(Posted April 7, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College men's volleyball will begin its assault for a fifth-straight Molten Division III National Championship against the host squad from Springfield College, when the 2008 Molten Division III Men's Invitational Championship opens on Friday, April 11, in Springfield, Mass.

The Eagles (10-12, 6-6 EIVA Tait), seeded third in the tournament, will face the second-seeded Springfield College Pride (18-6) in Friday's first semifinal, which begins at 5:00 p.m. Juniata received the EIVA's berth in the Molten tournament after winning the league's Division III regular season championship on tiebreakers, while Springfield received an automatic berth as the host institution.

Top-seeded University of California, Santa Cruz (14-10), the Midwest-West Region at-large representative, will square off against fourth-seeded Vassar College (25-6), the North East Collegiate Volleyball Association champion, in Friday's other semifinal match starting at 8:00 p.m.

Seeding criteria includes consideration of head-to-head competition, results against common opponents, results versus teams in the field and cumulative season poll rankings.

The two semifinal winners will meet in the championship game on Saturday, April 12, at 8:00 p.m. The consolation match will take place on Saturday starting at 5:00 p.m.
All matches will take place at Springfield College's Blake Arena. Individual match tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for students.

Juniata has won five overall Molten championships including the last four in a row. Springfield has won four titles, including a three-year run between 2001-2003. UC Santa Cruz is making its third appearance in the tournament with a best-ever second-place finish in 2006. Vassar has earned its second berth into the Molten with a fourth-place finish in 2001, which was also played at Springfield College.

The Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship selection committee consists of Doug Beal (USA Volleyball chief executive officer); Kathy DeBoer (AVCA executive director); Ivan Marquez (EIVA commissioner); Bob Newcomb (UC Irvine/at-large representative); Stuart Robinson (SUNY New Paltz athletic director/NECVA representative), Dan Harris (Milwaukee School of Engineering athletic director/Midwest Region representative), John Speraw (UC Irvine men's head coach/AVCA Board of Directors representative) and Jerry Matacotta (NECVA representative).

Now in its 12th year, the Molten Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship was formed due to a need for a culminating event for NCAA Division III men's volleyball. While the NCAA sponsors a national championship for men's volleyball, programs from all three divisions compete for just four berths in the yearly tournament. In the 36-year history of the men's tournament, no Division III program has earned a berth or been selected to participate in the NCAA National Collegiate Men's Volleyball Championship.

Molten U.S.A., Inc. is the "Official Volleyball of the Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship." Sports Imports is the "Official Net System Supplier of the Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship." Mizuno USA is the "Official Apparel & Shoe Sponsor of the Division III Men's Invitational Volleyball Championship."


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