Eagles Declaw Tigers, Wrangle Muskies as They Sweep Day One of Wittenberg Invitational

Quinn Peterson racked up 44 kills and 21 digs to lead the Eagles to a pair of victories on Friday.
Quinn Peterson racked up 44 kills and 21 digs to lead the Eagles to a pair of victories on Friday.

Springfield, OH – The Juniata men's volleyball team swept the day with a pair of 3-1 victories, first with over Wittenberg (25-22, 25-23, 23-25, 25-20) before toppling Lakeland (23-25, 25-13, 25-22, 25-23), Friday evening at the Wittenberg Invitational. 

In their first match of the day against Wittenberg, the Eagles came out strong and a kill from Matt Vasinko (Loyalhanna, Pa./Derry Area) made it 9-5. The Tigers came right back taking five of the next six points as they tied the score at 10-10. The teams were never more than two points apart the rest of the way, until with set point, Vasinko laid down a kill to give the JC the win in the first set, 25-22.

The second set saw the Tigers grab an early 0-3 lead, and stay a step ahead of the Eagles early. With the score at 10-15, JC started to come back. Several service errors, a kill from Vasinko and finally back to back aces from Michael Young (Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake Village) helped Juniata tie the score and take the lead at 19-18. The teams traded points before a kill from Vasinko, Quinn Peterson (Las Vegas, Nev./Shadow Ridge) and a block from Sean Cavanagh (Cranberry Twp., Pa./Seneca Valley) and Dave Hibner (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock Secondary) made it 22-19. The Tigers kept things tight and got within one twice at 23-22 and 24-23, but a block from Mahlon Bender (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) and Young gave the second set to JC 25-23.

The third set saw Juniata take a narrow lead early, before the Tigers knotted the score at 15-15. Two attack errors, a kill from Peterson and another attack error put JC up 19-15. A kill from Peterson made it 23-20 as JC tried to lockdown the sweep. But the Tigers didn't quit, and took the final five points and forced a fourth set. 

The fourth set featured six ties early, and with the score at 9-9, JC created a little separation. Kills from Peterson, Hibner, a block from Cavanagh and an attack error made it 12-9. The Tigers never got closer than two the rest of the way as JC took set four 25-20, and the match.

Peterson had 18 kills and eight digs, Vasinko had 14 kills and four digs while Young tallied 42 assists, two aces and two block assists. Hibner totaled five kills, an ace and four block assists. 

The first set of the second match against Lakeland saw the Muskies take and keep a narrow lead at 9-12. JC reeled off five points to retake the lead at 14-12. Lakeland called timeout, and scored three quick points to grab the lead back ta 14-15. Bender smashed a kill to make it 15-15, but the Muskies took the next four to go up 15-19. JC battled back and tied the score three times, culminating in a service error making it 23-23. But Lakeland took the final two points and the first set, 23-25.

Juniata dominated the second set, with a 7-1 run early making it 10-3. Lakeland got within five at 15-10, but the Eagles took the next three points.  With the score at 19-13, the Eagles smelled blood and they took the final six points and won set two 25-13.

In the third set, with the score at 10-10, the Muskies scored six straight points. Juniata did not go away, and slowly chipped away at the deficit, with an attack error tying the score at 22-22. A kill from Bender followed by two straight Peterson kills completed the comeback as JC took the third set, 25-22.

The fourth set saw JC score four straight points early to push their one point lead to five at 11-6 as the Muskies called timeout. Juniata kept Lakeland at arms length, and a kill from Peterson handed them match point at 24-21. Two errors pulled Lakeland within one, before a final kill from Peterson made it 25-23 as Juniata earned their second victory of the day.

Peterson racked up 26 kills and 13 digs, Chris Heron (Las Vegas, Nev./Arbor View) had 16 digs while Bender had 7 kills, a solo block and two block assists. Cavanagh had seven kills and 11 digs and Joe Fick (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) had six kills and 11 digs. Young had 22 assists and two block assists while Matt Schaeffer (Mount Wolf, Pa./Northeastern) had 21 assists and five digs.

The Eagles will face #9 Carthage, tomorrow at noon.