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Eagles Volleyball Tops Visiting Springfield

(Posted February 17, 2006)

Cordt Withum finished with seven kills, a .462 hitting percentage and a team-best five blocks as Juniata downed Division III rival Springfield.

Juniata 3, Springfield 0

HUNTINGDON, Pa. ? The Juniata College men?s volleyball team used a balanced offensive effort and some timely serving to outlast visiting Springfield College in a match-up of two nationally ranked Division III teams Friday night in Huntingdon. The top-ranked Eagles claimed the 3-0 victory by scored of 30-26, 30-23 and 30-27 to improve to 5-4 while sixth-ranked Springfield dropped to 5-7 on the season.

Each of Juniata?s starters finished with seven or more kills in the match with Glenn DeHaven (Walt Whitman/South Huntington, N.Y.) and Matt Fritz (John Carroll/Churchville, Md.) each pounding out a team-best nine finishes.

All three games followed a similar patter as the Eagles moved out to comfortable early leads only to then fight off Springfield comebacks. In game one a Fritz kill put Juniata up by five 18-13, only to see an ace from Andrew Sipe and a Ryan Frederickson kill bring the visitors to within two at 24-22. But Juniata held on getting as back-to-back aces from Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) extended the lead to five points on the way to the 30-26 win.

The lead was even larger in game two as the Blue and Gold got a pair of aces from Matt Werle (Meadville/Meadville) to help build a 21-9 advantage. Springfield would rally again as a five point run from the Pride pulled them within eight points, and then two late double blocks from Sipe, Frederickson and Eric Palumbo cut the lead to six before Barndt closed the game with a kill.

Springfield?s rally came much earlier in game three as Juniata built up a six-point cushion at a DeHaven kill and two more aces from Werle. Springfield fought back, eventually tying the score at 13 on a kill from Frederickson. Juniata moved in front again by as many as five points, only to see the Pride again storm pack with a Palumbo service ace tying the game at 20. Springfield twice would take the lead by scores of 22-21 and 23-22, but a Fritz kill followed by a Barndt block gave the lead back to Juniata for good. Another late ace from Barndt extended Juniata?s lead and a kill from Cordt Withum (Penn Manor/Holtwood) gave the match to Juniata.

Along with the nine kills from DeHaven and Fritz, Juniata got eight finishes from Ryan McGinley (Pennridge/Perkasie) and seven kills apiece from Barndt and Withum. Werle passed out 33 assists to direct the Juniata offense while he and Barndt both finished with four serve aces. McGinley led the team with eight digs, while Withum recorded a team-high five blocks.

Frederickson led all players in the match with 11 kills, while Palumbo notched eight kills for the Pride. Chris Shekell finished with 29 assists for Springfield, while Frederickson and Sipe both tossed in a pair of aces. Brandon Waas was tops on the team with nine digs, with David Smietana producing a team-high four blocks.

Juniata will return to action Wednesday night when the Eagles play on the road against Division I EIVA Tait rival Saint Francis.

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