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Juniata's season ends with EIVA tourney loss to NYU

(Posted April 16, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College men's volleyball turned in its second-best hitting performance of the season on Wednesday night against fifth-ranked New York University, hitting .371 while totaling 80 kills ?" the most in a match this season. Junior All-American setter Matt Werle (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) set a season-high with 70 assists. The Eagles logged 45 digs, among their best defensive efforts of the season. But in the end, it proved to be not quite enough as the Violets escaped the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center with a 3-2 win over the Eagles, in a First Round match in the 2008 EIVA Tournament. Game scores were 24-30, 30-25, 30-28, 24-30, and 15-12. The loss ended fourth-ranked Juniata's 2008 campaign with a 10-15 record, while NYU (22-7) will advance to a quarterfinal match against St. Francis University on Saturday, April 19, in Loretto, Pa. All five games were played to a neck-and-neck score much of the way, with late runs proving decisive. In the concluding fifth game, NYU broke free of a 7-7 tie on a kill by Francis Hodgson, followed by a Juniata attack error and a kill by Jon Wintermeyer. A side out kill by Matt Fritz (Churchville, Md./John Carroll) and an Eagle service error left the Violets with an 11-8 lead; a service ace by NYU's Eric Chakeen expanded that lead to 12-8. Four straight side out points left the Violets sitting on match point, 14-10, but Juniata's Zach Bock (Mount Wolf, Pa./Northeastern) tallied back-to-back kills to pull the Eagles to within two points, 14-12. NYU's Devin Zolnowski ended the match with his 12th kill of the night, sealing the 15-12 game five win. Trailing 2-1 in games and holding a slim 19-18 lead in game four, the Eagles went on a 6-2 run to pull away from the Violets on their way to a 30-24 win. Zach Wanner (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) had a pair of kills while Werle had one during the Juniata run. Three straight NYU points narrowed the gap to 25-22, but a pair of Fritz kills and a NYU attack error expanded Juniata's advantage to 28-22. A kill by NYU's Willy McFarland and a Hodgson service ace, cut the lead to 28-24, but a service error and attack error by the Violets conspired to led Juniata post the game four win, and force the fifth game. The Eagles were led by Fritz with 22 kills, while Wanner logged 20 kills to go with 10 digs. Bock registered 19 kills and also had 10 digs on the night, with a team-high four total blocks. NYU was paced by four players with double-digit kill totals, led by Wintermeyer with 18 and McFarland with 14. Setter Ilan Goldstein had 60 assists. The Violets logged 11 total team blocks on the night, led by Chakeen and Hodgson with four each. -30-

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