Honolulu, HI- The Juniata men's volleyball team wrapped up their trip to Hawaii with a tough 3-1 setback against #2 ranked Stevens Institute of Technology, Saturday afternoon on the final day of the 2018 Texaco Rainbow Warrior Classic.
Quinn Peterson (Las Vegas, Nev./Shadow Ridge) had 15 kills, a solo block and a block assist. Sean Cavanagh (Cranberry Twp., Pa./Seneca Valley) had seven kills, seven digs, a solo block and four block assists. Mahlon Bender (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Daupin) added six kills and four block assists. Matt Vasinko (Loyalhanna, Pa./Derry Area) tallied five kills, two aces and four digs. Michael Young (Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake Village) had 33 assists, three kills, four digs and a block assist.
The match opened with Stevens taking a 2-8 lead, but JC reeled of eight of the next 10 points, with back to back errors tying the score at 10-10. The Ducks took three straight points to go up 10-13, but two Stevens errors along with kills from Bender and Vasinko tied it at 14-14. The teams tied twice more as they traded points. With the score 16-16, a kill from Cavanagh, a block from David Hibner (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock Secondary) and Cavanagh with a Stevens attack error made it 19-16. Ducks did not back down and the teams continued to battle, with the Ducks eventually taking two-straight points to tie the score at 24-24. Peterson laid down a kill, but the Ducks came right back to knot things at 25-25. Peterson tallied another kill and one more Stevens attack error gave JC the first set, 27-25.
The second set was more even to start, with Stevens taking a 7-9 lead early as neither team led by more than two to this point. Five straight points by JC, including two blocks by Cavanagh and Bender, gave JC a 12-9 lead. Later, another block by Cavanagh made it 17-12. The Ducks scored five straight to make it 17-17. The teams went back and forth, tying three more times before Stevens took a 22-24 lead and Juniata called timeout. A Peterson kill gave the Eagles a chance, but Stevens took the next point and the set, 23-25.
Juniata never led in the third set, but the Eagles were nipping at the Ducks heels early. A kill from Vasinko made it 8-9 and two points later, Young made it 9-10 before Stevens began to take control. Five straight points from the Ducks caused the Eagles to call timeout. JC scored the next point via a kill from Caanagh to make it 10-14, but Stevens responded with three straight kills. Back to back kills from Hibner and Peterson narrowed the deficit to five, but the Eagles could not manage to get closer the rest of the way as the Ducks took set three, 18-25.
The final set started tight early, but with the score tied at 6-6 the Ducks scored seven straight points to go up 13-6 and they cruised from there as they took the set 25-14.
Juniata returns to action January 19th at the Wittenberg Invitational against Wittenberg at 2:00 p.m.