(Posted October 17, 2009)

EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada -- The Juniata College men's volleyball team closed out play at the University of Alberta's Husky Energy Can-Am Men's Volleyball Challenge on Saturday afternoon, with a pair of losses to a pair of Canadian universities.

Juniata dropped its first match on Saturday to the host Golden Bears, 3-0, by set scores of 25-21, 25-13, and 25-18. The Eagles closed out the tournament with a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the University of British Columbia, 25-18, 25-23, and 25-22.

Senior outside hitter Zach Wanner (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) paced the Juniata offense against Alberta, accounting for a team high six kills. Senior middle Evan Halteman (Perkiomenville, Pa./Christopher Dock) logged five kills and had one block assist.

Sophomore setter John Almquist (York, Pa./Central York) tallied 20 assists with three total blocks.

Juniata hit just .130 for the match, while the Golden Bears struck at a .393 attack rate. The Eagles committed 17 attack errors and 17 service errors for the match, but did outblock Alberta 5.5 to 5.0.

Wanner had a much stronger performance in the final match against UBC, recording 16 kills on 40 swings against the Thunderbirds. Halteman finished with nine kills on 15 swings for a .533 attack percentage, and also had a hand on three blocks.

Sophomore Mike Kraft (York, Pa./Eastern York) logged 32 assists while running the Juniata offense. Wanner and senior libero Anthony Damiano (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Township) led the defensive effort with 12 and 13 digs respectively.

Juniata again narrowly outblocked its opponent, registering 5.5 total blocks to UBC's 5.0.

The Can-Am Challenge, hosted by the University of Alberta in Edmonton, pits four NCAA programs against four Canadian counterparts representing Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), the governing organization for university athletics in Canada.

Other NCAA representatives in the tournament are the University of Southern California, Pepperdine University, and Lewis University. In addition to the University of Alberta and UBC, the CIS is represented by Brandon University from Brandon, Manitoba, and Thompson Rivers University from Kamloops, British Columbia. The tournament uses the rules and the style of ball used in international play.

The CIS schools won the 14th annual Can-Am Challenge, taking 11 of the 16 matches. Kraft was the lone Juniata representative on the tournament's NCAA All-Star team; he joined Lewis' Nathan Klass, Southern California's Riley McKibbin, and Pepperdine's Rodnei Santos and Cory Riecks on the squad. Riecks was named the MVP for the NCAA representatives.

Juniata-University of Alberta boxscore
Juniata-Univ. of British Columbia boxscore


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