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Wanner's 17 kills leads Juniata MVB past Princeton in 3-0 victory

(Posted February 6, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College outhit and outblocked Princeton University on its way to a 3-0 win over the Tigers, in an EIVA Tait Division volleyball matchup on Friday night at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center.

Set scores were 34-32, 30-26, and 30-19.

Juniata (3-2, 1-1 EIVA Tait) had to overcome a marathon first set, in which the largest advantage held by either team was Princeton's 21-18 lead following a Juniata service error. The Eagles managed to tie the set a 21-21 on three straight Tiger errors - a fraction of their 31 attack errors and 15 service errors on the night.

The Eagles finally won the opening frame with two more Princeton attack errors off the serve of Juniata's Matt Werle (Meadville, Pa./Meadville).

The second set looked like it might be a repeat of the first, with Juniata eventually eking out an 11-10 lead after a Zach Wanner (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) kill. Dan Follett (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) stepped up to serve, and led Juniata to three straight points -- again all on Princeton attack errors.

The Juniata scoring run was eventually halted on a side out kill by Princeton's Phillip Rosenberg, but a new Eagle run started up on the next serve and resulted in a pair of kills by Wanner followed by a Princeton attack error. The Tigers picked up a points on a kill and service ace by Carl Hamming, briefly denting the Eagle advantage down to 17-13. However a Wanner kill and three more Princeton attack errors left Juniata holding a commanding 22-13 lead.

Princeton cut the lead to 22-20 with a 7-0 run off Rosenberg's service, including one service ace and a pair of kills by Mike Vincent. Juniata managed to stay just ahead of Princeton the rest of the way, eventually putting away the set at 30-26 with a Vincent attack error off Wanner's serve.

Juniata grabbed a slim lead in the third set, eventually taking a 14-8 lead after five straight points on Princeton errors. However Juniata's decisive run began at 20-15, after a side out kill by the Eagles' Evan Halteman (Perkiomenville, Pa./Christopher Dock). With Halteman serving, Juniata tallied the next six points - including an ace on a standing float serve at 25-15 - to give the Eagles a 26-15 lead. A side out kill by Vincent Tuminelli ended the Juniata run, but the Eagles wrapped up the set and the game seven points later with a Wanner kill.

Wanner led the Eagles with 17 kills on 33 swings with only three attack errors, while Chris Vrooman (Baden, Pa./Ambridge Area) tallied seven kills. Werle logged 35 assists while running the Juniata offense, and libero Anthony Damiano (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Township), who entered the weekend leading Division I with 3.92 digs per set, recorded 17 digs in Friday's three-set win.

Juniata recorded 9.0 team blocks, led by Follett and Dan Powers (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) with four total blocks each.

Princeton (1-4, 0-1 EIVA Tait) was paced by Vincent with 12 kills and Hamming with nine. For the match, Princeton was held to just .075 hitting, compared to Juniata's .283 attack percentage.

Juniata continues its weekend home stand on Saturday night, when it hosts the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in another EIVA Tait Division clash starting at 7:00 p.m.

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