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Volleyball Suffers Tight Loss

(Posted February 15, 2007)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - In a back-and-forth affair in which neither team was able to hold momentum for more than a few moments, the Juniata College men\'s volleyball team could not find the points down the stretch as the Eagles suffered a 3-2 set-back to EIVA Tait Division opponent George Mason Thursday afternoon in Huntingdon. After Juniata earned a relatively smooth 30-25 win in game one, Mason won games two and three. Juniata responded with a strong performance in game four, but then saw the visitors earn the win in a tight game five to earn the win by scores of 25-30, 30-22, 30-26, 25-30 and 15-13. The loss dropped Juniata to 5-3 overall and 1-2 in the Tait Division, while the Patriots moved their record to 4-2 and 2-2 in the conference. Matt Fritz (John Carroll/Churchville, Md.) finished with 22 kills to lead Juniata, which finished with four players topping the 10-kill mark. William Price pounded out 26 finishes for George Mason to lead all players. Juniata never led in the decisive fifth game as consecutive service aces from Price pushed Mason in front 7-5 and forced an Eagles time out. Fritz answered with a kill and the teams then traded side outs with Juniata pulling within a point on six occasions, but the Eagles could not pull even and the Patriots sealed the match with a Kyle Swanson kill. The squads finished with nearly identical stats for the match as each team has 67 kills, with Juniata hitting .248 as a team, and the Patriots hitting .237. Mason made the biggest defensively at the net as Juniata was out-blocked 11-5, and the visitors also had eight serve aces to Juniata\'s five. The Eagles hit .364 in winning the first game, and then hit .333 in game five, but did not top .280 over the other three games. Fritz\' 22 kills marked a season high and he also hit .390, one of just two Eagles hit better than .300. Glenn DeHaven (Walt Whitman/South Huntington, N.Y.) finished with 15 kills and 10 digs for a double-double. Derek Stanley (Manheim Township/Lancaster) finished with 11 kills while making his first start of the year while Dan Powers (Manheim Township/Lancaster) added 10 kills. Matt Werle (Meadville/Meadville) dished out 56 assists and also paced Juniata with a pair of aces and 15 digs. Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) paced the Eagles with four blocks. Price connected on 26 kills with nine errors on 66 swings for a .258 hitting percentage. He also led all players with five aces in the contest. Kyle Gramit and Mark Burik added 16 and 13 kills respectively for the Patriots. Ryan Kwiatkowski dished out 59 assists, in the match, while also producing four blocks. Libero Graham Sheppard finished with 18 digs to lead all players, with Burik also chipping in 12 digs. Swanson led all players with seven blocks. Juniata returns to action Friday night as the Eagles host EIVA Tait Division opponent Rutgers-Newark. ###

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