(Posted April 8, 2005)

Juniata 3, Vassar 0

Huntingdon, Pa. ? The Juniata College men?s volleyball team earned the right to defend its EIVA Division III Championship with a 3-0 victory over Vassar College in a semifinal match in Huntingdon Friday evening. The victory moved Juniata to 16-7 on the year, and sends the Eagles to face New York University in the championship match on Saturday. Vassar drops to 5-16 with the loss.

Juniata, the two-time defending EIVA Division III Champion, took the match by game scores of 30-19, 30-15 and 30-19.

The Brewers hung with the Blue and Gold until midway through game one when the serving of Cordt Withum (Penn Manor/Holtwood) helped force Vassar in to three attack errors. A kill from Glenn DeHaven (Walt Whitman/South Huntington, N.Y.) also contributed to the run as Juniata stretched out to a 22-13 lead. Juniata was in control from that point and closed the game with a kill from Withum.

Juniata was in control of game two from the outset as the Eagles raced out to a 14-4 lead following three kills from Withum. A kill from Vassar?s Tom Pawlowski halted the run, but Juniata kept the visitors at bay with an overpowering service game and cruised to the 30-15 victory.

Juniata jumped in front again early in game one as a kill from Juniata setter Ricky Ziegler (Northeastern/Manchester) put the Eagles on top 10-5. Vassar answered with a kill from Matt Bninski, and the Brewers stayed within striking distance. Juniata eventually pulled away again with two late kills from Robb Patty (Greater Latrobe/Latrobe) and a solo block from Ziegler propelling Juniata to the win.

Juniata?s service game was the story as the Eagles tossed in five aces, and used its service to help hold the visitors to a .071 attack percentage for the match.

Nick Bernardo (Christopher Dock/Lansdale) finished with a team-high 10 kills for Juniata, while attacking at a .750 clip. He also posted a team-best two aces. Withum added eight finishes for the Blue and Gold, while Nate Ocasio (Northeastern/Manchester) chipped in seven. Ziegler directed Juniata to a .526 team hitting percentage while passing out 36 assists. Tim Cole (Pennsbury/Yardley) brought up 15 digs for Juniata, while Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) notched four blocks.

Bninski was the top attacker for the Brewers as he posted 10 kills. Pawlowski added eight with a .250 hitting percentage. Alex Weber dished out 22 assists on the match, with Kyle Giunta adding a team-high four digs.

Juniata will face New York in the championship match on Saturday, after the Violets topped Springfield in the first semifinal by a 3-1 score. Juniata won the two regular-season matches between the two teams.


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