(Posted April 3, 2006)

Huntingdon, PA - The top-ranked Juniata College men's volleyball team earned its first postseason honors of 2006 as the Eagles placed four players on the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III All-America Team. Senior middle hitter Cordt Withum (Penn Manor/Holtwood) and sophomore Matt Fritz (John Carroll/Churchville, Md.) both captured first-team All-America recognition while junior Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) and freshman Matt Werle (Meadville/Meadville) were picked for the season team. In the three-yea history of the AVCA Division III All-America team, Juniata has had 14 total honorees in that time.

Withum captures first-team All-America honors for the second-consecutive season. The senior continues to rank as one of the top middles in the country as he leads Juniata with 18 solo blocks and is second on the Juniata squad with 85 total blocks. He ranks as one of the most productive middles in the history of the Juniata program as his 341 career blocks is the fourth-highest total in Juniata history. He has pounded out 129 kills in his senior season which ranks fifth on the team, and his .269 hitting percentage is second-best among the regular attackers. For his career Withum has pounded out 578 kills and has a stellar career hitting percentage of .374

Fritz captures All-America honors for the first time in his career as he enjoyed a breakout season for the Eagles. In his first season as a regular starter the sophomore has established new career highs in every category. He leads Juniata with 230 kills and is second on the squad with an average of 3.11 kills per game. He has also been a big part of Juniata's defense as his 110 digs are second on the team, and he ranks fourth on the squad with 52 blocks. His 15 serve aces are also the second-highest total on the Juniata team. Fritz also posted two double-doubles on the year when he reached double figures in both kills and digs.

Barndt captures second-team recognition after being a first-team All-Conference choice a season ago. He leads the Eagles with 92 blocks on the season, just two shy of establishing a new career high, and is also tops on the team with a .373 hitting percentage. He ranks among the leaders in the EIVA in blocks and has had four or more blocks on 15 occasions. Barndt also ranks second on the team in kills as he has produced 187 finishes and is averaging 2.56 kills per game. In his two seasons as a regular starter he has knocked out 439 kills with a .412 hitting percentage and has produced 186 total blocks.

Werle assumed the starting setter position for Juniata in his freshman season and played well enough to earn claim All-America honors. He has passed out 837 assists in his inaugural season, including eight matches of 50 or more assists. He has helped Juniata post a team hitting percentage of .246 on the season which ranked 10th in the EIVA. Werle also brought a big weapon to the Eagles with his jump serve as he leads the team with 25 serve aces. He also contributed defensively with 55 blocks, which ranks third on the team, and 91 digs.

Juniata will return to action Friday when the Eagles play Stevens Institute of Technology in the semifinal of the 2006 Molten Division III Men's Volleyball Invitational Championship. Juniata is the two-time defending Molten Champion.


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