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Juniata men's volleyball falls to Saint Francis in four sets

(Posted January 26, 2011)

LORETTO, Pa. -- Juniata College men's volleyball let its chance to post a come-from-behind steal of the fourth set and send the match into a decisive fifth set slip away, as the Eagles dropped a 3-1 decision to Saint Francis University on Wednesday night at DeGol Arena.

Set scores for Saint Francis were 25-21, 19-25, 25-21, and 29-27.

Juniata (8-2) had four service opportunities for set point in the fourth set, but couldn't seal the win. The Eagles had trailed much of the fourth set, down three points as late as 14-11 following a Juniata attack error.

The Eagles slowly chipped away at the Red Flash lead, finally catching Saint Francis at 18-18 on a service error by SFU's Michael DeLyser. Saint Francis took the next two points, but Juniata responded with kills by outside hitter Chris Vrooman (Baden, Pa./Ambridge Area) and opposite Alex McColgin (Hamburg, N.Y./Hamburg) to tie things up at 20-20 again.

A triple block by McColgin, middle Ben Wolff (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) and outside hitter Dan Follett (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) gave the Eagles their first lead of the set at 21-20, and Juniata expanded that lead with a block by Follett and Wolff on the next point. Saint Francis took three straight points and a 23-22 lead with kills by Logan Patterson and Chad Martson sandwiched around a Juniata bad set, but back-to-back attack errors by Patterson and Martson gave Juniata its first set point at 24-23.

A Martson kill tied the set back up at 24-24, in the first of three straight kills that Martson would record to stave off the Juniata set victory.

McColgin's kill to give Juniata a 25-24 lead was again answered by a Martson kill, as was Wolff's kill to give the Eagles a 26-25 advantage. A Vrooman termination put Juniata in front 27-26, but this time Saint Francis' Colin Sherwin knotted the set. A pair of double blocks by the Red Flash finally allowed Saint Francis to clinch the fourth set and the match.

After dropping set one, Juniata captured set two thanks to a run of three straight kills by Wolff that resulted in the Eagles holding a five point lead at 16-11. After Saint Francis cut the margin down to three points, a four-point Juniata run stretched the Eagle advantage to six points â?" a lead the Eagles held the rest of the way.

McColgin led Juniata with 15 kills on 38 swings while committing eight attack errors, with Wolff logging 10 kills on 23 attacks to go with his five blocks. Vrooman finished with eight kills, but also finished with seven errors and a .042 hitting percentage. Freshman pin hitter Ross Madden (Richmond, Va./Deep Run) tallied six kills, as did junior Mike Kraft (York, Pa./Eastern York).

Junior John Almquist (York, Pa./Central York) set 31 assists for a Juniata offense that hit .169 for the match, while Follett paced the Eagles defensively with 14 digs. Juniata tallied 12.0 total team blocks, with Almquist, Vrooman, Madden and Kraft each having a hand on three blocks.

Patterson and Sherwin each had 12 kills to lead Saint Francis, while Martson finished with 10 terminations. The Red Flash hit .147 for the match and 10.0 total blocks.

Juniata makes its 2011 home debut this Saturday, Jan. 29, at 7:00 p.m., when it hosts Ohio State at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center.

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