(Posted January 26, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College won the opening game then dropped three straight on its way to a 3-1 loss to Mt. Olive College, Saturday night at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center in Huntingdon, Pa. Game scores were 19-30, 30-23, 30-27, and 30-19. Juniata (2-1) opened the match by thrashing the Trojans in game one, jumping out to a quick 5-0 lead off the service of Matt Fritz (Churchville, Md./John Carroll). The Eagles enjoyed a comfortable lead the rest of the way, eventually finishing off the game one win with a block by Matt Werle (Meadville, Pa./Meadville). Mt. Olive (4-2), an NCAA Division II opponent, showed more offense in game two, eventually taking the lead for good at 6-5 off a Juniata service error for a side-out point. The closest the Eagles came to catching Mt. Olive was at 18-16, following a kill by Werle, but the Trojans rattled off the next three points to regain control of the game. A service ace by Mt. Olive's Zach Wilson and a block by Pedro Penate sealed the win. In game three, Juniata again pulled to within two points of the Trojans at 28-26, off a Dan Powers (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) kill. The teams traded side-out points ?" Mt. Olive's on a kill by Jose Lanier, with Fritz responding in kind for the Eagles ?" but Penate again logged the game-winning point with a kill. Juniata trailed early in game four, with the deficit reaching 19-11 with a kill by Osvaldo Perez before the Eagles began whittling away at the Trojan lead. The Eagles cut the margin to four, 23-19, after a block by Powers and Zach Wanner (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) followed by Evan Halteman's (Perkiomenville, Pa./Christopher Dock) service ace. The Trojans responded by scoring seven unanswered points of Penate's service to seal the win, with four of the points coming through Juniata errors. Fritz led Juniata offensively with 15 kills, followed by Powers with 14. Werle finished with 37 assists. The Eagles tallied 18 digs as a team, compared to Mt. Olive's 28. The Eagles finished with four service aces against 24 service errors, while the Trojans logged 10 aces against 15 service errors. Penate paced the Trojan offense with 17 kills. Juniata returns to action on Friday, Feb. 1, when it hosts New York University at 7:00 p.m. at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center. -30-

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