(Posted January 28, 2007)

ERIE, Pa. - The Juniata College men\'s volleyball team picked up its first victory of the season with a 3-1 triumph over Division II Mercyhurst College Sunday afternoon. Juniata evened its record at 1-1 while Mercyhurst dropped to 0-6 with the set-back Nate Ocasio (Northeastern/Manchester) finished as Juniata\'s top attacker for the second-straight evening as he knocked out 18 kills. Juniata had two others top 10 kills on the match as they earned the victory by game scores of 30-19, 30-26, 29-31 and 30-26. After a sluggish start in game one of its season-opener the previous night, Juniata jumped out of the gates on this day, earning the big game-one win. The Eagles hit .467 as a team in game one and finished the match with a .314 team hitting percentage. The Eagles also rode a strong service game to the win as they produced nine aces in the match. The service also helped the Blue and Gold limit Mercyhurst to a .261 team hitting mark. Dan Powers (Manheim Township/Lancaster) and Matt Fritz (John Carroll/Churchville, Md.) each knocked out three aces for Juniata in the win. Along with Ocasio, Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) and Fritz each had 15 kills in the match. Barndt produced a .591 hitting percentage and added a pair of blocks for Juniata. Fritz was tops on the team with eight digs. Matt Werle (Meadville/Meadville) dished out 58 assists for Juniata and also led the team with three blocks. Dave Newman led all players with 22 kills on the day for Mercyhurst, one of two players to reach double figures in kills. Newman also boasted a .647 hitting percentage along with a team-high five blocks. Tim Wagner posted 10 finishes for the Lakers on the day and also recorded five blocks. David Hatten directed the offense with 47 assists and Gary Coad paced the team with eight digs. Juniata will face its first Division III opponent of the season Feb. 2 when the Eagles host New York University. ###

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