Middle attacker Bobby Walsh in his team’s biggest match of the year showed why he was the National Blocker of the Year.
Walsh had a match-high 11 blocks as the No. 1 seed Lewis swept the No. 5 seed Penn State 25-20, 22-25, 25-16, 25-20 in the NCAA Tournament semifinals on Thursday in Palo Alto, California.
Lewis in the victory out-blocked Penn State 18.5 to 6. In addition, four Flyers had at least five blocks in the match.
Along with Walsh, setter Scott Fifer and outside attacker Eric Fitterer each had six blocks, while middle attacker Jacob Schmiegelt added five blocks.
Walsh entered the match leading the nation with more than a 1.40 blocks per game average and was named the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Blocker of the Year. The junior also finished with seven kills and zero attack errors in the semifinal victory.
The Flyers out-hit the Nittany Lions .298 to .142, including holding Penn State to a negative-.167 attack percentage in the third game.
All-American outside attacker Aaron Russell in the loss had a match-high 15 kills.
With this victory, Lewis will play its conference-rival Loyola in the NCAA Tournament finals on Saturday.