(Posted April 17, 2001)

The Juniata College men’s volleyball team (13-12) will continue its season this coming Saturday in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (EIVA) Division I playoffs as the fifth seed in the nine-team field. The Eagles will travel to fourth-seeded Rutgers-Newark (9-19) at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday in a quarterfinal tilt. It will mark the third outing of the season between the two rivals and the second time this year that Juniata has journeyed to take on the Scarlet Raiders at the Golden Dome. In addition, it will be the second straight year that the Eagles travel to Rutgers-Newark for the EIVA quarterfinals. Juniata downed the Scarlet Raiders, 3-2, in Huntingdon on February 10, but then got handed a 3-1 loss in New Jersey on March 24. The winner will advance to take on the victorious squad from Saturday's Penn State, the first seed, versus New York University/Sacred Heart (play-in match on Wednesday), match in the semifinals. If Penn State downs the squad that it plays on Saturday, the Nittany Lions will host the EIVA semifinals and finals on April 26 and 28, respectively.

Rounding out the tournament field is second-seeded Concordia (NY) which will host seventh-seeded St. Francis (Pa.), in a quarterfinal outing on Saturday. George Mason, which earned the third seed in the tourney, will entertain sixth-seeded Princeton in the other contest in the remaining field on Friday evening.

The winner of the EIVA Division I title automatically advances to the NCAA Division I semifinals which will be hosted by Long Beach (California).

The Eagles own a 6-8 record against the 2001 EIVA Division I playoff field. Juniata defeated Princeton and St. Francis twice, and New York and Rutgers-Newark once. The Eagles got swept by George Mason, Penn State and Concordia, while the blue and gold recorded single losses to New York and Rutgers-Newark.

Last year, Juniata lost to Rutgers-Newark in the quarterfinals, 3-0. In 1999, Juniata became the first-ever Division III team to advance into the EIVA Division I semfinals with its win over New York University, but the Eagles then fell at Penn State.

Fifth-year head coach Ryan Patton's squad is led by freshman outside hitter Javier Garcia (San Ignacio/Guaynabo, Puerto Rico), who is averaging a team-best 3.37 kills per game. He is hitting .230 and is averaging .20 aces, 1.12 digs and 0.65 blocks an outing. Freshman Ryan Genova (Antietam/Reading) paces the unit in service aces per game (0.37) and is second on the club in kill average (2.63). Sophomore middle hitter Chris Jones (Lower Merion/Wayne) owns the top hitting percentage among the regulars in the lineup (.344) and is first on the club in blocking average (1.23). Sophomore libero Ryan Jackson (Cochranton/Cochranton) is coming up with 2.31 digs a showing to lead the Eagles, while senior setter Kevin Moore (Webster/Webster, NY) is passing out 10.14 assists a game.

The Scarlet Raiders are coached by Sean Byron. Rutgers-Newark is led by Jeremy Hoff, who is putting down 3.69 kills a contest to go along with his team-best 1.36 blocking average. Danko Iordanov has the club's best hitting percentage (.256). Aleksander Milakovic is bring up 1.74 digs an outing, while Chris Goers is passing out 11.50 assists a game.

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