WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Penn State Altoona men's volleyball earned its first road victory of the season and second consecutive win overall on Wednesday night, sweeping non-conference opponent Wilkes University 3-0 at the Marts Center.
The Lions (2-3) had an efficient night, hitting .295 as a team while committing a season-low 14 attack errors. That helped Penn State Altoona to the 25-12, 25-21, 29-27 victory over Wilkes (4-4).
Brian Sheddy (Shrewsbury, PA/Susquehannock) totaled a match-high 12 kills for the Lions while finishing with a .550 attack percentage, and he also tied for the match-high in service aces with four. Ben Beaver (Hummelstown, PA/Lower Dauphin) added eight kills and tied Sheddy with four aces, and Frank Perehinec (Altoona, PA/Altoona) posted a match-high four total blocks (two solo blocks, two block assists) to go along with five kills.
Kyle Whiteman (Northampton, PA/Northampton) tallied a team-high 16 assists while chipping in two digs, and Danny Dry (Douglasville, PA/Daniel Boone) finished with 13 assists. Tyler Chan (Framingham, MA/Framingham) led the Lions in digs with six.
The first set of the match saw Penn State Altoona hit .529 as a team, posting 10 kills and committing only one error. The Lions jumped out to a 7-2 lead early, helped by two kills from Downs and another by Beaver. Midway through the set, a solo block and a kill from Perehinec gave Penn State Altoona back-to-back points to extend its lead to 11-5. Six of the Lions' final 10 points in the set came courtesy of service aces, with Sheddy racking up three aces in a row to give his team an 18-8 lead and Beaver scoring three of his squad's last four points to close out the set.
Penn State Altoona got out to another early lead in the second set, building a 13-5 advantage helped by seven Wilkes errors. However, Wilkes battled back to tie the set 16-16 and kept things close the rest of the way. But, with a 23-21 lead, Penn State Altoona scored the set's final two points on an attack error and a Sheddy kill to secure the 2-0 lead in the match.
The Lions came out on top in a wild third set that saw Wilkes charge back from a big deficit. But Penn State Altoona ultimately came out on top, thanks to late kills by Beaver, Perehinec, and Sheddy – along with an ace from Beaver – that helped their team to the win.
Next up, the Penn State Altoona men's volleyball team will compete in the two-day Purple Raider Rumble, hosted by the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio this Friday, February 9 and Saturday, February 9. On Friday, the Lions will face Trine University at 6:00 p.m. On Saturday, Penn State Altoona will play a trio of matches, going up against Thomas More College at 9:00 a.m., Fontbonne University at 1:00 p.m., and Mount Union at 3:00 p.m.