Barndt And Ocasio Picked For All-EIVA Squad
(Posted April 24, 2006)
Huntingdon, PA - The Juniata College men's volleyball team has received another pair of postseason honors as the Eagles placed two players on the 2006 EIVA All-East Team which recognizes the top 20 players in the 14-team EIVA including Division I, II and III players. Juniors Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) and Nate Ocasio (Northeastern/Manchester) were both picked as second-team All-EIVA choices, and were the only two Division III players chosen for the All-East squad.
Barndt claims second-team All-EIVA recognition for the second-consecutive year and was also an AVCA Division III All-American for the second-consecutive season. He led Juniata in hitting percentage and blocks on the season. He committed just 59 attack errors on the year, en route to his .388 hitting percentage, and established a new career high with 112 blocks on the team, an average of 1.19 blocks per game. He ranked third on the Eagles with 248 kills, the second-highest total of his career, and was second on the team with 333 kills which established another career high. Barndt added another career-best with 25 serve aces on the season, which was tied for the second-highest total on the team. He reached double figures in kills 13 times, with his season-high of 16 finishes coming in a win over East Stroudsburg. He posted a career-best nine blocks in a five-game match against Princeton, one of 22 times he recorded at least three blocks in a match. Barndt was chosen as the Most Valuable Player when the Eagles earned their third-consecutive Molten Division III National Invitational Championship, and was also selected as the AVCA/Sports Imports Division III National Player of the Week after helping Juniata earn the title.
Ocasio caps a memorable comeback season by earning the first All-EIVA honors of his career. After being diagnosed with a rare disease, and spending several weeks in the hospital over the summer, he made a miraculous return to the Juniata lineup a month into the season and re-established himself as one of the team's top offensive weapons. He finished the season ranked second on the team with 275 kills, but he led the team in both kills and points per game. Ocasio also produced 71 digs, 34 blocks and 18 aces on the season with his ace total ranking as the fourth-highest total on the team. Upon returning to the lineup, Ocasio reached double figures in kills in 16 of the 18 matches in which he appeared, including a stretch of nine-consecutive matches to close the season. He established a new career-high with 32 kills as Juniata topped NYU in the EIVA Division III championship match, and then averaged 13.5 kills with a .452 hitting percentage as Juniata claimed the Molten Championship. He produced the second double-double of his career in a five-game match against Princeton as he knocked out 22 kills and brought-up a career-high 12 digs. Ocasio was also picked as an AVCA/Sports Imports Division III National Player of the Week during the season.
Juniata closed its season with a record of 14-13, which marked the fourth-consecutive season the team has finished above .500. The Eagles were ranked first in the AVCA/CSTV Division III Top-15 Coaches Poll all but one week during the season, and were unbeaten against Division III competition on the year. Juniata also advanced to the EIVA Tournament Quarterfinals for the fourth-straight year.
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