(Posted March 28, 2008)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Juniata College outside hitters Matt Fritz (Churchville, Md./John Carroll) and Zach Wanner (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) each recorded 22 kills, but Springfield College managed to outhit the Eagles just enough to sneak past with a 3-2 win on Friday night in Springfield, Mass. Game scores were 30-26, 30-25, 26-30, 27-30, and 15-12. The Eagles recorded 70 kills over the five games, six more than the Pride, but Springfield hit .261 to Juniata's .211 while committing seven fewer attack errors. Springfield also finished with 10 total team blocks, edging Juniata's six total blocks on the night. After dropping the opening two games of the match, Juniata (8-11) came from behind to win game three. Trailing 20-17, three straight kills by Wanner, Anthony Damiano (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Township) and Fritz tied the game at 20-20. A pair of side out kills advanced the score to 21-21, and a pair of Springfield attack errors gave the Eagles a 23-21 lead - its first lead of the game. Four consecutive side out points kept Juniata's lead at two, 25-23, with a Wanner kill and a Brian Jaron (Severna Park, Md./Mt. St. Joseph) ace stretching the lead to 27-23. Juniata eventually sealed the game three victory with back-to-back kills by Fritz. Juniata took advantage of some well-timed Springfield attack errors, coupled with some even better timed Eagle kills, to post the win in game four. Trailing 23-19, a Wanner kill followed by a Josh Mummert (Spring Grove, Pa./Spring Grove) service ace and a Dan Powers kill (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) pulled the Eagles to within one, 23-22. A Mummert service error returned the point and the serve to Springfield, but Dan Follett's (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) got Juniata back on serve at 24-23. An ace by Craig Harvey (Beverly, Mass./St. Johns Prep) knotted the game at 24-24, and then the Eagles took a 27-24 lead thanks to three straight attack errors by the Pride's Eric Palumbo. Six straight side out kills eventually produced Juniata's 30-27 win in the game, with a Palumbo service error proving to be winning point for the Eagles. Juniata held a 10-9 lead in the decisive fifth game following a Matt Werle (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) ace and a Wanner block. Springfield tied the game at 10-10 on a Palumbo kill, and took the lead on a Fritz attack error. Wanner's kill tied the game back up at 11-11, but Springfield won the next three points to take a 14-11 lead. A Fritz kill narrowed the score to 14-12, however the Pride's Ryan Frederickson recorded a kill on the ensuing serve to clinch the win. Werle tallied 57 assists with nine digs over the match, while Damiano matched Werle's dig total with nine of his own. Powers and Fritz each had three total blocks over the five games. Springfield was led by Palumbo with 18 kills, while Frderickson finished with 16. Brandon Waas recorded 14 digs to lead the Pride defensively. Juniata returns to action on Saturday night, when it faces New Jersey Institute of Technology in an EIVA Tait Division matchup. -30-

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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.