(Posted March 23, 2007)

HOBOKEN, N.J. - The top-ranked Juniata College men\'s volleyball team earned a tight win in game one and carried that momentum to a three-game sweep of fifth-ranked Stevens Institute of Technology. The victory extended Juniata\'s winning streak over Division III teams to 32 matches. Juniata (11-5) hit just .151 in the match but limited Stevens to a .144 hitting percentage and out-blocked the home team 9-6 to earn the win by scores of 36-34, 30-28 and 30-23. Nate Ocasio (Northeastern/Manchester) knocked out 14 kills to lead all players. Stevens Tech (25-6) suffered just its first loss since losing to Juniata on Feb. 10 in Huntingdon. Stevens had a pair of game points in game one, but kills from Ocasio and Matt Fritz (John Carroll/Churchville, Md.) tied the score at 29. The teams then traded points with each team fighting off game points before consecutive kills again from Ocasio and Fritz sealed the game. Juniata fell behind early in game one, with a kill from Joe Trinsey helping the Ducks to an 11-7 lead. Juniata rallied, eventually tying the score at 17 on a solo block from Matt Werle (Meadville/Meadville). It remained tight until Juniata pulled away with two late double blocks from Werle and Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) to claim the win. The Eagles were in control throughout game three running out to a quick 16-9 lead following a kill from Greg Russell (York Suburban/York). The Eagles eventually pulled away late, closing the game on a double block from Ocasio and Chris Gass (Saint Marks/Wilmington, Del.). Ocasio knocked out 14 kills on 41 swings while also four digs and four blocks. Fritz was also in double figures with 12 kills. Werle finished with 34 assists and also finished with a team-high five blocks. Glenn DeHaven (Walt Whitman/South Huntington, N.Y.) brought up 12 digs to lead Juniata\'s defense. Steve Yeager (Hempfield/East Petersburg) was also in double figures with 11 digs. Andrew Cranford was the top attacker for the Ducks as he knocked out 10 kills while Scott Stoner added nine finishes and a team-best 15 digs. Michael Schulte directed the offense with 38 assists. Will Foley finished with four blocks to lead Stevens. Juniata will take on another nationally-ranked Division III team on Saturday when the Eagles play at Springfield College. ###

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