(Posted April 14, 2005)

Hoboken, N.J. - Juniata College senior setter Ricky Ziegler (Northeastern/Manchester) has been chosen as the 2005 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III Player of the Year. He becomes the second Juniata player to earn the honor in the two years that it has been awarded The selection was announced at the 2005 Molten Division III Men's Volleyball Invitational Championship awards banquet held Thursday night in Hoboken, N.J. The banquet honors the 2005 AVCA All-America Team, of which Ziegler was a member, as well as the four teams that will be playing Friday and Saturday night in the Molten Division III Championship.

Ziegler has enjoyed a stellar senior season for the Juniata College men's volleyball team. He earned AVCA First-Team All-America honors for the second time in his career, and was also selected as a First-Team EIVA Division III All-Star for the second time in as many seasons. He leads the EIVA in assists per game as he's passed out 1,047 assists on the year, and 13.42 assists per game. He has helped Juniata post a Division III-best .340 team hitting percentage through the season. He is also tops on the Eagles with 35 serve aces, and ranks third on the team in blocks and is fourth in digs. Last season, he was the only Division III player to earn a spot on the EIVA All-East Team, which features the top 20 players from the 17-team EIVA, including Division I players.

"Ricky is certainly deserving of this prestigious honor," Juniata head coach Ken Shibuya stated. "He's been one of the top setters in this area, regardless of Division. He has maintained a phenomenal level of play throughout the season, and has worked extremely hard to continually improve his game. He's made all of the players around him better with the consistency of his performance. He has been a huge part of our success."

During his two years as the full-time starter Ziegler has helped the Eagles to a 35-14 record and the program's first Molten Division Championship since the 1998 season. Juniata captured the Molten title in 2004, and have won the EIVA Division III Championship in each of the past three seasons. This year, Juniata has held the top spot in the CSTV/AVCA Division III Top-15 Coaches Poll each week of the season. The Eagles are undefeated against Division III opponents in 2005, and have defeated eight Division I opponents, including a nationally ranked top-15 Division I team.

Ziegler will leave Juniata as one of the most accomplished players in the program's history. He ranks fourth in Juniata history with 3,052 career assists and has averaged 12.57 assists per game for his career. He has also piled up 199 blocks, 263 digs and 73 serve aces during his career. Three times during his career he has been named the AVCA/Sports Imports Division III National Player of the Week. Over his four seasons on College Hill, the Eagles have a record of 61-37, have earned three EIVA Division III Championships, have appeared in three Molten Invitational Championships, and three appearances in the EIVA Tournament.

Juniata will begin its defense of the Molten Division Championship on Friday with a semifinal match against Medaille College (N.Y.) at 5:00 p.m.


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