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Eagles Unable To Earn Season-Opening Win

(Posted January 14, 2006)

Matt Fritz finished with a team-high nine kills in the first match of the season for the Juniata volleyball team.

IPFW 3, Juniata 0

FORT WAYNE, In. ? The Juniata College men?s volleyball team will face its share of tough matches during the 2006 season, and the Eagles got a taste of that in their opener as they dropped a 3-0 decision to Division I Indiana University Purdue University at Fort Wayne Saturday evening. The Eagles fell to 0-1 on the year, while IPFW is now 2-0.

The closest game of the night was game one, which was decided by a 30-28 score. IPFW then won games two and three by scores of 30-22 and 30-26.

Game one was tight throughout though Juniata led much of the way The Eagles took a four-point lead on a Nick Bernardo (Christopher Dock/Lansdale) kill, making the score 17-13 and then extended the lead to 22-16, forcing an IPFW timeout. The home team responded out of the timeout, getting back-to-back kills from Josh Stewart and then a triple block to come back and tie the score at 23. The teams traded side outs with several attack errors as the score was eventually tied at 28. IPFW?s Serdar Sikca then closed the game with a kill and a solo block to seal the win.

Juniata hung tight in the beginning of game two, with a Bernardo kill knotting the score at eight. PIFW then enjoyed a 5-0 run to make it 13-8, and the Eagles got no closer than three the rest of the game.

The Eagles held an edge early in the final game, using a four-point run to take an 11-9 lead. IPFW then slowly pulled away, with back-to-back kills from Vitor Oliveira making the score 22-16. The Eagles got a late triple blocks from Matt Springer (William Allen/Allentown), Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) and Matt Werle (Meadville/Meadville) cutting the lead to 29-25, but C.J. Macias closed the match with a kill.

Matt Fritz (John Carroll/Churchville, Md.) paced the Eagles with nine kills. Bernardo finished with seven kills and a strong .500 hitting percentage and a pair of aces. Werle passed out 27 assists in the match while Barndt was tops on the team with five blocks. Tim Cole (Pennsbury/Yardley) led all players with seven digs in the match.

IPFW had three players reach double figures in kills as Macias and Stewart each had 11 and Sikca added 10. Collin Lundeen passed out 32 assists for the home team, and helped them to a .263 hitting percentage. Mike Morici finished with five digs, as did Macias. Stewart and Sikca both produced four blocks for the home team.

Juniata will return to action next Sunday when they play at Division I Ball State.

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