Sixth-seeded Penn State set an NCAA Tournament rally score era single-match record Monday with 11 aces when sweeping Belmont Abbey, 25-22, 25-13, 25-19, in the tournament opener at Ohio State’s Corvelli Center.
The Nittany Lions (22-3) advance to Tuesday’s match with MIVA champion Lewis (20-2) at 2 p.m. HST. In Tuesday’s first match, Big West Tournament champion UC Santa Barbara (15-4) puts its 11-match win streak on the line against Pepperdine (13-6) at 11 a.m. HST
Junior opposite Cal Fisher had three aces and a team-high 10 kills. Penn State hit .509 against the Crusaders (15-8).
Belmont Abbey, which won the Conference Carolinas Tournament, was making its first NCAA appearance. Andrew Kohut had 10 kills and Brian Long two of the team’s aces for the Crusaders in the 78-minute contest.
Penn State had 15 service errors to 12 by Belmont Abbey. Nittany Lions had a 4-2 edge in blocks, the Crusaders a 19-15 edge in digs.