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Men's volleyball moves past Princeton in five

(Posted April 9, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College men's volleyball helped its EIVA playoff chances alive by defeating Princeton University, 3-2, Friday night at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center. After the Eagles took sets one and two, the Tigers fought their way back winning sets three and four, but in the end Juniata came out on top.

Set scores for the Eagles were 30-27, 30-25, 24-30, 29-31, 15-13

After dropping two straight sets in sets three and four, the Eagles came out fired up in set five. Evan Halteman's (Perkiomenville, Christopher Dock) kill put the Eagles on the scoreboard first and gave Juniata the momentum it needed for the final set. Princeton's Michael Dye answered back with a kill. After Dye's kill, Juniata rattled off two points including a Zach Wanner kill (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield), retaking a lead they would never relinquish.

The set was close with each team battling for the lead. A block by John Almquist (York, Pa./ Central York), Mike Kraft (York, Pa./ Eastern York) and Halteman forced Princeton to a timeout at 10-7 in the fifth set. Out of the timeout, Dye struck back with a kill and a Juniata attack error put the Tigers within one point of the Eagles at 10-9. Juniata bounced back with the help of a Princeton service error and a kill by Chris Vrooman (Baden, Pa./ Ambridge) to widen the gap for the Eagles at 12-9.

Juniata had match point (14-12), but Princeton was not ready to fold and Carl Hamming stepped up with a kill to put the Tigers within one point to tie the set. Wanner ended the set and match for the Eagles with one of his 19 kills in the match.

Earlier in the match, the Eagles took the lead in set four but the Tigers had momentum from the third set and used it to their advantage, coming up from behind and tying the set at five all. Juniata went on a seven point run with Almquist serving, which made Princeton call a timeout at 13-6. Pat Schwagler's kill ended the run for the Eagles.

Juniata kept a lead on Princeton well through the late part of the set, until a block by Vincent Tuminelli and Dye tied the set at 29-29. A Tuminelli kill gave the Tigers set point and Scott Liljestrom nabbed the set with a service ace.

Halteman was the scoring leader for Juniata with 20 kills and two errors on 35 attempts, hitting .514 in the match. Wanner and Vrooman tallied 19 kills each. Wanner logged a match and career high of 22 digs against Princeton. Ben Wolff (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) hit .522 with 14 kills. Wolff also logged two service aces.

Almquist accumulated a career and match high of 74 assists, along with 14 digs, while Anthony Damiano (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Township) tallied 11 digs during the match.

Juniata takes on George Mason University, Saturday, April 10, in Fairfax, Va., at 4:00 p.m., to close out the Eagles' regular season play. This match is crucial for Juniata's standings in the EIVA's Tait Division; a win against the Patriots would most likely clinch a playoff spot for the Eagles, while a loss would drop Juniata to sixth.

Complete box score and match play-by-play

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