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Volleyball Sweeps Medaille; Will Have Chance To Defend DIII Title

(Posted April 15, 2005)

Jeremy Barndt pounded out 10 kills with a .533 hitting percentage while adding two aces, two digs and two blocks as Juniata topped Medaille in the Molten Invitational semifinal.

Hoboken, N.J. ? The 2005 Molten Division III Men?s Invitational Volleyball Championship semifinal match between Juniata College men?s volleyball took on Medaille College (N.Y.) was a rematch of the 2004 Molten final. Though the location was different, the outcome was the same as Juniata claimed a 3-0 victory over the Mavericks in Hoboken, N.J. Friday evening. The Eagles advance to the Molten Championship match which will be played at 7:00 p.m. Saturday night.

The Eagles improved to 18-7 as they claimed the match by game scores of 30-19, 30-22, 30-18.

Juniata?s defense was the story as the Blue and Gold limited Medaille to just a .033 team hitting percentage for the match. Juniata finished with 13 team blocks on the contest, just half a block short of setting a new season high for a three-game match. Cordt Withum (Penn Manor/Holtwood) finished with six blocks to lead the Eagle team, while Glenn DeHaven (Walt Whitman/South Huntington, N.Y.) and Ricky Ziegler (Northeastern/Manchester) each added four.

The Eagles got rolling early in game one, racing out to a 14-6 lead on a pair of kills and an ace from Nick Bernardo (Christopher Dock/Lansdale). Back-to-back aces from Ocasio pushed the Eagle lead to 19-9. A kill and an ace from Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) put Juniata in front 23-12 and the Eagle cruised to the 30-19 win from that point.

Juniata eased in front in game two, slowing moving out to an11-6 advantage after a block from Bernardo and Withum. A Medaille timeout sparked a 3-1 run from the Mavericks, which featured a pair of kills from Jake Beiter and cut the lead to 12-10 Juniata. Beiter continued to keep Medaille close as he pounded out four kills down the stretch, but Juniata answered with three late kills from Ocasio, and then sealed the 30-22 win after a pair of Medaille attack errors.

Game saw Juniata push in front with a slim early lead, only to have Medaille hang in, as a Juniata serve error made the score 16-13 Eagles. From there, Juniata put together a 6-1 run, highlighted by a kill from Withum and a block assist from Withum and Ocasio. Juniata then closed the game and the match by scoring the final six points getting kills from Withum, Matt Spinger (William Allen/Allentown) and then sealing the match with a double block from Ziegler and Withum.

Juniata managed a .385 hitting percentage for the match, with Barndt and Ocasio both posting a team-high 10 kills and both hitting better than .444 on the match. DeHaven chipped in seven for the Eagle attack. Ziegler passed out 33 assists from his setter spot while Tim Cole (Pennsbury/Yardley) paced the team with five digs.

Erik Hartman was tops on Medaille with 10 finishes, while Beiter added nine. Setter Drew Lewandowski dished out 31 assists on the match, while Nick Maolakos brought up a team-high five digs. Lewandowski and Greg Wloskinski each finished with a pair of blocks.

Juniata will face the winner of the other semifinal which pits Carthage College (Wisc.) against host Stevens Institute of Technology. Juniata will be looking to earn its third Molten Title in Saturday's Championship match.

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