AUSTIN, Texas – Playing without starting setter Nathan Lietzke, No. 8 Stanford dropped an 18-25, 17-25, 25-20, 23-25 decision to No. 4 Penn State, Saturday, in the finale of the First Point Collegiate Challenge at the Austin Convention Center.
Stanford (5-1) hit .242 as a team, while Penn State (6-0) posted a .312 clip. The Nittany Lions out blocked (8.0-3.0) and out dug (39-34) the Cardinal, and held a 6-2 advantage in aces.
Starting at setter in place of Lietzke, who was not in uniform, was freshman Theoren Brouillette. The San Jose native tallied 37 assists and eight digs in his first collegiate start.
Penn State relied on its service pressure early in the match, keeping the Cardinal out of system for much of the first two sets. Outside hitter Kevin Lamp was replaced by freshman Alex Rottman midway into the second set and played the remainder of the match.
Alex Rottman hit .333 with five kills on 15 errorless swings to go with three digs and two blocks in three sets played.
Trailing 2-1 in the match, Stanford rallied back with a wire-to-wire win in the third, but was unable to overcome a late 6-2 run by the Nittany Lions in the fourth.
Middle blocker Ethan Hill posted a .429 attack percentage with eight kills and a block. Freshman opposite Theo Snoey also registered eight kills but hit negative for the match. Middle blocker Nathaniel Gates added three kills on .400…