(Posted February 28, 2005)

Huntingdon, PA -Juniata College senior setter Ricky Ziegler (Northeastern/Manchester) has been named the Sports Imports/AVCA Division III Men's National Player of the Week for helping Juniata to a perfect 3-0 record this past week. The honor marks the 12th time a Juniata men's player has captured the national award, and the fourth time this season that an Eagle has earned the recognition.

Ziegler directed the top-ranked Eagles to three wins this past week, including conference wins over the second and third ranked teams in Division III. He passed out 61 assists and helped Juniata to a .403 hitting percentage in a 3-1 win over third-ranked Springfield, and then followed it up with 34 assists as Juniata hit .430 as a team in topping second-ranked New York. He added 10 blocks, nine digs and four aces in the Division III showdowns, while also contributing eight kills of his own. Earlier in the week he passed out 50 assists to go with three aces, four blocks and three digs in a 3-0 Juniata win over Division I Saint Francis (Pa.). For the week he averaged 14.50 assists, .70 aces, 1.4 blocks and 1.2 digs per game, all of which are greater than his season averages.

"Ricky has a great understanding of what we want to do as a team, and he does a great job of orchestrating it on the court," Juniata head coach Ken Shibuya stated. "He has raised the level of his play in big matches which was pretty clear this past week. I think anyone who sees Juniata play can see that Ricky is really in control of what we do on the court. I'd hate to think about where we would be without him."

After earning All-American status and EIVA All-East recognition in his first season as the full-time starter last year, Ziegler has picked up where he left off this year. He is averaging 13.76 assists per game, a total that led the EIVA in the latest statistical report. He has directed the Juniata offense to a .330 team attack percentage, and he is also tops on the team with 20 serve aces. He ranks third on the team with 33 blocks, and is also third with 50 digs.

Juniata has held the top spot in the CSTV/AVCA Division III Coaches Poll every week of the 2005 season, and the Eagles are 7-6 through 13 games. Juniata will return to action on Wednesday when the Eagles host undefeated EIVA Division I rival George Mason.


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