(Posted December 21, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College men's volleyball team has been picked to finish third in the EIVA Tait Division in 2010 according to a preseason poll of the league's head coaches, the results of which were released Monday.

Defending EIVA champions Penn State were picked to repeat as EIVA Tait champions in 2010, receiving five of the six first-place votes. Saint Francis University received the remaining first-place vote and was second in the poll, ahead of Juniata.

Trailing the Eagles were Princeton University in fourth place, while George Mason University and Springfield College were tied for fifth place.

In the Hay Division, Rutgers-Newark was picked to win the division with four first-place votes. New Jersey Institute of Technology was second, followed by NYU and Harvard University tied for third. Sacred Heart University was picked to finish last in the Hay. The Violets received the remaining first-place vote in the Hay Division poll.

Juniata posted an 18-8 record in 2009, advancing to the championship match of the 2009 EIVA Tournament where the Eagles dropped a 3-0 decision to Penn State.

The Eagles return a pair of EIVA Second team All-East performers in outside hitter Zach Wanner (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) and libero Anthony Damiano (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Township), and an AVCA Second team Division III All-American in middle hitter Evan Halteman (Perkiomenville, Pa./Christopher Dock). Juniata will have to replace a four-time AVCA All-American in setter Matt Werle (Meadville, Pa./Meadville), as well as an EIVA Second team All-East middle hitter in Dan Powers (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township).

Juniata opens its 2010 season on Monday, Jan. 18, when it hosts Ohio State University at 6:00 p.m. at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center.

The complete EIVA pre-season poll is listed below:

EIVA 2010 Pre-Season Poll

Tait Division

1. Penn State (5)
2. Saint Francis (1)
3. Juniata
4. Princeton
5. George Mason
5. Springfield

Hay Division
1. Rutgers-Newark (4)
3. NYU (1)
3. Harvard
4. Sacred Heart


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