(Posted March 22, 2005)

Juniata 3, Rutgers-Newark 0

Huntingdon, Pa. ? Entering Tuesday night?s match with Division I Rutgers-Newark, the Juniata College men?s volleyball team had earned just two victories in the 23 previous meetings between the two programs. But the 24th time proved to be the charm as the Eagles posted a 3-0 win over Rutgers-Newark in Newark, claiming the match by game scores of 30-26, 30-18 and 30-25. The victory was the seventh-straight for Juniata and moved the Eagles into a third-place tie in the EIVA Tait Division with Rutgers-Newark. Juniata is now 11-6 overall and 5-3 in the Tait, while the Scarlet Raiders fell to 8-10 overall with the loss, which was their fifth-consecutive set-back.

Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) finished with a team-high 12 kills and a .529 hitting percentage as Juniata attacked at a .413 clip as a team, and limited Rutgers-Newark to a .161 hitting percentage.

Game one was the tightest of the three games. Juniata edged out to an early lead of 10-7, only to have the home team fight back to tie the score at 13. The score remained close until a triple block from Ricky Ziegler (Northeastern/Manchester), Cordt Withum (Penn Manor/Holtwood) and Nick Bernardo (Christopher Dock/Lansdale) gave Juniata a 23-20 cushion. The Scarlet Raiders responded by scoring three of the next four points to get within one. A service error stopped the run and then after the team?s exchanged side outs, Juniata got a solo block from Barndt and double block from Ziegler and Barndt to extend the lead to 29-25. A bad set from Rutgers-Newark gave the Eagles the 30-25 win.

Game two was all Juniata as the Eagles registered a .783 hitting percentage on the match. The Blue and Gold recorded 19 kills with just one error on 23 attacks in the game. The Eagles jumped out to an early 13-10 lead. A kill from Withum gave Juniata a 14-10 lead and then sparked a five-point serving run from Ziegler which included one ace and left the score at 19-10 Juniata. The home team got no closer than six points the rest of the way. A late block from Barndt and Glenn DeHaven (Walt Whitman/South Huntington, N.Y.) and a kill from DeHaven helped seal the win.

Game three was also close as a kill from Brian Honsberger tying the score at 10 early in the game. The Eagles began to slowly edge in front, taking a 17-13 advantage after a kill from Bernardo. A Juniata service error and another Honsberger kill pulled the home team back within two points at 22-20. But that was as close as the Scarlet Raiders would get as Juniata answered with a Barndt kill, an ace from DeHaven and a block from Ziegler, Barndt and Bernardo to take a five-point edge. Juniata then closed the game with a triple block from Bernardo, Nate Ocasio (Northeastern/Manchester) and Withum. Juniata closed the match with 13.5 blocks, its second-highest total in a match this season, and the highest total from a three-game match.

Along with Barndt, Withum was also in double figures with 11 kills, while DeHaven added 10. Ziegler finished with 46 assists in the match, along with a team-high three aces. Barndt led all players in blocks for the match as he tied his career-best with seven. Ziegler and Bernardo added four blocks apiece, while Withum chipped in four. Ocasio, Bernardo and Tim Cole (Pennsbury/Yardley) each brought up a team-high seven digs.

Brian Honsberger led all players with 14 kills, while Eric Honsberger added 10. Graydon Ainsworth passed out 36 assists for the Scarlet Raiders. Defensively Nick Manghelli led all players with eight digs and Brian Honsberger topped the team with five blocks.

Juniata will return to action on Friday when the Eagles play their second match of the season against New York University. Juniata is currently ranked first in the CSTV/AVCA Division III Poll, while NYU holds down the second spot.


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