(Posted March 19, 2002)

MEN'S VOLLEYBALL (6-8, 4-6 EIVA Tait): Mar. 22, George Mason.
Juniata returned to the competitive court on Friday evening for the first time in 13 days against visiting Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Tait Division foe New Jersey Institute of Technology. The Eagles were able to out-last the Highlanders in four games to sweep the season series, 30-24, 27-30, 30-22, 32-30. The victory was Juniata's fourth straight in the series with NJIT and the all-time match-up is now tied, 13-13. Juniata is ranked third in this week's American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III Poll, while NJIT is a Division II program. Sophomore middle hitter Kenny Eiser (Central Bucks West/Doylestown) led Juniata with 16 kills, a .433 hitting percentage, and four blocks (one solo). Sophomore opposite Javier Garcia (San Ignacio/Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) had 14 kills, seven blocks (two solo) and five digs, while sophomore outside hitter Ryan Genova (Antietam/Reading) also reached double figures in kills with 13. Genova also had an impressive eight aces and five digs on the night. Sophomore libero Pat Shawaryn (Hempfield/Lancaster) led the blue and gold unit in digs with nine. Freshman setter Ricky Ziegler (Northeastern/Manchester) came off the bench to pass out 34 assists in three games. After falling behind big in the first game and dropping the initial encounter of the day, Rutgers-Newark gathered itself and posted three straight triumphs to take an EIVA Tait Division outing from host Juniata, 26-30, 30-27, 30-26, 30-26 on Saturday afternoon. Garcia and junior outside hitter Neil Lukas (Fairport/Fairport, NY) each had 14 kills for Juniata. Lukas also had four digs, two blocks, one assist and one ace, while Garcia posted three digs, two assists, one block and one ace. Genova had 10 kills and three assisted blocks. Eiser added in nine kills on 13 attempts without an error for a .692 hitting percentage. He also had six blocks and two assists for the Eagles. Junior setter Scott Kofmehl (North Allegheny/Pittsburgh) distributed 47 assists and had four kills, three blocks, three digs and two aces. Juniata put the finishing touches on a busy weekend of action by downing New Paltz on Sunday afternoon, 30-21, 30-26, 30-25. The win by Juniata also secured a spot in the EIVA Division III playoffs for the Eagles. The four-team tournament, which holds an automatic invitation to the Molten Division III national championship for the winner, is slated for April 6 and 7 at the site of the highest-seeded team. On Sunday, Juniata needed just an hour and 12 minutes to take care of the Hawks, and hit .372 as a team. Junior middle hitter Chris Jones (Lower Merion/Wayne) led all players and Juniata with 13 kills. He hit .381 as well. Junior outside hitter Nate Kincel (Penn Hills/Pittsburgh) came off the bench to tally 11 kills, a .529 hitting percentage with just two errors on 17 attempts. Kincel also had two aces. Eiser had eight kills, a .400 hitting percentage, four blocks, two assists and two digs. Garcia posted eight kills, four digs a block and an ace. Ziegler worked in a back-up role and recorded 24 assists as well as four digs and two blocks, while Shawaryn paced the Eagles with seven digs.

MEN'S TENNIS (0-2, 0-1 MAC Commonwealth): Mar. 19, Lycoming; Mar. 24 at Pitt-Greensburg.
Juniata got back into action for the first time since the end of the 1995 season on Thursday afternoon with a 6-1 loss at Frostburg State. The Eagle program was cut from the department of athletics varsity status prior to the 1995-96 academic year and was added back in following the completion of this past school calendar. Senior Ethan Gibbel (Warwick/Lititz) posted the lone win of the day for Juniata with a come-from-behind, three-set triumph, 0-6, 6-4, 6-3. On Saturday, Juniata lost at Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth League foe Moravian, 7-0.

SOFTBALL (3-3): Mar. 18, Frostburg State (2); Mar. 23 Albright (2).
The 2002 spring season officially began on the Juniata campus on Tuesday with a home doubleheader for the Eagles. The two squads split a pair of one-run games on the day in the non-conference affair. Juniata took a 5-1 lead in the first game and then held on for a 5-4 victory, while two unearned runs for Alvernia in the second tilt made the difference in a 2-1 final. In the opener, senior pitcher Christie Matthews (South Williamsport/South Williamsport) ran her record to 2-1 with her second straight win. She held Alvernia to just one run through six innings before allowing the Crusaders to tally three runs in the seventh. A runner was stranded on second base when the final out was recorded on a fly out to right field. Overall, Matthews gave up nine hits, four earned runs, did not walk a batter and struck out three. Senior shortstop Brandy Preslovich (Bald Eagle Area/Moshannon) was 2 for 3 with a double and a pair of runs scored, while sophomore catcher Sarah Patterson (Danville/Danville) went 2 for 3 as well and scored once. Sophomore first baseman Becky Herr (Hamburg/Hamburg) was 1 for 3, including a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth, which proved to be the difference. In the nightcap, Juniata was held to just four hits. Sophomore pitcher Amy Gable (Kennard-Dale/Stewartstown) was the hard-luck loser for Juniata and slipped to 1-2 on the season. She allowed seven hits, no earned runs, walked three and struck out two. Patterson was 1 for 3 with an RBI for Juniata in the second game. On Saturday, Juniata traveled to Widener to open the Commonwealth Conference season and came away with a split. The Eagles lost the first game, 3-2, but took the second tilt, 5-3, in 10 innings. In the first outing of the day, Juniata held a 2-0 lead after two innings, but was limited to just four hits in the game. Preslovich was 2 for 3 with a run scored, a stolen base and a double. Herr went 1 for 3 and scored one time, while Amber Helsel (Claysburg-Kimmel/Claysburg) had the lone RBI of the game for Juniata with a sacrifice fly. In the second contest, the Eagles and Lady Pioneers were tied, 2-2, after seven innings. Juniata struck for three runs in the 10th and took a two-run decision from the hosts. Herr was 3 for 4, including a pair of doubles and a solo home run, with one run scored and two RBI. Preslovich was 2 for 4 with a double, one run scored and one RBI. Sophomore designated player Jean Silvey (Red Lion/Airville) had two doubles during her 2-for-5 effort. Gable went 1 for 4, knocked in a run and scored one time. She started on the mound but did not receive a decision after lasting 7 1/3 innings and allowing just two earned runs. Matthews, who suffered a tough loss in the opener of the day, tossed the final 2 2/3 innings to get the win and move to 3-2 on the season. Matthews permitted just one hit, no earned runs, three walks and she struck out three.

BASEBALL (8-6, 2-1 Commonwealth): Mar. 22, Messiah; Mar. 23 at Messiah (2).
Juniata's single-game affair with Pitt-Bradford on Sunday was postponed due to inclement weather. No make-up date had been scheduled as of press time.

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