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Field And Pairings Are Set For Molten Championship

(Posted April 11, 2007)

Click here for official Molten Championship site. LEXINGTON, Ky. - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and USA Volleyball (USAV), in conjunction with Molten U.S.A., Inc., are pleased to announce the seeds and pairings for the 2007 Molten Division III Men\'s Volleyball Invitational ChampionshipSM. The 2007 event is slated for April 13-14 at Memorial Gymnasium in the Kennedy Sports and Recreation Center on the campus of Juniata College in Huntington, Pa. Individual match tickets are $3 for students with identification, $5 for adults and $2 for children under 12. Juniata will be attempting to become just the second Molten host to win the tournament on its home court in the 11-year history of the event (Springfield College hosted and won in 2001). The tournament boasts the top three, and four of the top five-ranked teams according to the April 10 CSTV/AVCA Division III Men\'s Top 15 Coaches PollSM. Carthage College (24-7), the Midwest-West Region At-Large representative, is seeded first and will face North East Collegiate Volleyball Association (NECVA) Tournament champion and fourth-seed Stevens Institute of Technology (33-6) at 5 p.m. ET on April 13 in the first semifinal match. Three-time defending champion and tournament host Juniata (13-8), was selected as the second-seed for the Molten championship and will challenge third-seed Springfield College (18-8), who defeated the Eagles in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Division III Championship on April 7. The Juniata-Springfield semifinal match will be at 8 p.m. ET on April 13. The consolation match will be played at 5 p.m. ET on April 14, followed by the championship at 8 p.m. ET. Seeding criteria includes consideration of head-to-head competition, results against common opponents, results versus teams in the field and cumulative season poll rankings. Top-ranked Carthage was selected last week to represent the Midwest-West Regions as the at-large team. Three-time defending champ Juniata, ranked second in the April 10 poll, holds a spot in the Molten as the host team for the event. Springfield, ranked third nationally, represents the EIVA, as the Pride claimed the EIVA Division III title on April 7 with a sweep of Juniata. Stevens, ranked fifth nationally, captured the NECVA Tournament title by defeating Eastern Mennonite in three games in the championship match on April 1. About Carthage Carthage (24-7) is ranked first in the most recent CSTV/AVCA Division III Top 15 Coaches PollSM. The Red Men are making their second appearance in the Molten championship, as they finished runners-up to Juniata in the 2005 event. The Midwest/West Region at-large selection is 11-1 against current NCAA Division III ranked teams, including two wins over third-ranked UC Santa Cruz to win the Division III Midwest Invitational on April 1. The Red Men\'s only match against a Molten championship qualifier was a 3-0 win over Stevens on Jan. 12. Carthage is 4-5 this season against NCAA Division I and II teams, including road wins over Quincy and Lewis. The Red Men enter the event having won 12 consecutive matches. About Juniata Three-time defending champion Juniata (13-8) is ranked second in the most recent CSTV/AVCA Division III Top 15 Coaches PollSM after holding down the top spot the first 11 weeks of the season. The Eagles are 6-1 against current-ranked teams in the CSTV/AVCA Division III Men\'s Top 15 Coaches PollSM. The tournament host is 4-1 this season against other tournament qualifiers, including 2-1 against Molten semifinal opponent Springfield. The Eagles are 7-7 against NCAA Division I and Division II opponents, highlighted by a win over George Mason, who was ranked in the Division I-II poll earlier this season. Juniata also took NCAA Division I-II sixth-ranked Penn State to five games, falling 15-10 in the final frame. The Eagles are making their record-eighth appearance in the Molten championship, winning the event in 1998, 2004, 2005 and 2006. About Springfield Springfield (18-8) captured the EIVA Division III