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Juniata MVB outblocks, outhits Princeton for EIVA Tait victory

(Posted February 8, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College posted 18 team blocks and a .254 attack percentage on its way to a 3-1 victory over Division I Princeton University, in EIVA Tait Division men's volleyball action Friday night at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center in Huntingdon, Pa. Game scores were 30-26, 28-30, 33-31, and 30-23. In each of the first two games, Juniata (4-3, 1-2 EIVA Tait) trailed the Tigers early but battled its way back into the game. Juniata pulled out the victory in game one, with Dan Powers' (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) service powering the Eagles to four straight points starting at 25-25. After a side-out attack error by the Eagles to cut the Juniata lead to 29-26, a kill by Matt Werle (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) wrapped up the win. Juniata's comeback effort in game two was squashed after the Eagles had pulled to within one point of Princeton, 26-25. The Tigers won four of the next seven points, two off kills and two more off Juniata attack errors, to win their only game of the match. Game three was a see-saw contest throughout, with seven lead changes before Juniata eventually took the game. The Eagles saw a 23-19 lead evaporate on the serve of Princeton's Carl Hamming, with a pair of Phillip Rosenberg kills and a Juniata attack error cutting the lead to 23-22. The game remained close, with Juniata's Werle eventually serving for game point at 30-29. Back-to-back Eagle attack errors gave Princeton a 31-30 lead, but a kill by Matt Fritz (Churchville, Md./John Carroll) tied the game at 31-31. A double block by Evan Halteman (Perkiomenville, Pa./Christopher Dock) and Fritz again put Juniata on game point at 32-31, and a bad set by Princeton's Brandon Denham allowed the Eagles to clinch the win. Juniata dominated most of game four, after opening 4-0 off Powers' service. The Tigers briefly pulled into a 7-5 lead after recording five straight points off Jeff McCown's serve, including a pair of kills by Mike Vincent. The Eagles regained the lead on a kill by Craig Harvey (Beverly, Mass./St. Johns Prep) at 12-11, and slowly pulled away from the Tigers from that point on. Juniata eventually sealed the win with Halteman's kill on match point. Powers paced the Juniata attack with 14 kills on 18 total attempts for a .778 attack percentage. Fritz also tallied 14 kills, while Zach Wanner (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) finished with 12. Werle set the offense with 49 assists to go with his nine total blocks. Anthony Damiano (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Township) logged his fourth double-digit dig total of the season with 11. Princeton had four players with double figure kill totals, led by McCown and Vincent with 13. Denham had 48 assists, while Peter Eichler led the Tigers defensively with nine digs. Princeton hit just .163 for the match, its lowest attack percentage of the season. Juniata has the rest of the weekend off, and returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at St. Francis University in Loretto, Pa. -30-

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