The Penn State men’s volleyball team dropped its opening match of the season Friday evening, swept by No. 2 UCLA at the AVCA Showcase at Ohio State’s St. John Arena.
The Bruins played a sound all-around game to beat the No. 13 Nittany Lions 25-18, 25-22, 25-17.
Chris Nugent’s 10 kills led Penn State, though he also had seven errors and hit .107. No one else had more than four kills and as a team the Lions hit .128, making 20 errors. Luke Braswell directed the offense with 27 assists and three aces and Royce Clemens picked up eight digs.
“I thought that there were stretches of pretty good volleyball, I just don’t think we’re ready to put it together yet for 25 points,” head coach Mark Pavlik said. “These guys have been in the gym and know the level of play that is expected and sooner or later we’re going to get to that point.”
Daenan Gyimah’s 10 kills, five blocks and three aces paced the Bruins (2-0), with Chambersburg’s Mitch Stahl adding nine kills and four blocks. Hagan Smith dished out 19 assists as UCLA hit .333 and won the blocking battle 9.5-2 in the first men’s volleyball match to be streamed live on Facebook.
Penn State faces Southern California at 3 p.m. Saturday.