No. 15 Penn State Men's Volleyball Posts Upset Sweep Over No. 7 USC

    Bill Ferguson
    March 10, 2015

    Final Stats

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    Aaron Russell had 20 kills while hitting .720 and he added 7 digs to lead the No. 15-ranked Penn State men's volleyball team to a 25-18, 25-19, 25-21 upset sweep at No. 7 USC in a non-conference match on Tuesday (March 10) in USC's Galen Center.

    Penn State of the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association improved to 7-9 on the year. It was the Nittany Lions' first win over a ranked team in 2015, its first victory over the Trojans since 2009 (snapping a 3-match losing skid to USC) and its first sweep over Troy since 2005.

    USC, a member of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, fell to 10-6 overall and lost for the fifth time in the past 6 matches after starting the season with a 7-0 record (its best since 1991).

    Penn State hit .422 in the match, a high for a USC opponent in 2015, and had 40 digs and 6.5 blocks. USC hit just .198 with 24 digs, 4 aces and 2.0 blocks.

    Russell, a senior who played with the USA Men's National Team in 2014, had just 2 hitting errors on his 25 attempts. Nick Goodell added 12 kills for Penn State, while Chris Nugent had 9 kills (hitting .389) with 8 digs and Connor Curry had a match-high 12 digs.

    For USC, Josh Kirchner had 11 kills and Micah Christenson had 6 digs.

    Penn State led the entire first set, starting off with a 2-0 lead and steadily extending it throughout the set while hitting .481 (USC hit .233) and getting 14 digs. The Nittany Lions used a 5-0 run in the second set to build a 14-9 lead and never were threatened while hitting .393 to USC's .156 and getting 13 digs and 2 aces. USC held a 14-11 lead in the third set before Penn State scored 9 of the next 10 points to go up 20-15 and held on for the victory while hitting .400 and posting 13 digs and 3 blocks (USC hit .207 in the set).

    USC next hosts Lindenwood of the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association in a non-conference match on Thursday (March 12) at 7 p.m. in the Galen Center.