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Princeton's hitting leads Tigers past Juniata men's volleyball, 3-0

(Posted March 20, 2011)

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Princeton University hit .429 for the match while holding Juniata College men's volleyball to just .222 hitting, as the Tigers posted a 3-0 win over Juniata on Sunday at Dillon Gym.

Set scores for Princeton were 25-19, 26-24, and 25-17.

Freshman pin hitter Ross Madden (Richmond, Va./Deep Run) turned in a strong performance for the Eagles, hitting .400 for Juniata with a team-high 16 kills on 30 swings. He also had three digs and one solo block for the Eagles.

Junior middle Ben Wolff (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) put down nine kills on 14 attacks with one error, but finished without a block. Senior outside hitter Chris Vrooman (Baden, Pa./Ambridge Area) logged seven kills with one block assist.

Setter Mike Kraft (York, Pa./Eastern York) recorded 27 assists for the Eagles.

Princeton (2-11) finished with two players posting double-digit kill totals: Jeff Stapleton logged 17 kills with a .424 hitting percentage, while Michael Dye tallied 12 kills and hit .375 for the match. Setter Scott Liljestrom set 39 assists, while Davis Waddell turned up a team-high five digs.

The Tigers out-blocked Juniata, 8.5 to 2.0, with Dye and Keenan McCarthy each finishing with four total blocks.

Juniata (13-10) had a chance to steal the first set off Princeton on the Tigers' home court, tied 17-17 with Princeton coming down the stretch. The Tigers took the next three points, before a sideout kill by Vrooman ended the Princeton run and cut the margin to 20-18. Princeton took the next four points to get to set point, and two points later clinched set one with a kill by McCarthy.

Set two was also close, with Juniata leading in the latter stages before the set slipped away from the Eagles' control. Juniata led as late as 23-22 following a Ben Wolff kill, but back-to-back kills by Stapleton gave Princeton a 24-23 lead. Vrooman put away a kill to knot the set at 24-24, but a Juniata attack error followed by a Stapleton service ace put the Tigers in front, 2-0.

Princeton broke a 7-7 tie in set three with a three-point run and eight of the next 10 points to grabe a 15-9 advantage. The Tigers controlled the set from there, and finished with three straight points to complete the 25-17 and 3-0 win.

Juniata returns home this weekend for a pair of matches, starting with a Friday night matchup with Philadelphia Biblical University at 7:00 p.m. at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center. The Eagles will then entertain Pfeiffer University on Saturday, Mar. 26, at 7:00 p.m.

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