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Juniata men's volleyball takes down Sacred Heart in three sets

(Posted March 19, 2011)

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- It required getting through a marathon first set, but Juniata College men's volleyball posted a 3-0 win over EIVA Hay Division rival Sacred Heart University, Saturday evening at the Pitt Center.

Set scores for Juniata were 31-29, 25-22, and 25-20.

Senior outside hitter Chris Vrooman (Baden, Pa./Ambridge Area) led Juniata (13-9, 6-0 EIVA Tait) with 12 kills on 23 swings for a .435 attack percentage. Vrooman also turned up eight digs for the Eagles, and had a hand in two blocks with two services aces to finish with a team-high 15.0 points.

Freshman Will Powers (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) tacked on seven kills on 18 attacks with two aces and two blocks, while junior middle Ben Wolff (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) and junior setter Mike Kraft (York, Pa./Eastern York) each added four kills. Wolff paced Juniata at the net with four blocks.

Kraft had 29 assists while running a Juniata offense that hit .239 for the match. Senior Dan Follett (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) sprawled for 10 digs.

Sacred Heart's Enzo Mackenzie led the Pioneers with 20 kills on a .444 hitting percentage, with two aces and five blocks to tally 25.5 points in the match. Craig Harvey turned up 10 digs for Sacred Heart, and Tim Sadowski set 36 assists.

Sacred Heart looked like it might get an early jump on Juniata in the first set, taking a 20-14 lead after an Enzo Mackenzie kill. But Juniata notched the next four points off Kraft's servce, including a kill and a ace by Kraft, to cut the margin to 20-18. The Eagles caught the Pioneers at 24-24 on another four-points Juniata rally, this time thanks to a Powers ace, a Kraft kill, and a Kraft-Wolff block.

The Eagles finally took a 30-29 lead on a Vrooman service ace, and clinched the set on an attack error by SHU's Bradley Borsay.

Set two was a neck-and-neck affair virtually the entire way, with Juniata's 13-10 lead following a Vrooman kill turning out to be the largest advantage either team would get until the end of the set.

Leading 22-21, a Powers kill and a Sacred Heart attack error put the Eagles on set point, and two points later a Pioneer service error handed Juniata the 25-22 win.

Juniata controlled set three from the outset, hitting .360 for the set and siding out at 80% (17-21). Ross Madden (Richmond, Va./Deep Run) got the Eagles to match point with a kill, and Juniata captured the win on a Borsay service error.

The Eagles continue their two-match road trip on Sunday, Mar. 20, facing former Tait Division foe Princeton University in Princeton, N.J.

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