ALTOONA, Pa. – Penn State Altoona men's volleyball helped celebrate its four senior players on Saturday afternoon by pulling off a 3-1 victory over North Eastern Athletic Conference opponent Keuka College in the Adler Arena.
In a pre-match ceremony, the Lions (12-10, 3-1 NEAC) recognized seniors Justin Bannister (Willow Hill, PA/Fannett-Metal), Dan Downs (Reading, PA/Daniel Boone), Ryan Dry (Douglassville, PA/Daniel Boone), and Jonathan Ruhl (Lancaster, PA/Manheim Township) as part of the team's Senior Day festivities.
Penn State Altoona carried the momentum from the ceremony into the first set, when it sailed to a 25-12 victory. The Lions followed that up by winning the second set 25-18, but Keuka (4-12, 1-3 NEAC) stayed alive by battling to a 33-31 victory in the third set. Penn State Altoona bounced back to take the fourth set 25-13.
Brian Sheddy (Shrewsbury, PA/Susquehannock) led the Lions in kills, tying his career-high with 16 kills to go along with 17 digs and one solo block. Bannister posted 14 kills, 11 digs, two solo blocks, and one service ace. Downs finished with 13 kills, and Dry recorded 10 kills and two solo blocks. Dylan Appleman (Roaring Spring, PA/Central) totaled a career-high eight kills.
Tommy Kisick (Latrobe, PA/Greater Latrobe) put up a career-best 52 assists while chipping in 10 digs and six kills. Brandon Arentz (Mount Wolf, PA/Northeastern) recorded a career-high 22 digs, while Ruhl added nine digs.
As a team, Penn State Altoona finished with 69 kills and 65 assists, setting new program records for the most kills and assists in a four-set match in Lions history.
Penn State Altoona jumped out to a 9-1 lead in the first set, aided by six Keuka attack errors. Kisick's kill helped the Lions to a 10-point advantage, 15-5, and kills from Dry and Sheddy late in the set helped the home team win the set by a comfortable margin.
Tied 9-9 in the second set, Penn State Altoona used back-to-back kills from Bannister to jump ahead by two points. Sheddy's kill helped the Lions to a five-point lead, 20-15, and a kill from Ruhl finished off the set.
After Keuka pulled out a back-and-forth third set, the Lions righted the ship in the fourth. In the early going, Penn State Altoona got two kills from Bannister, two kills from Sheddy, and one kills apiece from Downs, Dry, and Kisick to get out to a 9-4 lead. Three more kills from Appleman, Bannister, and Kisick made it 12-5, and Kisick's kill that put his team up 20-12 prompted a Keuka timeout. The Lions scored the final four straight points of the set, including kills by Downs, Appleman, and Andrew Taylor (Delmar, NY/Bethlehem Central).
Penn State Altoona men's volleyball returns to the court tomorrow, Sunday, March 25, when it will host its final home match of the regular season against NEAC and Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference foe Medaille College at 1:00 p.m. in the Adler Arena.