the Lions' 3-1 win over SUNY Polytechnic Institute on Friday afternoon in NEAC semifinals at the Adler Gym.

TAGS: men's volleyball