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Juniata Volleyball Wins Second Molten Championship

(Posted April 17, 2004)

Senior middle Kenny Eiser was named the MVP of the 2004 Molten Division III Championship as he helped Juniata to the second Molten title in school history.

JUNIATA CLAIMS MOLTEN DIVISION III CHAMPIONSHIP
Juniata 3, Medaille 0

Harrisonburg, Va. ? For the second time in school history, the Juniata College men?s volleyball team are the champions of Division III as the top-seeded Eagles blanked the third-seed Medaille (N.Y.) to claim the school?s second Molten Division III Championship in Harrisonburg, Va. Saturday afternoon. Juniata wins its first Molten title since 1998, one year after finishing as the runner-up in the tournament. It is the first title for second-year Juniata coach Ken Shibuya.


Juniata, which improved to 17-6 with the victory, topped Medaille (23-9) by game scores of 30-16, 30-16, 30-27. The victory moved Juniata?s record to 9-1 this season against Division III foes. Juniata?s Kenny Eiser (Central Bucks West/Doylestown) was named the tournament most valuable player, while Ryan Genova (Antietam/Reading), Ricky Ziegler (Northeastern/Manchester) and Glenn DeHaven (Walt Whitman/South Huntington, N.Y.) were all chosen for the all-tournament team.

The Eagles put the throttle down early and never looked back as they committed just five attack errors in the first two games. Meanwhile Juniata?s service game continued to prove deadly as the Eagles tossed in eight serve aces and forced Medaille into 16 attack errors in the first two games.

?This was a real solid performance for us today,? Shibuya explained. ?We executed well throughout the game, and were able to keep our focus. I?m very excited about the way we competed hard throughout the weekend.?

Game three would be slightly more competitive with Medaille matching points with Juniata up to 21. Eiser then posted a pair of kills down the stretch to help Juniata claim the title with a 30-27 win.

Juniata claims its second Molten Championship in its fifth appearance in the tournament. It is the first Molten crown for the team?s four seniors.

?I?m very happy that our seniors were able to capture this championship,? Shibuya stated. ?After coming so close last season, this group dedicated themselves to the fact that they would not settle for anything less than winning this title.

Eiser finished with a match-high 13 kills and a .476 hitting percentage while adding five blocks. Genova added nine kills, to go with a team-best four aces and two blocks. Ziegler passed out 41 assists and added three blocks for the defense. DeHaven recorded seven finishes, while senior Brian Dinning (Penn Hills/Pittsburgh) brought up a team-high nine digs.

Erik Hartman paced Medaille with seven kills, a team-high two blocks, and was named to the all-tournament team. Joe Tilert passed out 18 assists on the night while Mark Glende paced the squad with seven digs.

Juniata will return to action next Saturday when the Eagles host Springfield College in an EIVA quarterfinal match. Juniata is the third seed in the EIVA tournament, while Springfield will come in as the sixth seed.

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