title, upending Juniata in three games April 7. The Pride is ranked third in the most recent CSTV/AVCA Division III Top 15 Coaches PollSM, and is 5-3 against other current-ranked NCAA Division III teams this season. Springfield is 9-5 against NCAA Division I and Division II teams, and currently is in second place in the EIVA Hay Division at 8-2. The Pride holds a 1-2 against 2007 Molten participants with all three matches against its semifinal opponent, Juniata. Springfield is making its sixth trip to the Molten Division III Men\'s Volleyball Invitational ChampionshipSM, the second most appearances in the tournament\'s history. Like their Friday night counterpart, the Pride has won four Molten championships, including three in a row from 2001-2003. Springfield\'s other tournament championship was in the very first Molten championship in 1997. About Stevens Stevens (33-6) won the NECVA Tournament as the top seed, winning four consecutive matches without dropping a game. The Ducks are ranked fifth in the most recent CSTV/AVCA Division III Top 15 Coaches PollSM. Stevens is 27-5 against Division III competition, including 10-5 against other current-ranked NCAA Division III teams. Against other Molten teams, the Ducks are winless in three matches, including a 3-0 loss to top-seed Carthage, their semifinal opponent. In six matches against NCAA Division I and Division II opponents, the Ducks are undefeated, losing only two of the 20 games played in that span, with one more match to be played April 10 at Princeton. Stevens has won its last eight matches overall, and 20 of its last 21 dating back to February 13. All but two of the Ducks\' last 20 victories have been by virtue of a sweep. Stevens has the third most trips to the Molten championship, now appearing for the fifth time. The Ducks have finished in third place the last two years. Tournament History with Final Placing: 2006: 1. Juniata; 2. UC Santa Cruz; 3. Stevens; 4. Rivier (hosted by Stevens) 2005: 1. Juniata; 2. Carthage; 3. Stevens; 4. Medaille (hosted by Stevens) 2004: 1. Juniata; 2. Medaille; 3. UC Santa Cruz; 4. Eastern Mennonite (hosted by Eastern Mennonite) 2003: 1. Springfield; 2. Juniata; 3. La Verne; 4. Stevens (hosted by Juniata) 2002: 1. Springfield; 2. La Verne; 3. NYU; 4. Lehman (hosted by NYU) 2001: 1. Springfield; 2. D\'Youville; 3. Clarke; 4. Vassar (hosted by Springfield) 2000: 1. UC San Diego; 2. NYU; 3. D\'Youville; 4. Stevens (hosted by Stevens) 1999: 1. La Verne; 2. D\'Youville; 3. Clarke; 4. Juniata (hosted by Clarke) 1998: 1. Juniata; 2. La Verne; 3. Springfield; 4. Eastern Mennonite (hosted by Springfield) 1997: 1. Springfield; 2. NJIT; 3. Juniata; 4. UC San Diego (hosted by Juniata) The Molten Division III Men\'s Invitational Volleyball Championship selection committee consists of Doug Beal (USA Volleyball chief executive officer); Kathy DeBoer (AVCA executive director); Ivan Marquez (EIVA commissioner); Bob Newcomb (UC Irvine/at-large representative); Stuart Robinson (SUNY New Paltz athletic director/NECVA representative), Dan Harris (Milwaukee School of Engineering athletic director/midwest representative), Al Scates (UCLA men\'s head coach/AVCA men\'s representative) and Gerry Matacotta (NECVA executive director). Now in its 11th year, the Molten Division III Men\'s Invitational Volleyball ChampionshipSM was formed due to a need for a culminating event for NCAA Division III men\'s volleyball. While the NCAA sponsors a national championship for men\'s volleyball, programs from all three divisions compete for just four berths in the yearly tournament. In the 35-year history of the men\'s tournament, no Division III program has earned a berth or been selected to participate in the NCAA National Collegiate Men\'s Volleyball Championship. Molten U.S.A., Inc. is the \"Official Volleyball of the Division III Men\'s Invitational Volleyball Championship.\" Sports Imports is the \"Official Net System Supplier of the Division III Men\'s Invitational Volleyball Championship.\" Mizuno USA is the \"Official Apparel & Shoe Sponsor of the Division III Men\'s Invitational Volleyball Championship.\"

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