Lions Swept by Wittenberg in Last Home Match

Photo: Senior outside hitter Brian Sheddy was recognized for Senior Day on Sunday in the Adler Arena.
Photo: Senior outside hitter Brian Sheddy was recognized for Senior Day on Sunday in the Adler Arena.

ALTOONA, Pa. – Penn State Altoona men's volleyball suffered a 3-0 loss to Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent Wittenberg University in the Lions' final home match of the 2019 season on Sunday afternoon in the Adler Arena.

Wittenberg (11-6, 4-1 AMCC) won in straight sets by scores of 25-22, 25-23, 25-21.

Penn State Altoona's afternoon started with a pre-match Senior Day ceremony to honor senior outside hitter Brian Sheddy (Shrewsbury, PA/Susquehannock) on his four-year career with the Lions volleyball program. Sheddy currently ranks among some of the top players in team history, including being second all-time in service aces (55), third in digs (606), fifth in kills (535), and sixth in points (626.5).

In Sunday's match, the Lions (7-7, 1-4 AMCC) were led in kills by Ben Beaver (Hummelstown, PA/Lower Dauphin), who finished with nine kills to go along with four digs. Jon Ramsey (Pittsburgh, PA/Shaler) posted six kills, and Sheddy registered five kills, two block assists, and tied for the match-high in digs with nine.

Dan Downs (Douglassville, PA/Daniel Boone) had a big day at the net, recording seven total blocks by getting four solos and three block assists. The total of seven blocks is tied for the most by a Penn State Altoona player in a three-set match in team history. Additionally, Downs' four solo blocks moved him into first place on the program's all-time solo blocks list. He passed former Lion Justin Bannister and his mark of 82 blocks, ascending into first place with 85 career solos.

Downs also finished the day with a match-high three service aces while adding four digs and three kills.

Kyle Whiteman (Northampton, PA/Northampton) had a team-high 13 assists, and Danny Dry (Douglassville, PA/Daniel Boone) recorded 10 assists and three digs. Tyler Chan (Framingham, MA/Framingham) tied Sheddy for the match-high in digs with nine.

Despite a solid overall performance in the match's opening set, Penn State Altoona yielded a late run to Wittenberg that allowed the visitors to come away with the set one win. Trailing in the latter stages of the set, a service error and kills by Ramsey and Beaver tied the score 22-22. But Wittenberg reeled off the final three points in the set with a pair of kills by Jackson Tyler and a ball handling error on the Lions.

The Lions again came out on the losing end of a close score in the second set. Penn State Altoona started the set off by establishing an 8-5 lead, getting kills from Beaver, Sheddy, Downs, and Ramsey during that stretch, as well as a solo block from Downs. But an 8-1 run by Wittenberg put the Tigers on top 13-9. With the score tied 18-18 later in the set, Wittenberg got three kills from Collin Buelow and two from Ashton Sellers to help edge Penn State Altoona by two points.

In the third set, another late run by Wittenberg helped the Tigers pull away for the match sweep.  Penn State Altoona led 8-6 early, following back-to-back aces from Downs and a kill by Ramsey. But the visitors used a 9-3 run to grab a four-point lead, going up 15-11 on Buelow's kill. Later, a pair of Wittenberg service errors helped the Lions pull to within two points, 20-18. But kills from Buelow and Sellers, as well as a Penn State Altoona attack error and setting error, allowed the Tigers to get out to a 24-18 lead. The Lions stayed alive by getting three straight points, but a kill by Sellers ultimately capped the set and the match.

Penn State Altoona men's volleyball returns to action on Saturday, March 2 for a pair of AMCC matches at Medaille College in Buffalo, N.Y. The Lions will face D'Youville College at 1:00 p.m. that day before taking on host Medaille at 4:00 p.m.