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Juniata Volleyball Unable To Hold Off Princeton

(Posted February 11, 2006)

Matt Fritz enjoyed another big offensive game as he knocked out a career-high 25 kills for Juniata against Princeton.

Princeton 3, Juniata 2

HUNTINGDON, Pa. ? A career-high 25 kills from sophomore Matt Fritz (John Carroll/Churchville, Md.) proved to be not enough as visiting Princeton University rallied to hand the Juniata College men?s volleyball team a 3-2 set-back in EIVA Tait Division action Saturday afternoon in Huntingdon.

Princeton claimed its first win of the season by overcoming a two-game deficit and improved to 1-5 and 1-1 in EIVA Tait play. The Eagles dropped to .500 with the loss with a mark of 4-4 and are now 1-2 in the Tait. Princeton earned the win by game scores of 30-22, 27-30, 26-30, 30-27 and 15-11.

After a sluggish game one in which Princeton scored 10 of the final 14 points, the Eagles rallied to win games two and three. The Eagles got a service ace from Fritz to take a 15-10 lead in game two. Princeton would rally to take a lead and held a 27-24 advantage after a kill from Peter Eichler. Juniata countered by closing the game with six consecutive points including a pair of kills from Fritz and a triple block from Fritz, Matt Springer (William Allen/Allentown) and Cordt Withum (Penn Manor/Holtwood).

The Eagles earned another comeback win in game three. With the scored at 21, Juniata got another triple block, this time from Springer, Withum and Matt Werle (Meadville/Meadville) put the home team in front by one. It was followed by another Fritz kill which gave the Eagles another three-point lead which they would maintain to claim the win.

Princeton stayed alive in game four with a flurry of late kills from Eichler and Jack Pichard. Then in the decisive game five, the Tigers jumped out to a 4-1 lead. The Eagles pulled within one point on three separate occasions, including 9-8 after a Springer kill. With the score 10-9 in favor of the Tigers, Princeton scored four of the next five points to take a commanding lead. A Fritz kill kept the Eagles alive before Pichard closed the match with his 20th finish.

Fritz led all players with his 25 kills which came with a .340 hitting percentage. Glenn DeHaven (Walt Whitman/South Huntington, N.Y.) was also in double figures with 10 kills. Werle dished out 53 assists, while also leading the team with three aces and eight blocks. Steve Yeager (Hempfield/Landisville) was tops in the match with 18 digs.

Eichler led Princeton with 22 finishes to go along with Pichard?s 20. Michael Vincent knocked out 12 finishes while producing a team-high eight blocks for the Tigers. Brian Hamming was also in double figures with 11 kills while also finishing with two aces. Brandon Denham finished with 67 assists while Ryn Burns brought up 16 digs.

Juniata returns to action Friday night as the Eagles host Division III rival Springfield.

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