State College, PA - The North Greenville Crusaders put up a challenge, but were unable to take a set from the Penn State Nittany Lions. Dropping the match 3-0, the Crusaders struggled with a .093 attack percentage and committed 18 service errors. Jackson Gilbert led NGU in kills with five.
The Crusaders began the match with the momentum, scoring three of the first four points. PSU would come back to tie the set at 5-5, and would score five of the next seven points to take a 10-7 lead. The Nittany Lions would trade points for awhile, forcing NGU to take a timeout with the score 18-14 in favor of Penn State. North Greenville continued to put up a fight, but were unable to cut the deficit smaller than three. With the score 23-18, the Crusaders were forced to take their second timeout of the set. PSU scored the final two points to win the set 25-18. Service errors proved to be costly as the two teams would combine for fifteen in the opening set.
Once again, NGU took the first point of the set. After alternating points, the Nittany Lions scored four consecutive points to take a 7-4 lead. A 4-1 run by PSU forced NGU to take a timeout while trailing 13-8. Penn State would continue to pull away, scoring four of five points to lead 17-9. With the score 18-10, the Crusaders took their second timeout. After giving up the first points out of the timeout, North Greenville put together a 3-0 run to cut the deficit to six points. However, PSU would open up the lead again, ultimately taking the set 25-16.
For the third straight set, the Crusaders opened up the set with a point. After alternating points as well as a successful video challenge by Coach Battenfield, the set was tied at 3-3. Three straight points by the Nittany Lions opened up a 6-3 lead. A 3-1 run by PSU forced the Crusaders to take a timeout with the score 9-4 in favor of Penn State. After falling behind 12-6, NGU responded with three straight points including two service aces by Sergio Carrillo to cut the deficit to three. Once again, the Nittany Lions worked to open the set back up, leading 18-12 and making the Crusaders use their final timeout. NGU could not cut into the PSU lead, dropping the final set 25-17.
Jackson Gilbert recorded 5 kills, 14 total attacks, 2 digs, and an assist.
Brandon Baker put up 3 kills, 13 total attacks, and 2 block assists.
Carter Eby posted 3 kills, 8 total attacks, and a dig.
The Crusaders will face Life University in their first home game of the season on Friday, January 18th.