(Posted March 29, 2005)

Huntingdon, PA - Juniata College sophomore Nate Ocasio (Northeastern/Manchester) has been selected as the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Division III player of the week for his strong performances for the Eagles volleyball team this past week. It is the first time in his career that he has earned a weekly conference honor, and marks the sixth time that a Juniata player has received the weekly conference recognition.

Ocasio recorded three solid all-around performances to help Juniata to a perfect 3-0 week, with all three victories coming against EIVA Tait Division opponents. He produced 18.5 points in a three-game win over Princeton as he contributed 12 kills, a career-high six blocks, six digs and two aces. He was also strong in a victory over New York University as he pounded out 14 kills with a .667 attack percentage and four digs. He added nine kills, two blocks, seven digs and an ace as Juniata topped Division I Rutgers-Newark in three games. For the week he averaged 4.00 kills and 4.83 points per game, while also bringing up nearly two digs per game. He tallied 36 kills with a .338 hitting percentage for the week and added eight blocks, 17 digs and three aces.

Ocasio has moved into the starting lineup in his sophomore season, and has become one of Juniata's top offensive weapons. Through 19 matches he leads Juniata with 198 kills and an averaged of 3.47 kills per game. He is also in the top four on the team in several other categories as he ranks third in aces with 12, and fourth in digs with 60. He has also notched 29 blocks on the season. He established a new career high earlier in the season when he knocked out 21 kills against Rutgers-Newark. He reached the 20-kill plateau a second time in a win over Springfield.

With Ocasio as a main contributor, Juniata holds a record of 13-6 through 19 matches. The Eagles have held the top spot in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III Coaches Poll each week during the 2005 season, and are undefeated against Division III opponents in 2005. The Eagles will put a nine-match winning streak on the line when they host Penn State in an EIVA Tait Division match on Wednesday.


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