(Posted January 18, 2005)

Huntingdon, PA - Juniata College junior middle hitter Cordt Withum (Penn Manor/Holtwood) has been named the Sports Imports/AVCA Division III Men's National Player of the Week after a pair of strong performances for the top-ranked Eagles' on the opening weekend of the 2005 season.

Withum enjoyed a solid all-around match as Juniata extended Division I IPFW to five games before falling in the decisive fifth game. He posted 16 kills in the contest, one shy of matching his career high, with a team-best .519 attack percentage. He also finished with three blocks and a pair of aces, both of which were team highs in the five-game match. In the season opener Withum posted a team-best 11 kills against Division I Ohio State. His 11 kills came on just 15 total attacks, with one error, giving him a hitting percentage of .667 against the then 10th-ranked Buckeyes. For the week he was tied for the team lead with 27 kills, and led the squad with a .571 hitting percentage, and three blocks. He averaged 3.38 kills and 3.94 points per game during the week.

"For Cordt to put up the kind of numbers he did against some very good Division I teams was truly outstanding," Juniata head coach Ken Shibuya stated. "His play has really improved from last season and we are really looking forward to seeing what he will do for the rest of the season. Cordt is going to play a big part in whatever success we have this year."

Withum moved into the regular starting rotation at the start of last season, and was one of Juniata's most consistent players. He finished 2004 with 189 kills which ranked fifth on the team, while his .380 hitting percentage ranked third among the regular Juniata attackers. His 126 blocks led the team and tied him for the fifth-highest single-season total in Juniata history. He also contributed 11 aces and 28 digs in his sophomore season.

Juniata is the defending Division III Molten Champion, and also claimed the EIVA Division III Championship in 2004. The Eagles will look to pick up their first win of 2005 on Wednesday when they play at Division I rival Saint Francis.


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.