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Eagles Volleyball Stopped By Penn State

(Posted February 15, 2005)

Nate Ocasio reached double figures in kills for the second-consecutive match as he posted a team-high 11 kills as the Eagles battled fifth-ranked Penn State.

Penn State 3, Juniata 0

University Park, Pa. ? The Juniata College men?s volleyball team made the short drive to University Park looking to pull off an upset over fifth-ranked Penn State. Instead the Eagles were unable to work its normally efficient offense as they dropped a 3-0 decision to the Nittany Lions Tuesday night. Juniata is now 4-6 overall and 1-3 in the EIVA Tait Division, while Penn State improved to 10-2 on the year and 3-0 in the Tait.

Juniata saw its game pick-up as the match progressed but the Eagles were unable to take a game as they fell by scores of 30-18, 30-21 and 30-24.

Juniata hung with the home team until the serving of Dan O?Dell sparked a 7-0 run that put the lead at 17-9 Penn State. Back-to-back kills from Nate Ocasio (Northeastern/Manchester) and Glenn DeHaven (Walt Whitman/South Huntington, N.Y) cut the lead to 21-13 in favor of the home team, but Penn State kept the margin in control to cruise to the win in game one.

Game two was tighter as the Eagles got a block from Nick Bernardo (Christopher Dock/Lansdale), Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) and Ricky Ziegler (Northeastern/Manchester) to pull within three at 20-17. Two plays later an ace from Bernardo again put the lead at three with the home team in front 22-19. Penn State then answered with four-straight points, capped by a kill from Aaron Smith to take control and earn the 30-21 win.

It was a Juniata rally that made game three the tightest of the night. A solo block from Penn State?s Matt Proper had the home team in front 18-13. But Juniata got hot as a kill from Barndt capped a stretch in which Juniata scored six of ten points to pull within three at 22-19. But that was as close as it got as a kill from Smith capped the 30-24 win.

Ocasio finished with a team-high 11 kills for Juniata who also finished with a pair of blocks. Ziegler passed out 29 assists for the Blue and Gold and added three digs and a pair of blocks. Steve Yeager led the team with six digs, while Barndt finished with a team-best three blocks.

Alex Gutor led all players with 12 kills in the match with Proper adding 11. O?Dell passed out 30 assists, and helped the home team hit .364 as a team. Gutor and Gary Vogel recorded five digs, while Keith Kowal posted eight blocks.

Juniata returns to action next Tuesday as the Eagles welcome Division I rival Saint Francis.

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