(Posted March 31, 2007)

FAIRFAX, Va. - In mid February the Juniata College men\'s volleyball team lost a heartbreaking five-game match to EIVA Tait Division foe George Mason. Saturday night in Fairfax, Va. Juniata returned the favor as the Eagles rallied from a two-games-to-one deficit to post a 3-2 victory over the Patriots. Ryan McGinley (Perkasie/Pennridge) knocked out a career-high 16 kills as Juniata (13-6, 5-5 EIVA Tait) claimed the win by game scores of 21-30, 30-27, 22-30, 30-27, 15-9. Kyle Gramit and William Price finished with 25 and 21 kills respectively for the Patriots who outblocked Juniata 17-10 in the match but hit just .202 as a team. Juniata featured a more balanced attack as four players reached double figures in kills, though Juniata hit just .215 as a team. Juniata finished with fewer kills, blocks and aces than Mason but the Eagles produced 20 more digs than their opponents on the night totaling 55 digs on the evening. In the decisive game five Mason led 1-0 after a kill from Price before Juniata scored three-straight points to take a 3-1 lead. The Eagles then took control midway through the game. Kills from Glenn DeHaven (Walt Whitman/South Huntington, N.Y.), McGinley and Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) along with a double block from Barndt and Matt Werle (Meadville/Meadville) were part of a four-point run that put Juniata in front 12-7. Mason answered with a pair of kills from Price to inch closer at 13-9, but the Eagles got kills from McGinley and Dan Powers (Manheim Township/Lancaster) to seal the victory. Juniata forced the game five by holding off a Patriots\' comeback in game four. The Eagles led for most of the game before a Mark Burik service ace pulled George Mason into a tie at 23. The teams traded two side outs before Juniata got a McGinley kill and a solo block from Werle to take a two-point edge. Another attack error and a DeHaven ace left Juniata on point shy of a fifth game, and following two points from the home team, Barndt registered a kill to send it to the final game. McGinley\'s 16 finishes bested his previous high of 15, and he also registered nine digs in the match. Barndt had 14 kills with a .545 hitting percentage and a team-best six blocks. Nate Ocasio (Northeastern/Manchester) had 13 kills to go along with 12 digs. Powers was also in double figures with 12 kills and hit .500 on the match. Werle passed out 52 assists while notching five blocks, eight digs and a team-best two aces. Steve Yeager (Hempfield/East Petersburg) led all players with 14 digs in the contest. Gramit brought up nine digs to lead George Mason while also contributing his 25 kills. Price added three aces to go with his 21 finishes. Mark Burik was also in double figures with 11 kills and added six aces as Mason notched 12 aces in the match. Ryan Kwiatkowski dished out 58 assists for the Patriots and Kyle Swanson led all players with 11 blocks. Juniata will play another big road Tait Division match on Tuesday night when the Eagles travel to face East Stroudsburg. ###

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