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Men's volleyball drops five game match to Lewis

(Posted February 21, 2010)

HUNITNGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College men's volleyball lost a gut wrenching, five set match to Lewis University on Saturday night at Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center. The Eagles took the first two sets but could not hold onto its lead, dropping the last three sets to the Flyers.

Set scores for Lewis were 25-30, 28-30, 20-25, 30-24, 15-11.

The Eagles defense kept many rallies alive and helped to set up the offense. Senior libero Anthony Damiano (Lititz, Pa./ Manheim Township) posted 20 digs in Saturday night's match. Damiano currently has 603 career digs, surpassing both Matt Werle (590 digs) and Jeff Fischer (591 digs), and is the fourth player in Juniata history to surpass 600 digs. While Damiano is fourth among Juniata all-time digs leaders, his 603 digs is the most of any Juniata player to play solely in the rally-scoring era.

In addition to Damiano's 20 digs, Chris Vrooman (Baden, Pa./ Ambridge Area) logged 15 digs in the match.

Juniata started out set one down 2-0 to start the match. A Dan Follett (Cranberry Township, Pa./ Seneca Valley) kill put the Eagles on the scoreboard. Lewis and Juniata battle back and forth to gain an advantage; Juniata took the lead at 10-9 with a Zach Wanner (Lancaster, Pa./ Hempfield) kill to keep the Eagles ahead for the rest of the game.

Mike Kraft (York, Pa./ Eastern York) served up an ace to give the Eagles set point. Lewis' Ian Karbiener answered back with a kill. Wanner ended the set with one of his 20 kills for the match.

In set two, the Eagles came out with momentum after a win in the first set, with a block by Wanner and John Prout (Evanston, Ill./ Evanston Township). Juniata went ahead at 5-4 with a Follett kill. Lewis trailed the Eagles by at least two points until Brian Muesenfechter stepped up with a kill to put the Flyers behind by one at 15-14. Lewis tied the game at 15-15 with an attack error by Juniata.

Wanner gave Juniata the lead at 18-17 with a kill. Lewis tied the game up four more times during the set until an Aaron Flick service error gave the Eagles the edge it needed to take set two. A service error by Chris Biscardi gave Juniata the set and put the Eagle's up 2-0 in the match.

Set three began the same way much of set two was played - back and forth between Juniata and Lewis. Juniata took a three-point lead with a kill from Vrooman to put the Eagles above the Flyers 12-9. A string of three Juniata errors allowed Lewis to tie the score at 13-all. Wanner soared high for a kill, which positioned the Eagles ahead 14-13. Lewis went on a five-point scoring run to force Juniata into a time-out with the score in favor of the Flyers 18-14.

The Eagles tied the score again at 19-all with a big double block by Wanner and Ben Wolff (Meadville, Pa./ Meadville), however a Flick kill stopped the Eagle's run. A power struggle to lead the match ensued until a service error by Juniata gave Lewis a one-point advantage at 25-24. The Flyers outscored the Eagles 4-1 the rest of the way, and won set three on a Juniata attack error.

The Eagles took control early in set four, holding a three-point lead on a pair of occasions. Flyers worked their way back into the set at 9-all, riding on some of the momentum from pervious set. Both teams sided out after each rally until two attack errors by Lewis gave Juniata a 13-11 edge. The siding out continued until two Eagle attack errors gave Lewis a 14-13 lead, which it held until Wolff tied the score again at 18-18 with a kill. Three more Juniata errors stretched the Lewis lead to 21-18.

The Eagles could not regain the points given up, and added more errors to help the Flyers to a victory. The Lewis win in set four tied the match 2-2.

Juniata jumped out on top leading 1-0 in the final and fifth set. A Nathan Klaas kill tied the game at 1-all, but the Eagles answered with a two-point run. The Flyers tied the score up four times until they took the lead at 7-6 with a service ace by Muesenfechter. Wolff fought back with a kill and tied the set at 7-all. A Juniata service error put Lewis back on top at 8-7. The Eagles could not regain the lead and the Flyers took over, outscoring seven points to Juniata's four over the remainder of the set.

Wanner tallied 20 kills for the night, the only hitter to reach 20 kills in the match. Evan Halteman (Perkiomenville, Pa./ Christopher Dock) chipped in with 16 kills on 35 attempts hitting .229.

Kraft set up 67 assists, a career high in Saturday nights match. Damiano matched a career high with 20 digs against the Flyers.

Biscardi led his team to victory with a team high of 13 kills, with only two errors on 21 attempts and hit .524 for the match. Flick logged 11 kills, one error on 23 attempts and a .435 hitting percentage. Setter Mike Iandolo had 49 assists and 10 digs, while libero Rikki Garma tallied 13 digs.

The Eagles are on the road next weekend. Friday, Juniata takes on Rutgers-Newark followed by New York University on Saturday.

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