(Posted February 6, 2007)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Juniata College men\'s volleyball team had its two-match winning streak snapped as the Eagles fell to seventh-ranked Penn State University by a 3-0 score Tuesday night in the EIVA Tait Division opener for both teams. The Eagles fell to 3-2 overall and 0-1 in the Tait Division as they suffered the loss by scores of 30-28, 30-21 and 30-23. Penn State improved to 4-2 on the year and 1-0 in the Tait. Juniata held a lead throughout most of game one, but home team rallied late to claim the game, and Juniata never recovered over the final two games. Three consecutive kills from Matt Fritz (John Carroll/Churchville, Md.) gave Juniata a 22-17 cushion in the first game, and the Eagles still led by five at 25-20 after a finish from Matt Werle (Meadville/Meadville). The home team then responded by scoring six of the next seven points to tie the game at 26. The teams traded side outs, with Juniata moving to a 28-27 lead after a kill from Dan Powers (Manheim Township/Lancaster), but consecutive kills from Matt Anderson and a double block from Anderson and Max Holt gave the home team three-straight points to win the game. Powers finished with a team-high 11 kills for Juniata while adding an impressive .667 hitting percentage. Alex Gutor and Anderson paced Penn State with 14 kills apiece as the Nittany Lions hit .432 as a team. It was Penn State that jumped out early in game two as a double block from Holt and Luke Murray made it 15-10 Lions with a double block. The Eagles battled back within three points on several occasions before a 4-0 run from the home team put the game away. It was a similar situation in game four. The score was tied at 13 after a kill from Juniata\'s Nate Ocasio (Northeastern/Manchester) but Penn State put together an 8-3 spurt to take command and pull away for the win. Powers\' 11 kills marked a career high and he also tied for the team lead with a pair of blocks. Fritz finished with a team-high eight digs to go with his 10 kills. Werle passed out 34 assists in the match. Murray directed the Penn State offense with 42 assists. Holt had two of Penn State\'s five serve aces and tied Anderson with a team-high four blocks. Ryan Walthall led all players with 10 digs in the contest. Juniata will play another EIVA Tait Division match on Friday when the Eagles host Division I Princeton University. ###

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