(Posted April 9, 2004)

Juniata 3, Springfield 2

4/9/04--Huntingdon, Pa. ? On the strength of a game-five comeback the Juniata College men?s volleyball team earned a spot in the EIVA Division III Championship match with an epic five-game win over Division III rival Springfield College in Huntingdon Friday night. Juniata will now play NYU in the Championship match Saturday afternoon, for the right to move on to the Molten Division III National Championship. Juniata improved its record to 14-6 with the victory, while Springfield fell to 7-15.

The match was a rematch of both last season?s Molten Championship final and EIVA Division III final. The Eagles jumped out to an early two games to none lead by game scores of 30-28 and 30-21. Springfield answered with a 30-23 win in game three and held on for a 32-30 victory in game four. Juniata then rallied to take the decisive game five 15-13.

In game one neither team was able to capture more than a two-point lead. With Juniata trailing 27-26 Ryan Genova (Antietam/Reading) strung together three outstanding serves that resulted in a pair of kills for Brian Dinning (Penn Hills/Pittsburgh) and one serve ace that put Juniata in front 28-27. Glenn DeHaven (Walt Whitman/South Huntington, N.Y.) finished the game with a kill to put Juniata in front 1-0.

Game two belonged to Dinning as he pounded out seven kills in the game including three consecutive finishes to put Juniata in front 20-12. Dinning added a pair of aces later in the game as the Eagles pulled away for the 30-21 win.

Springfield came out with a vengeance in game three jumping out to a 9-5 lead on a double block from Chris Hosley and Clay Spiegel. The Eagles would get no closer than three points the rest of the way. Brandon Mueller pounded out a pair of his team-high 18 kills late in the game to help the Pride to the 30-23 win.

Game four stayed close from start to finish. Juniata trailed 25-20, but the Eagles answered by going to their bench. Jeremy Barndt (Souderton/Souderton) entered the match and quickly notched a pair of blocks and a kill to tie things up at 26. The two teams would side-out repeatedly until Mueller put away a kill and Hosley and Nick Beer ended the game with a double block.

It looked like the Pride would run away with game five as they put together three double blocks in the first eight points to take a 6-2 edge. Leading 7-3 Dinning responded for Juniata by notching a kill, then tossing in back-to-back aces to bring Juniata within one. Then Kenny Eiser (Central Bucks West/Doylestown) took over for Juniata as the senior middle pounded out four kills in a span of six points to give Juniata a 12-9 lead. A Mueller kill brought Springfield within one at 13-12 but Genova answered with a huge kill and a miscommunication on game point gave Juniata a 15-13 win in the final game.

Dinning finished with a match-high 22 kills and five aces. Eiser finished with 14 kills while Genova added 12 finished and 10 digs. Ricky Ziegler (Northeastern/Manchester) passed out 66 assists for Juniata. Tim Cole (Pennsbury/Yardley) led the team with 12 digs, while DeHaven added 10. Finally, Cordt Withum (Penn Manor/Holtwood) notched seven blocks for the Blue and Gold.

Mueller led the team with 18 kills and posted a team-best 11 digs. Hosley, Spiegel and Beer were all also in double figures with 12, 11 and 10 kills respectively. Mark Schlabach dished out 53 assists for the Pride. Ricky Albano led all players with 14 blocks on the match while Eduardo Stawinski was in double figures with 10 digs.

Juniata and NYU have met twice this season, with Juniata earning victories in both contests.


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