(Posted November 12, 2002)

Huntingdon, Pa. - Niki Mueller (Bishop Guilfoyle/Altoona) a senior on the Juniata College women's volleyball team, and Craig Moshier (Coudersport/Coudersport) a running back for the Eagle football team, have been named the Juniata "Athletes of the Month" for October.

Mueller, the lone senior on Juniata's nationally ranked volleyball team, led the Eagle offense throughout the month. She earned all-tournament team honors at both the ASICS Collegiate Invitational, and the "Wid" Guisler Invitational. Her play at the Guisler Tournament, where she recorded 49 kills and 12 blocks with a .465 hitting percentage in four matches, garnered the senior Commonwealth Conference volleyball "player of the week" recognition. For the month, Mueller played in 17 matches and 51 games. She pounded out 193 kills with a .385 hitting percentage. She added 51 blocks, exactly one per game, and had 16 serve aces to go along with her 3.78 kills per game. With Mueller leading the way, the Eagles did not drop a match in October, going 17-0 and finishing the month with an overall record of 27-2.

For the season, Mueller leads the team in kills, total blocks and hitting percentage among the "regulars." She has recorded a hitting percentage of .400 or better in 15 matches this season. Her season total of 392 kills is a career-high, and has moved her into eighth place in Juniata history in career kills. Her career block total of 375 is good for fifth place on the Juniata all-time list.

With Mueller leading the way the Eagles finished the regular season with a record of 28-4 and won the Commonwealth Conference regular-season title for the 10th consecutive season. Juniata will now play in the Commonwealth Conference Tournament, with a berth in the NCAA Tournament at stake. The Blue and Gold have made 21-straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

Craig Moshier simply had one of the best months by a Juniata running back in the past 10 years. The Junior played four games in October averaging 119 rushing yards per game and scoring five rushing touchdowns. Moshier also caught 25 passes for 179 yards and had a receiving touchdown during the month. He broke the school record with 15 receptions in a conference game against Moravian, then followed up that performance by rushing for a career-high 182 yards against Lebanon Valley. The 182 yards was the first time since the 2000 season that an Eagle rusher has rushed for more than 150 yards and was the eighth-highest single-game rushing total in school history. Moshier topped the 150-yard mark again the next week as he rushed for 170 yards against Susquehanna. With those two performances, Moshier became the first Juniata running back to rush for more than 100 yards in back-to-back games since the 1996 season. He racked-up 694 all-purpose yards over the month, good for a 173.5 yards per game average.
Through eight games Moshier has rushed for 843 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has another 288 yards receiving and two scores. He is averaging 150.8 all-purpose yards per game, and 105.3 yards per game rushing. He has a shot to become only the third Eagle to top the 1,000-yard mark.

With Moshier powering the offense, the Eagles were 5-3 through October. The offense was averaging 31.5 points and 420.5 yards of offense per game. With Moshier as the featured back, Juniata was averaging 182.1 yards on the ground per game through October.

The Juniata College "Athlete of the Month" award is sponsored by McDonald's of Huntingdon and Mount Union. Barb and John Eastman, who own and operate the local McDonald's restaurants, provide the winners with plaques.

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