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Juniata men's volleyball season ends with 3-1 loss at George Mason

(Posted April 10, 2010)

FAIRFAX, Va. -- Juniata College men's volleyball saw its 2010 campaign draw to a close with a 3-1 defeat at the hands of George Mason University, Saturday evening at the GMU Recreation and Athletic Complex.

Set scores for the Patriots were 30-26, 28-30, 30-27, and 30-26.

Juniata fell to 9-13 overall with the loss, 3-7 in the EIVA Tait Division, while George Mason improved to 7-16, 4-4 EIVA Tait. The loss also means the Eagles will not qualify for the 2010 EIVA Tournament.

The Eagles received a third-straight 15+ kill performance from senior middle Evan Halteman (Perkiomenville, Pa./Christopher Dock), who tallied 17 kills on 23 swings versus the Patriots, hitting .696 for the match. He also had a hand in three total blocks.

Sophomore middle Ben Wolff (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) logged 12 terminations with five errors on 24 swings, and senior pin hitter Zach Wanner (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) closed out his collegiate career with 11 kills on 44 swings with six errors.

Setter John Almquist (York, Pa./Central York) had 48 assists, setting a Juniata offense that hit .262 for the match to George Mason's .285.

The difference-maker in the match, however, was at the net, where George Mason outblocked Juniata, 12.0 to 5.0. The Patriots' middle Lance Rogers led with five total blocks, while middle Shaun Sibley and setter Brandon Joyner had four blocks each.

After the Eagles dropped the first set, Juniata rallied from a very early 3-1 deficit to take a 4-3 lead after a Mike Kraft (York, Pa./Eastern York) kill and a pair of Patriot attack errors. George Mason tied things up again at 11-11 on a Juniata attack error, but kills by Wanner and Almquist put the Eagles back into the lead. Juniata held its advantage the rest of the way, with a Halteman kill putting the Eagles on set point and a Mason attack error two points later giving Juniata the win.

George Mason jumped out to a 4-1 lead in set three, and stretched its advantage to 20-11 before Juniata began chipping away at the lead. The Eagles got to within one point of the Patriots at 26-25, following back-to-back GMU attack errors. A Rogers kill gave Mason the side out point, and the Patriots expanded their lead to 28-25 on a Sibley block. The teams traded four straight side out points after a Juniata timeout at 28-25, with a Sibley kill wrapping up the set for Mason.

The fourth set began as a see-saw affair, with five lead changes before Mason took the lead for good at 10-9 following three straight Juniata errors. Kills by the Patriots' Joe Norton and Michael Kvidahl widened the gap to 12-9, and George Mason began widening its lead from there. A Halteman kill followed by two Patriot attack errors allowed the Eagles to close the margin to 28-25 late in the set, but a Norton side out kill gave George Mason set point. Another Norton kill two points later allowed Mason to clinch the win.

Five Patriots tallied double-digit kill totals, led by Kvidahl with 16 on 38 swings with nine errors. Rogers finished with 15 kills, while Eric Lucas and Norton tallied 12 kills each. Sibley finished with 10 terminations.

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.