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Volleyball Comes Up Just Short To Penn State

(Posted March 28, 2007)

Nate Ocasio had 16 kills and 11 digs for Juniata in its match against Division I Penn State.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - The Juniata College men\'s volleyball team used a strong comeback in game four to push Division I power Penn State University to a fifth game, but a slow start in the final game doomed the Eagles as they suffered a 3-2 loss to the visitors in EIVA Tait Division action Wednesday night. Juniata (12-6, 4-5 EIVA Tait) trailed 24-19 in game four, but a Glenn DeHaven (Walt Whitman/South Huntington, N.Y.) kill and a block from Ryan McGinley (Pennridge/Perkasie) and Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) sparked a 7-0 run that left Juniata in front 26-24. The visitors got no closer than two the rest of the game as Juniata earned the 30-28 win. But Penn State (15-5, 8-0 EIVA Tait) responded by scoring five of the first seven points in game five to take a 5-2 lead. Max Holt had a service aced during the run. Juniata managed to pull back within two points on six occasions, the last time on a Nate Ocasio (Northeastern/Manchester) kill to make the score 11-9 Penn State. A Juniata service error, followed by an attack error put Penn State up 13-9, and Matt Anderson\'s match-high 22nd kill helped close the game as Penn State claimed the match 26-30, 30-19, 30-22, 28-30, 15-10. Ocasio led three Eagles in double figures with 16 kills as Juniata finished with 63 kills as a team. Six different players had at least six finishes for the Blue and Gold. Juniata started strong in game one as the Blue and Gold his .364 to claim the victory. From there Juniata struggled to find answers to Penn State\'s tough service game as the team did not better than .263 in any of the final four games. Barndt hit .409 to lead the Eagles while knocking out 12 kills. DeHaven finished with 10, and Chris Gass (Saint Marks/Wilmington, Del.) came off the bench and provided a spark with seven kills. Matt Werle (Meadville/Meadville) dished out 56 assists for the Blue and Gold. DeHaven and Gass both posted a team-best four blocks for Juniata, while Steve Yeager (Hempfield/East Petersburg) brought up 15 digs to pace the team. Anderson finished with 22 kills and a .381 hitting percentage for Penn State, while Max Holt provided 21 kills and hit .690. Max Lipsitz and Alex Gutor were both also in double figures with 12 and 10 kills respectively. Luke Murray passed out 59 assists for the Nittany Lions in helping the team hit .333. Lipsitz led all players with 10 blocks, while Ryan Walthall posted 15 digs. Juniata returns to action Saturday night with a big Tait Division match against George Mason on the road. ###

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