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Juniata Volleyball Suffers Tight Loss

(Posted February 9, 2005)

Matt Springer continued his recent offensive surge as he established a new career high with 20 kills while adding a pair of aces in a match against George Mason.

George Mason 3, Juniata 1

Fairfax, Va. ? The Juniata College men?s volleyball team continues to prove it can hang with some of the top Division I teams in the country, but the Eagles were again unable to come away with a win as Juniata fell to EIVA Tait Division foe George Mason in Fairfax, Va. Wednesday night. Juniata falls to 3-5 overall and 1-2 in the conference, while George Mason upped its perfect record to 6-0 and 3-0 in conference play.

After George Mason cruised to a relatively easy 30-24 win in game one, Juniata made the rest of the games very tight. The home team took game two 31-29, Juniata then took game three 30-25 before the Patriots closed out the match with a 30-28 game-three win.

The home team pulled away mid-way through game one. A serving run from Felix Campos sparked a 5-0 run to give George Mason a 15-9 edge. The home team rolled from there, with Juniata getting no closer than five the rest of the way.

Game two was tight throughout with Juniata rallying late. A kill from George Mason?s Kyle Swanson gave the home team a 26-21 lead, but Juniata scored the next six points, capped by an ace from Ricky Ziegler (Northeastern/Manchester) to take a 27-26 lead. The teams traded side-outs with Juniata pulling in front 29-28 on a kill from Nate Ocasio (Northeastern/Manchester). But Juniata then committed a serve error and then had two attack errors as George Mason claimed the win.

Juniata pulled in front early in game three, with a kill from Matt Springer (William Allen/Allentown) putting Juniata up 15-8. George Mason would rally, and actually take the lead 20-19 but Juniata answered with back-to-back kills from Springer put Juniata back in front for good and then Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) closed the game with a kill.

Juniata fell behind again in game four trailing 13-8 before rallying to tie the score at 20 on a kill from Cordt Withum (Penn Manor/Holtwood). The Patriots moved in front by two after a block assist from Hudson Bates, R.J. Goubeaux and Dave Egan. The Eagles twice pulled within one point, and then tied the score at 28 after a George Mason attack error. The Patriots then got a kill from Shaun Powell who then followed with an ace to seal the match.

Springer was Juniata?s main offensive weapon as he posted a new career high with 20 kills and had a pair of serve aces. Withum added 12 finishes for Juniata and had a team-high four blocks. Ziegler passed out 47 assists in the match, and matched Barndt with a team-high nine digs.

Powell matched paced George Mason with 20 kills, while Campos added 16. Powell was also tops with two aces and eight digs. Egan directed the Patriots offense to a .311 attack percentage with 46 assists, while Bates led all players with seven blocks.

Juniata returns home Friday night when the Eagles will host Stevens Tech.

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.