(Posted January 28, 2006)

Juniata 3, New York 1

HUNTINGDON, Pa. ? Last week, the Juniata College men?s volleyball team fell out of the top spot in the CSTV/AVCA Division III Coaches Top 15 Poll for the first time in 24 weeks. On Saturday afternoon the Eagles made a case to reclaim the top spot as they captured a 3-1 win over third-ranked New York University in Huntingdon.

The victory was also the first EIVA (Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) Tait Division win of the year for the Eagles who are now 2-1 overall and 1-0 in Tait play. New York fell to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the conference.

Matt Fritz (John Carroll/Churchville, Md.) pounded out a career-high 20 kills for Juniata as the Eagles claimed the match by game scores of 30-18, 30-28, 22-30 and 30-28.

Juniata never trailed in game one and used a strong serving run from Matt Werle (Meadville/Meadville) to take a commanding 12-4 lead. The visitors never got closer than five the rest of the way and the Eagles sealed the game with a kill from Barndt.

Game two was close throughout as neither team held a lead of more than three points. A kill from Matt Springer (William Allen/Allentown) put Juniata up by three 19-16, and the Eagles would hold that cushion until back-to-back kills from Chris Schmidt tied the score at 27. The Violets then took the lead on a Brandon Mortenson ace, but the Eagles responded, getting a kill and a solo block from Fritz along with a NYU miscue to rally and earn the 30-28 win.

Game three was all New York when a serving run from Patrick Fenton pushed the visitors in front 17-12. The Eagles got no closer than four the rest of the way as the Violets cruised to the win.

Juniata then held off a late NYU rally to earn the decisive game-four victory. The Eagles led by as many as five in the game, and took a 25-23 lead on a Fritz kill. NYU rallied, tying the score at 25 on a kill from Macnair Sillick. Back-to-back kills from Fritz and Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) moved Juniata back in front by two, and after exchanging side outs, Fritz sealed the match with his 20th kill.

Fritz recorded a .471 hitting percentage while piling up his 20 finishes, while adding four blocks and five digs. Springer and Glenn DeHaven (Walt Whitman/South Huntington, N.Y.) were both also in double figures in kills with 12 and 11 respectively. Werle passed out 50 assists and helped Juniata to a .268 team hitting percentage, its highest of the season, while also tossing in a team-best two aces. Springer led the team with eight digs, while Cordt Withum (Penn Manor/Holtwood) topped the team with five blocks.

Sillick led NYU with 14 kills, while Mortenson and Fenton both contributed 12. Marc Horowitz finished with 45 assists for the visitors and tied for the team high with three blocks. Jonathan Wintermeyer recorded two aces and matched Horowitz with three blocks, while Ryan Musto paced the team with seven digs.

Juniata gets back in action on Tuesday with a match at Division II Mercyhurst.


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