All-EIVA outside attacker Chris Nugent went from missing a month of the season with an injury to leading No. 13 Penn State to one of its biggest upset victories in a decade.
Nugent in his fourth match back since being sidelined had a match-high 19 kills on a .515 attack percentage as No. 13 Penn State upset No. 1/1 Ohio State 25-21, 14-25, 25-15, 22-25, 15-12 on Tuesday in University Park, Pennsylvania.
This was the first time Penn State (14-9, 6-2 EIVA) has defeated a No. 1 ranked team since 2006 when it beat UC Irvine in the NCAA Tournament semifinals. It also is the Nittany Lions’ second victory against a top-10 ranked team this season.
Along with his offensive performance, Nugent added eight digs and three blocks.
Nugent was one of three Nittany Lions to finish with double-digit kills. Opposite Aidan Albrecht had 14 kills, while outside attacker Jalen Penrose contributed 10 kills against Ohio State (23-2, 12-0 MIVA).
Penn State playing with its freshman backup setter Nathan Smith because of injuries out-hit Ohio State .266 to .214, including having more than a .300 attack percentage in two of the final three games. In addition, Smith completed the upset with both a match-high 39 assists and 10 digs, along with leading the Nittany Lions with four blocks.
Ohio State was held to less than a .200 attack percentage in every game but the second game when it hit .696 and had zero attack errors.
All-American opposite Miles Johnson in the loss finished with a team-high 15 kills.
The loss comes a day after Ohio State jumped one spot to No. 1 in the national coaches poll. The Buckeyes also received all but three first-place votes to maintain the No. 1 ranking in the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Media Poll that was released Tuesday morning.