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Juniata men's volleyball opens 2011 season with victories on Arizona trip

(Posted January 8, 2011)

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- The Juniata College men's volleyball team opened up its 2011 season with a pair of victories, one over a Division II opponent and another over a key Division III rival.

Playing in a round-robin event hosted by Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz., the Eagles opened with a 3-0 win over Division II Grand Canyon and capped the day with a 3-1 triumph over UC-Santz Cruz.

Set scores in the win over Grand Canyon were 25-20, 25-21, and 25-21.

Senior outside hitter Chris Vrooman (Baden, Pa./Ambridge Area) led the Eagles with 11 kills on 25 swings with five errors, while opposite Alex McColgin (Hamburg, N.Y./Hamburg) tallied 11 terminations on his 25 attacks.

Freshman pin hitter Ross Madden (Richmond, Va./Deep Run) tallied five kills on 12 attacks, but had a hand on seven of Juniata's 12.5 team blocks and finished with 10.5 points for the match. Junior middle Ben Wolff (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) had six total blocks to go with his five kills on seven swings.

Junior Mike Kraft (York, Pa./Eastern York) set 30 assists while leading a Juniata squad that hit .213 for the game, and also led the Eagles with a team-high nine digs. McColgin and Vrooman added five and four digs respectively.

The Eagles held Grand Canyon to .011 hitting for the match, as the Antelopes committed 30 attack errors.

Juniata ended the day with a 3-1 win over UC-Santa Cruz by set scores of 26-24, 25-18, 22-25, and 25-19.

Vrooman dominated play with 18 kills on 26 swings and just three errors to finish with a .577 attack percentage. McColgin also turned in a strong performance, racking up 12 kills on his 24 attacks with six errors.

Wolff led the Eagles at the net with five blocks, to go with his eight kills on a .500 hitting percentage. Madden tacked on eight kills of his own with three blocks. Juniata outblocked UC-Santa Cruz 9.5 to 6.5, and hit .408 to the Banana Slugs' .252 attack clip.

Kraft again guided the Juniata offense masterfully, recording 35 assists and turning up a team-high nine digs. Vrooman had six digs with Madden adding five.

Juniata (2-0) completes the three-game Arizona trip on Sunday afternoon with a rematch against Grand Canyon University.

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