Not a whole lot could slow down all-conference opposite Andrew Sellan and No. 13 IPFW’s offense at the Off the Block East vs. Midwest Challenge — little alone No. 10 Penn State.
Sellan had a match-high 19 kills on a .552 attack percentage as IPFW upset Penn State 24-26, 25-20, 25-21, 25-19 on Saturday in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
IPFW in the non-conference victory out-hit Penn State .430 to .242. In addition, five the Mastodons’ starters finished with more than .300 attack percentage.
Sellan was one of two players to finish with double-digit kills against the Nittany Lions. Middle attacker Bryan Saunders had 12 kills, while freshman outside attacker Alex Harthaller added eight kills.
IPFW out-blocked Pen State 12.5 to 5.5 in its East vs. Midwest Challenge finale, including a match-high five blocks from middle attacker Ramon Burgos.
Penn State All-American outside attacker Aaron Russell in the loss led all players with 20 kills and had a .531 attack percentage.
This was the second consecutive match that Russell had at least 20 kills and more than a .500 attack percentage. The senior had a tournament-high 52 kills, including a career-high 32 kills in a five-game loss to Ball State on Friday.
With this loss, Penn State is now on a season-opening four-match losing streak for the first time since 1999 when it opened the season 0-5.
Both IPFW and Ball finished the inaugural East vs. Midwest Challenge undefeated at 2-0. Ball State also defeated St. Francis in four games on Saturday.
The Red Flashes and the Nittany Lions concluded the non-conference tournament 0-2.
The East vs. Midwest Challenge is a new non-conference event created by Off the Block to honor the EIVA and the MIVA — the two oldest conferences in college men’s volleyball.