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Matt Fritz Picked As National DIII Player of the Week

(Posted February 14, 2006)

His play in a pair of Juniata matches last week helped Matt Fritz earn recognition as the national Division III Player of the Week.

Huntingdon, PA - Juniata College sophomore men's volleyball player Matt Fritz (John Carroll/Churchville, Md.) has been selected as the AVCA/Sports Imports Division III National Player of the Week for his play for the Eagles this past week. The honor is the first national honor of Fritz' career and marks the second time this season he has received a weekly honor for his play.

Fritz was an offensive force for the Eagles in a pair of games this past week. In a five-game match against Division I Princeton he pounded out a career-high 25 kills with a .340 hitting percentage. That performance came after he knocked out 19 kills with a .516 hitting mark while adding a career-high six blocks in a 3-1 win over Stevens Institute of Technology. Fritz averaged 4.89 kills per game on the week while also contributing 11 digs, nine blocks and a pair of serve aces to give him a team-best 52 points over the two matches.

"Matt is an extremely gifted physical player who has really started to come into his own this season, and that was evident with his play last week," Juniata Head Men's Volleyball Coach Ken Shibuya said. "He has already taken his game to another level and has accepted the challenge of being one of the focal points of our team. He continues to work hard and I believe he's only beginning to scratch the surface of what he can accomplish."

Fritz has been Juniata's top offensive weapon in the early season as he leads the team with 112 kills for an average of four kills per game. He has earned 10 or more kills in six of his seven matches this season, including four performances of 16 or more finishes. He also boasts a solid .284 hitting percentage and has hit .340 or better in three different matches. He also ranks fourth on the team in both digs and blocks with 36 and 19 respectively and has also contributed eight aces which is second on the team. Fritz' 131 points leads the team and he is averaging 4.68 points per game on the season.

With Fritz as a major contributor Juniata is off to a 4-4 record, including a pair of wins of nationally ranked Division III foes. The Eagles are ranked first in the CSTV/AVCA Division III Coaches Poll and are currently 1-2 in the EIVA Tait Division. 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.