(Posted April 23, 2005)

Huntingdon, PA - Sophomore Nate Ocasio (Northeastern/Manchester) matched his career-high with 21 kills while Nick Bernardo (Christopher Dock/Lansdale) added a season-best 20 kills as Juniata outlasted New York University in an EIVA Quarterfinal match in Huntingdon Saturday evening. With the 3-1 victory, the Eagles advance to the EIVA Semifinals for the third time in the program's history, where Juniata will take on second-seed George Mason.

Juniata claimed the match by game scores of 30-27, 30-28, 28-30 and 30-28 to improve to 20-7 on the season. NYU ends its season with a record of 8-15.

Juniata trailed early on in game one, before a kill from Ocasio tied the match at 19, and then was followed by a block from Cordt Withum (Penn Manor/Holtwood) and Bernardo that gave Juniata 21-20 edge. Juniata would never trail again as they pulled away on a kill from Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) and another Withum and Bernardo double block to claim the 30-27 win.

Game two followed a similar pattern as the Violets took a 16-14 lead after a block from Chris Schmidt and Brandon Mortenson. Juniata answered with a 5-0 run, sparked by a block from Barndt and Zach Bock (Northeastern/Mount Wolf) and then a service ace from Ocasio. New York rallied to tie the score at 23, but Juniata countered with back-to-back kills from Withum and Ocasio to pull in front for good. The Violets pulled within one point four times down the stretch, but Withum sealed the game with a kill to give game two to the Eagles.

New York displayed some resiliency in game three as they fell behind early on but rallied to extend the match to a fourth game. Juniata raced out to a 20-15 lead and seemed to have the game in hand, but the Violets posted a 6-1 run to tie the match at 21 on a kill from William McFarland. The teams traded points until consecutive kills from Ocasio and the setter Bock put Juniata in front 28-27. New York answered again by scoring the final three points to claim the 30-28 win.

Game four was tight throughout as Juniata rallied from an early deficit and then hung on late to claim the game. A kill from Mortenson put the visitors in front 24-23. The Eagles followed with kills from DeHaven and Bock to move in front 25-24. The teams then traded points before Bock, Withum and Bernardo teamed up for a block that put Juniata in front 28-27. A Macnair Sillick kill for NYU tied the score at 28 but Juniata answered with a kill from Bernardo to reach game point, and then Matt Springer (William Allen/Allentown) entered the game and tossed in a service ace to seal the win.

Along with Ocasio and Bernardo, DeHaven finished in double figures with 13 kills. Making just his third-career start, Bock passed out a career-high 58 assists for the Eagles, while adding six kills and helping the Eagles attack at a .452 clip. Tim Cole (Pennsbury/Yardley) led all players with 12 digs, while Barndt was tops with six blocks.

Sillick led all players with 22 kills for the visitors. Schmidt added 12 and Mortenson chipped in 11. Marc Horowitz passed out 32 assists for the Violets, while McFarland had a team-high six digs. Mortenson and Schmidt each finished with four blocks.

Juniata will play its EIVA Semifinal match on Thursday at 5 p.m. on the campus of Penn State.


Our readers respond...

Be the first to provide a response.

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