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Volleyball Advances To EIVA Quarterfinals

(Posted April 19, 2006)

Jeremy Barndt produced 15 kills with a .700 hitting percentage while adding a team-high five blocks as Juniata topped East Stroudsburg.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - The Juniata College men's volleyball team earned its way to the quarterfinal round of the EIVA Postseason for the fourth-consecutive season by claiming a 3-1 victory over visiting East Stroudsburg University in its EIVA Opening Round match Wednesday in Huntingdon. The sixth-seeded Eagles will now play third seed Saint Francis Saturday night in Loretto. East Stroudsburg, which held the seventh seed for the tournament ends its season with a record of 16-8.

Juniata dropped game one in the contest by a 31-29 score, but then claimed the next three games by scores of 30-20, 30-25 and 30-21 to improve to 14-12 on the year.

Nate Ocasio (Northeastern/Manchester) led three Eagles in doubles figures with 19 kills as Juniata hit .403 as a team in the match.

The visitors came out on fire in game one quickly putting Juniata in a hole after a double block from Jon Daley and Jeff Quinn. Five of East Stroudsburg's nine blocks game in the first game as the Warriors limited Juniata to a .206 hitting percentage. Juniata closed the deficit and then took a late lead on back-to-back aces from Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) before the Warriors rallied and eventually closed the game on a kill from Quinn.

It was the Eagles who started quickly in game two as a Matt Fritz (John Carroll/Churchville, Md.) kill put Juniata on top 14-10. The Warriors cut the advantage to two points on a Thomas German kill, but the Eagles held off the surge and then used late serving runs from Barndt and Matt Werle (Meadville/Meadville) to earn the win.

Game three was tight most of the way with neither team holding a lead of more than three points until a double block from Juniata's Barndt and Glenn DeHaven (Walt Whitman/South Huntington, N.Y.) put Juniata in front 23-19. The Eagles cruised from there finishing the game with a kill from Werle.

Juniata took control mid-way through game four as the Eagles ripped off four-consecutive points to turn a 14-13 deficit into a 17-13 lead. The run was highlighted by a pair of kills from Barndt. The Warriors never got closer than two points from that point on with two late aces from Fritz helping Juniata seal the match.

Ocasio added two aces and five digs to go with his 19 kills, while he also hit .419 in the match. Barndt notched 15 kills for Juniata and hit an impressive .700 in the match, while adding a team-high five blocks. Fritz also finished with 15 kills for the Eagles. Werle passed out 53 assists for the Blue and Gold while tossing in a team-high three aces. DeHaven matched Barndt's block total with five, and Steve Yeager (Hempfield/East Petersburg) led the team with seven digs.

Daley was the primary offensive weapon for the Warriors as he knocked out 17 kills and hit a robust total of .600 in the match. German and Keith Eckenrode each added 10 kills for the Warriors with Eckenrode also tying for the team lead with five blocks. Quinn also notched five blocks for the visitors while R.J. Roth brought up eight digs to lead all players. Adam Holdredge finished the match with 46 assists.

Juniata is 0-2 this season against Saint Francis. The Eagles lost a 3-1 decision to the Red Flash in Huntingdon this year, and dropped a 3-0 contest on the road.

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