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Matt Springer Earns His First National Honor

(Posted January 24, 2005)

Junior Matt Springer posted a career-high 15 kills in a win over Saint Francis which helped him earn Sports Imports/AVCA Division III Men\'s National Player of the Week recognition.

Huntingdon, PA - Juniata College junior outside Matt Springer (William Allen/Allentown) has been named the Sports Imports/AVCA Division III Men's National Player of the Week for his efforts on the court for Juniata this past week. Juniata has now claimed Sports Imports/AVCA Division III Men's National Player of the Week in each of the two weeks it's been awarded in 2005. The award was the 10th national player of the week honor the Juniata men's program has earned.

Springer recorded the finest all-around match of his career in helping Juniata to its first victory of the 2005 season, 3-0 win over Division I rival Saint Francis (Pa.). Springer pounded out a career-high 15 kills on 23 swings with just two errors, good for a .565 attack percentage. He also added a team-high three blocks in the match which was the second-highest total of his career. He added three digs and an assist in helping the Eagles to the victory. His 18 points led the teamâ�"the first time in his career he has led Juniata in kills or points in a match.

"Matt has worked extremely hard to become a very effective attacker, and that was evident this past week," Juniata head coach Ken Shibuya stated. "He's one of our best all-around players, and he is a great example of a player who makes the most of his opportunities. He plays with a great deal of heart, and a great deal of intelligence, and those are things that we love to see in our players."

Springer will be one of a handful of options for Juniata at the outside hitter spot in 2005. After serving as a defensive specialist his freshman season, he moved to the outside where he finished 2004 with 19 kills and a .286 hitting percentage. He added 18 digs, eight blocks and nine aces in his sophomore campaign, while also providing a valuable presence as passer for the Eagles. He twice finished matches with five kills in 2004, which was his previous match high, and had a career-best six blocks in an EIVA quarterfinal win over Springfield College.

Juniata is the defending Division III Molten Champion, and also claimed the EIVA Division III Championship in 2004 and are currently ranked first in the CSTV/AVCA Division III Coaches Poll. Juniata is 1-2 in 2005 with each of its matches coming against Division I opponents. Juniata will play its first Division III foe of the season on Friday when the Eagles host ninth-ranked D'Youville College (N.Y.).

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