(Posted February 24, 2007)

NEWARK, N.J. -The Juniata College men\'s volleyball team got its competition at the two-day Golden Dome Classic at Rutgers-Newark off on the right foot by claiming a 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Institute of Technology Saturday evening. Juniata (7-4) got 13 kills apiece from Matt Fritz (John Carroll/Churchville, Md.) and Ryan McGinley (Pennridge/Perkasie) as the Eagles won in three close games 30-26, 30-26 and 30-26. Leonard Pauludo led all players with 17 kills for NJIT (8-2) which limited Juniata to one of its lowest hitting percentages in a victory this season. Despite not producing overwhelming numbers in any category, the Eagles found a way to pull out victories in each of the three games. The Eagles fell behind early in game one, trailing by as many as four points after a kill from Paludo at 17-13. Juniata\'s offense then got hot as the team scored 13 of the next 16 points to pull in front 26-20 after a double block from Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) and Matt Werle (Meadville/Meadville). NJIT got back within three points before a kill from Dan Powers (Manheim Township/Lancaster) sealed the win. Game two was tighter, as the score was tied at 19 after a Juniata attack error. The Eagles then surged in front by three after a kill from Fritz and then held on to earn the win with a kill from Nate Ocasio (Northeastern/Manchester) closing the game. Juniata closed strong again in game three after NJUT held the lead for much of the game. A kill from Brian Gadaleta followed by a Juniata attack error and then a solo block from Amobi Armstrong put NJIT in front 25-22. The Eagles answered with five straight points, including kills from Ocasio and McGinley and a double block from Barndt and McGinley to take a 27-25 lead. The Eagles hung on to claim the win. Juniata hit .286 as a team in the game with Barndt finishing with 12 kills and a .550 hitting percentage. Werle passed out 44 assists for the Blue and Gold. Defensively Steve Yeager (Hempfield/East Petersburg) matched his career high with 18 digs, while Barndt was tops with five blocks. Paludo hit .343 while recording his 17 kills as NJIT posted a .210 hitting percentage as a team. Paludo was also in double figures with 11 digs, while Eduardo Welter led the team with 17 digs. Armstrong added 13 finishes for the team and was the leader with two blocks. Rodrigo Correa finished with 40 assists in the match. Juniata returns to action on Sunday when the Eagles face off against the host team Rutgers-Newark in the Golden Dome Classic. ###

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