No. 9/10 Penn State sweeps No. 11 NJIT to take over first place in EIVA

Photo courtesy of Penn State athletics

All-EIVA opposite Cal Fisher has earned numerous accolades this season for his offensive performances, but it was his defense that came up big for the No. 10/9 Penn State in one of its most important matches of the regular season.

Fisher led all players with a career-high 19 digs as Penn State swept No. 11 NJIT 33-31, 25-23, 25-21 in the Molten/Off the Block National Match of the Week on Friday in Newark, New Jersey.

With this victory, Penn State (13-2, 10-1 EIVA) moves into sole possession of first place in the EIVA. The Nittany Lions opened this two-match road series trailing the Highlanders (11-4, 11-2 EIVA) in the conference standings.

Fisher along with his defensive performance had Penn State’s lone ace and 10 kills in the victory. In addition, Fisher had the game-winning kill in the opening game to cap off a 16-point overtime session.


Penn State had three players finish with double-digit kills and out-hit NJIT .220 to .208.

Freshman outside attacker Michael Valenzi led the Nittany Lions with 15 kills on a .370 attack percentage. All-EIVA outside attacker Brett Wildman, who missed the previous series versus NJIT last month, added 13 kills in the series opener.

This sweep ended the Highlanders’ nine-match winning streak.

Opposite Julian Meissner in the loss finished with a team-high 15 kills while hitting .406. In addition, middle attacker Martin de Chavarria contributed seven kills and had one error on a .545 attack percentage.

All-EIVA outside attacker Alvaro Gimeno was limited to nine kills and a .179 attack percentage. Gimeno entered this series in the conference’s top five averaging 3.38 kills per game and hitting .327.

The Highlanders and Nittany Lions will conclude their two-match series on Saturday.