Lions Fall 3-1 to Ramapo in ECAC Championship
by Christina Roukas
MAHWAH, N.J. – The 2022 season came to an end for the Penn State Altoona men's volleyball team on Saturday evening, when the four seed Lions suffered a 3-1 loss to second seed Ramapo College in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Championship match at the Bradley Center.
Penn State Altoona (16-13) got off to a good start, winning the first set 25-23. But Ramapo (17-13) came back to pull out a 27-25 win in the second set, handled the Lions 25-9 in the third, and fought for a 26-24 victory in the fourth to claim the ECAC Division III title. Penn State Altoona, in its first-ever ECAC postseason appearance in men's volleyball, settled for runner-up status.
At the conclusion of the match, Lions Jared Bodisch (Red Lion, PA/Red Lion), Trey Sadler (Grantville, PA/Lower Dauphin), and Philip Silva (Brazil/Richard Montgomery) were named to the ECAC's all-tournament team.
The first set started off neck-and-neck between the Lions and Roadrunners. Bodisch scored a kill to put Penn State Altoona up 8-6, and Silva's hit extended the Lions' lead to three points, 10-7. The Roadrunners came back to tie the match at 16, but kills from Jared Kish (Columbus, OH/Hilliard Darby) and Silva put Altoona up by two, 18-16. Silva recorded a kill to make it 21-19, and three kills by Kish helped close the set in favor of the Lions, 25-23.
In the second set, Kish's tip over for a kill gave the Lions a 3-2 lead. A Silva kill, followed by a block by Connor Ebersole (Altoona, PA/Bishop Guilfoyle), made it 8-5, and Sadler's cross-count hit extended the Lions' lead to four, 9-5. Ramapo came back to go ahead 16-14, but kills from Silva and Bodisch tied things up, 16-16. The Roadrunners again took the lead, but Silva scored a kill to keep the Lions within two, 19-17. Kish had a hit for a kill, then teamed up with Sadler for a duo block to tie the score 22-22, which was followed by kills from Silva that made it 24-23. After a Ramapo point tied the score, Silva scored another kill to put Penn State Altoona one point away from closing the set. However, Ramapo scored the next three straight points to take the second set 27-25.
In the third set, Ramapo took a 5-1 lead against the Lions, who had a slow start after not putting many points up on the board. Later, the Roadrunners had an eight-point scoring run against the Lions to set their lead at 16-4. Altoona started to find some success later in the set, getting kills from Kish and Silva. But Ramapo still won the third set by a comfortable margin, 25-9.
In the fourth set, the Lions found their rhythm again. Silva's kill put Penn State Altoona up 3-2, and after Ramapo took the lead back, Silva's kill tied the score at 7-7. The Lions kept it a close set, and a duo block by Kish and Sadler put Altoona up by two, 11-9. The Roadrunners worked their way back into the lead, but Bodisch's kill kept the difference at two points, 19-17. Later, Kish scored a kill to tie the set 22-22, and a Silva kill kept the score knotted up, 24-24. But Ramapo came up with the next two points, winning the fourth set 26-24 and claiming the ECAC tournament title.
Silva scored a match-high 22 points, leading all players with 22 kills to tie for the sixth-most kills in a single match in Lions history. Kish had 15.5 points on 13 kills and a team-best five block assists, and Sadler posted 12 points on 10 kills and four block assists. Bodisch added seven kills and also recorded 17 digs.
Connor Baker (Red Lion, PA/Red Lion) had a match-leading 48 assists, which also ranked as the fifth-most assists in a match in team history. Micah Brinker (Lock Haven, PA/PA Cyber) finished with a career-high 20 digs.