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Men's Volleyball falls to #9 Penn State

(Posted March 23, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College men's volleyball team fought hard in the third set, but ultimately dropped the match 3-0 against Penn State University, Saturday night at Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center.

Set scores for the Nittany Lions were 30-18, 30-22, 30-26.

The Eagles dug themselves a hole early in the first game falling behind 7-2 until Zach Wanner (Lancaster, Pa./ Hempfield) stepped up with a kill to end the Nittany Lion run. This early lead for Penn State was too great for Juniata to work back into the match, despite a two-point run with kills by Chris Vrooman (Baden, Pa./ Ambridge) and Wanner late in set one with a score of 25-18.

The final four points of the set went to the Nittany Lions with an Edgardo Goas kill, a service ace by Max Lipsitz, and three Eagle errors to settle at a final set score of 30-18.

Evan Halteman (Perkiomenville, Pa./Christopher Dock ) led in hitting percentage in game one for Juniata attacking .500 with one kill, no errors on two attempts. Penn State's Lipsitz soared for an attack percentage of .667 with two terminations, no errors on three attempts.

Set two started all too familiar for the Eagles, going down 2-0 to the Nittany Lions. A kill by Halteman put Juniata on the scoreboard 2-1. Penn State kept at least a two-point lead over Juniata during the remainder set. The sets momentum seemed to sway in Penn State's favor giving them the victory in set two. Tom Comfort finished off the frame two win with a kill.

The Nittany Lions outhit the Eagles .393 to .153 in set two. Turko led the way for Penn State, attacking .500 with four kills, only one error on six attempts. He also recorded two service aces. Halteman once again led the Eagles in hitting percentage with .333 with two terminations, and not a single error on six attempts.

In the third set Juniata took its only lead of the match at 3-2 with a Ben Wolff (Meadville, Pa./ Meadville) termination. The score was back and forth until and an attack error by the Eagles gave the Nittany Lions a 9-7 lead. Juniata seemed to pick up energy and stay with Penn State coming, within one point twice at 13-14 and 15-14. Penn State's Lipsitz widened the gap to 16-14 with a kill.

The Eagles fought their way back into the set at 24-20 with a Wolff kill. The end-of-the-set push was not enough to win the game, and the Nittany Lions reached match point 29-26 with a kill by Joe Sunder. Sunder ended the match with a service ace.

Penn State out-hit (.376- .193), blocked (7.5-2) and dug (44-27) Juniata in the three set match.

Juniata's Halteman had team-high attack percentage with .500, totaling five kills no errors in the match on 10 attempts. Wolff ended the match with a .312 hitting percentage with seven kills, two errors on 16 attempts. Penn State's Goas, Lipsitz, and Sunder all hit above .500 for the match.

Setter John Almquist had his first career start for the Eagles. Almquist tallied 33 assists and eight digs both career highs. He also recorded on block solo and one block assist. Penn State's Goas recorded 43 assists for the match.

Senior libero Anthony Damiano notched six digs in three sets. For the Nittany Lions, Goas, Will Price, Ryan Wolf and Comfort all logged eight digs.

Juniata remains at home this Saturday March 27, when Juniata takes on Division III foe Springfield College at 7:00 p.m.

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