(Posted March 28, 2009)

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Juniata College men's volleyball team completed its final EIVA Tait Division road trip by dominating the New Jersey Institute of Technology in virtually every facet of the game, and went on to post a 3-0 win over NJIT on Saturday evening in Newark, N.J. Set scores for Juniata were 30-21, 30-20, and 30-25.

The win guaranteed Juniata (12-7, 6-4 EIVA Tait) at least a .500 record in Tait Division play in 2009, with home matches against Saint Francis and George Mason coming up next weekend.

Juniata hit .228 overall with sophomore outside hitter Chris Vrooman (Baden, Pa./Ambridge Area) and senior middle Dan Powers (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) each posting 10 kills. Junior middle Evan Halteman (Perkiomenville, Pa./Christopher Dock) had seven kills to go with four blocks, leading a Juniata squad that out-blocked NJIT 8.5 to 5.0.

Junior libero Anthony Damiano (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Township) had 16 digs for the Eagles, who also out-dug the Highlanders, 47-38. Senior setter Matt Werle (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) was able to take advantage of a solid passing performance by Juniata to set 40 assists for the Eagles.

Juniata's middle blockers combined to record 17 kills on 29 swings with just one error, turning in a stellar performance for the second match in a row.

"Our middles were incredible this weekend," said Juniata head coach Jeremy Price. "They were virtually unstoppable today against the Highlanders."

The Highlanders (3-18, 0-9 EIVA Tait) hit just .063 for the match, and were paced by Amobi Armstrong's 10 kills on 29 swings. Four NJIT players hit for negative numbers over the entire match, including three starters.

After handily winning the first set, Juniata had to rally to complete the second set victory.

NJIT took an early 5-2 lead, but Juniata tied the set at 6-6 and took an 8-6 lead with a five-point run that included a pair of Dan Follett (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) service aces. NJIT pulled to within one at 8-7 thanks to a Steve Sylvester kill, and neither team could manage more than one point of separation all the way to 14-14. A Powers kill broke that deadlock, and was followed by a Werle ace to give the Eagles a 16-14 lead.

From that two-point lead, Juniata outscored NJIT 14-6 the rest of the way to capture the set, eventually capping the frame with a Vrooman service ace.

In the third set, the Eagles and Highlanders were neck-and-neck all the way to 10-10, when a Wanner kill, Halteman ace, and Follett kill allowed Juniata to take a 13-10 lead. Following a sideout kill by NJIT's Armstrong, cutting the Eagle lead to 13-11, the Eagles rattled off three more points on a pair of Follett kills and one by Powers to widen the advantage to 16-11.

Juniata would keep at least three points separation from NJIT the rest of the way, with Brian Jaron (Severna Park, Md./Mount St. Joseph) closing out the match with a kill on his only swing of the match.

The Eagles return to the court against Saint Francis on Friday, April 3, at 7:00 p.m. in the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center.


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