DIII No. 3 Juniata Comeback Falls Short Against DI No. 12 George Mason
Huntingdon, Pa. - The Juniata College men's volleyball team pushed George Mason to a decisive fifth game, before eventually falling 3-2 to the Patriots, in an EIVA Tait Division matchup Saturday night at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center in Huntingdon, Pa.
Game scores were 30-22, 30-28, 31-33, 26-30, and 15-10.
Juniata (3-2, 0-1 EIVA Tait) was tied with George Mason at 9-9 in the fifth game, when the Patriots took the lead on an Eagle service error. With GMU's Luke Maloney serving, the Patriots captured the next four points to go match point. A side-out attack error returned service to Juniata, but an Eagle service error ended the match.
Juniata had been trailing 2-0 in games after hitting -.125 and .300 in the first two games, but the Eagles rebounded to pull out a win in the extended third game.
Neither team had been able to lead by more than two points throughout game three, and Juniata looked like it was in trouble when it fell behind 31-30. Back-to-back kills by Dan Powers (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) and Zach Bock (Mount Wolf, Pa./Northeastern) put the Eagles at game point, 32-31, and a Mason attack error allowed Juniata to take the game and avoid the three-game sweep.
The Eagles trailed George Mason early in game four, until Juniata tied the game at 22-22 on a kill by Zach Wanner (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield). A subsequent kill by Matt Fritz (Churchville, Md./John Carroll) followed by a Evan Halteman (Perkiomenville, Pa./Christopher Dock) service ace put Juniata in front, 24-22. After six straight side-out points, a Powers service ace gave the Eagles a 28-25 advantage. The two teams traded side out points, and Bock clinched the game four win with his kill off the serve of Matt Werle (Meadville, Pa./Meadville).
Fritz finished the match with 17 kills, while Wanner tallied 15 kills. Werle logged 56 assists to go with nine digs. Anthony Damiano (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Township) recorded 10 digs.
The Patriots were led by Hudson Bates with 20 kills, followed by Colton Naill with 15. Eric Lucas had 11 digs, and Erik Lanham had nine total blocks.
Juniata will make its first road trip of the 2008 season on Tuesday, Feb. 5, when it faces Penn State in an EIVA Tait Division match.
Article courtesy of Juniata athletics.