(Posted February 25, 2005)

Juniata 3, Springfield 1

Huntingdon, Pa. ? In a match-up of two of the top teams in Division III men?s volleyball the top-ranked Juniata College men?s volleyball team used a late rally in the decisive fourth game to claim a 3-1 victory over third-ranked Springfield College (Mass.) in Huntingdon Friday night. Juniata overcame five game points for Springfield in game four to earn the 34-32 win in the final game. Springfield claimed game one 30-27 before Juniata ripped off 30-24 and 30-22 wins in games three and four. Juniata improved to 6-6 overall and 2-3 in the EIVA Tait Division, while the Pride dropped to 4-8 on the year and 1-4 in the Tait.

After a kill from Juniata?s Nate Ocasio (Northeastern/Manchester) tied the score at 27 in game four, Springfield got kills from Brandon Mueller and Kevin Lail to pull in front 29-27. Juniata answered with three straight points as Ocasio notched a kill, followed by a kill from Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) and double block from Barndt and Ricky Ziegler (Northeastern/Manchester). Leading 30-29 the Eagles committed a service error to knot the score at 30. An attack error from each side made the score 31-31, then Ricky Albano and Barndt traded kills to tie it up again at 32-32. The match would then end on back-to-back attack errors from Springfield as Juniata sealed the win.

Springfield took the early advantage in the match with late surge to claim game one. With the game tied at 20, Mueller tossed in an ace, which was followed by a kill from Eric Palumbo as the visitors moved in front 22-20. Another ace, this time from Neil Starzynski pushed the lead to 25-22, and though Juniata pulled within one on two occasions, Springfield held on for the 30-27 win.

Game two saw Juniata open up a big early lead and then withstand a late Springfield run. Juniata raced in front in game two, with an ace from Matt Springer (William Allen/Allentown) put the home team in front 10-4. The Eagles didn?t slow down pushing in front 24-16 after a kill from Glenn DeHaven (Walt Whitman/South Huntington, N.Y.). Springfield then began its rally as the service of Ricky Albano helped the Pride pull within four at 24-20. But the Eagles answered by scoring four of the next five points to pull away. A kill from Barndt sealed the 30-23 victory.

Game three was tight until mid-way through the match when Juniata turned up the defense at the net. A kill from Barndt brought Juniata within one at 11-10. Barndt and Ziegler then teamed up for double blocks on three of the next four points, with a kill from Barndt thrown as Juniata took a 14-11 lead. Juniata?s edge grew with strong serving from DeHaven as Juniata pulled out to a 25-19 advantage. The Eagles then got two late kills from Springer to claim the win, and set-up the comeback in game four.

Ocasio led all players in the match as he finished with 19 kills. Barndt added 16 finishes with a .417 hitting percentage and seven blocks on the match. Springer chipped in 13 kills, with Cordt Withum (Penn Manor/Holtwood) and DeHaven each contributing 11. Ziegler finished with 58 assists while helping the Eagles hit .391 as a team. The senior setter also added a team-high eight digs and six blocks. Springer paced the Eagles with two aces.

For Springfield, Mueller and Lail each recorded 13 kills, while Palumbo added 12. Setter Chris Shekel passed out 50 assists while also leading the team with eight digs. Matt Smith and Albano each posted three blocks for the Pride.

Juniata continues its battles against highly-ranked Division III foes on Saturday when the Eagles welcome second-ranked New York to Huntingdon.


Our readers respond...

Be the first to provide a response.

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