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Juniata MVB falls to Princeton, but still gains entry to Molten Division III Championship

(Posted April 4, 2008)

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Juniata College senior Matt Fritz (Churchville, Md./John Carroll) recorded 17 kills against Princeton University, but that wasn't enough to overcome the Tigers' .319 hitting percentage as Princeton downed the Eagles, 3-0, in an EIVA Tait Division men's volleyball match Friday night in Princeton, N.J. Game scores in the match were 30-20, 30-27, and 31-29. The night wasn't a total loss for Juniata (9-12, 5-6 EIVA Tait), as the Eagles learned at the end of the match that archrival Springfield College had defeated New York University, 3-2. The Pride's win should allow Juniata to advance to the Molten Division III Championships, which begin next weekend in Springfield, Mass. Seedings and pairings for the Molten tournament will be announced on April 7. Against Princeton, Juniata hit just .202 for the match, including a .172 attack percentage in the first game. The Eagles were tied with Princeton, 3-3, in game one, when the Tigers rattled off three straight points to take a 6-3 lead. After four straight side out points, Princeton went on a five-point run, including three on service aces by Philip Rosenberg, to take a 12-5 advantage. A kill by Juniata's Dan Powers (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) broke the run, but the Tigers immediately picked up where they off with five more uninterrupted points to grab a commanding 17-6 lead, and roll to a 30-20 victory. Juniata stayed right with the Tigers in game two, never letting Princeton take more than a four-point lead. Juniata held a 15-13 lead midway through the game, following back-to-back kills by Dan Follett (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) and Craig Harvey (Beverly, Mass./St. Johns Prep). The Tigers regained the momentum with a six-point run, three off blocks by Carl Hamming and Jeff McCown, to take a 19-15 lead. With Princeton's lead at 25-21, Juniata pulled even with the Tigers on a four-point run of its own, with two points on service aces by Powers. Peter Eichler's kill and a block by McCown and Rosenberg put the Tigers in front, 27-25, and a pair of side out points advanced the score to 28-26. A Hamming solo block put Princeton on game point; following a Fritz kill to narrow the lead to 29-27, Mike Vincent secured the Princeton win in game two with a kill. Game three was another tight contest, with Juniata eventually taking a 22-21 lead thanks to a six-point run that was fueled by a pair of Harvey kills. The game was eventually tied at 27-27, with Princeton taking the lead on a Rosenberg service ace. Four straight side out points left the Tigers with a 30-29 lead, and Princeton wrapped up the win with a Hamming solo block. Powers tallied seven kills for the Eagles in the loss, while Matt Werle (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) set 33 assists for the offense. Anthony Damiano (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Township) had eight digs for Juniata, and Evan Halteman (Perkiomenville, Pa./Christopher Dock) had a hand in five of Juniata's seven team blocks. Princeton had two players with double-digit kill totals - Eichler with 13, and Vincent with 10. Brandon Denham had 40 assists for the Tigers, while McCown finished with seven total blocks. Juniata concludes its 2008 regular season on Saturday night when it faces East Stroudsburg in an EIVA Tait Division match. -30-

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