SAN DIEGO — Penn State's volleyball team found a friendly stop on its six-match West Coast tour, defeating San Diego State, 15-12, 15-11, 15-7, in Peterson Gym Monday night.
Penn State started the season as the first non-Western Intercollegiate Volleyball Assn. team to be ranked No. 1 in the country.
The Nittany Lions, however, dropped to No. 2 after a loss to Rutgers and started this tour with losses to No. 1 USC and No. 4 Pepperdine over the weekend.
"We've been in a slump for three weeks now," said Tom Tait, Penn State coach. "We showed some signs of getting out of it against Pepperdine and there were some signs tonight."
Penn State's slump coincided with the loss of All-American middle blocker Chris Chase, who is suffering from tendinitis in his right knee. Penn State (10-3) has been without Chase in all its losses.
Tenth-ranked SDSU (6-9) led, 7-3, in the first game, and 9-5 in the second before Penn State rallied.
Trailing in the first game, 9-7, Penn State scored four straight points to take an 11-9 lead. SDSU tied the score, 12-12, but Penn State scored the final three points, two on Aztec hitting errors.
SDSU's 9-5 lead in the second game evaporated as Penn State rallied to score 9 of the next 10 points to take a 14-10 lead.
The Aztecs scored the first three points of the third game and were not heard from again until Penn State led, 11-3. In that stretch, Penn State scored 10 of its 11 points on Aztec errors.
Penn State was led by senior setter Javier Gaspar, who had 11 kills. Robert Pierce added 19 kills and Rich Cicero had 12 for Penn State. SDSU outside hitter Bill Boullianne had 15 kills for the Aztecs.