HUNTINGDON, Pa.-The Juniata men's volleyball team defeated PSU-Behrend 3-0 (25-19, 29-27, 25-18) before defeating St. John Fisher 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-16) Saturday afternoon at Memorial Gymnasium on Senior Day.
The first set saw the Eagles take an early 8-4 lead, and they proceeded to keep the Lions at bay. PSU-Behrend closed to within 13-10, before an attack error and a kill from Quinn Peterson (Las Vegas, Nev./Shadow Ridge) made it 15-10. Juniata maintained a lead of at least five the rest of the set and with the score at 24-19, Peterson put down another kill to give JC set one.
Set two opened with the Lions taking a 5-1 lead before a service error, a block by Matt Schaeffer (Mount Wolf, Pa./Northeastern) and Mahlon Bender (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) and a kill from Peterson brought Juniata within one at 4-5. The teams traded the lead back and forth, with the Lions pushing ahead 15-18. A kill from Bender, a Lion attack error and two aces from Joe Fick (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) allowed Juniata to go up 19-18. The teams went back and for as both teams fought off set point to tie at 27-27. A kill from Matt Vasinko (Loyalhanna, Pa./Derry Area) followed by a kill from Sean Cavanagh (Cranberry, Twp., Pa./Seneca Valley) gave the Eagles set two.
Juniata had their most accurate hitting percentage in the final set as they hit .433 and led 20-10 at one point as they swept aside the Lions.
In the second match, the Eagles soared ahead 7-2 behind three kills from Andrew Knapp (Jamison, Pa./Central Bucks South). The Cardinals tied it up at 10-10 and the teams traded points from there. St. John Fisher led 16-20 but Juniata came right back with a kill from Fick, a Cardinal attack error and a kill from Bender. Juniata dropped the next two points before a Peterson kill and another St. John Fisher attack error to make 21-22. The Eagles couldn't come all the way back as they eventually fell, 22-25.
The second set was tight early as the teams were tied 10-10. St. John Fisher got some momentum and pushed ahead 16-21 as Juniata was in danger of dropping the second set. Three Peterson kills, a kill from Fick, a kill from David Hibner (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock Secondary), a block from Cavanagh and a bad set by the Cardinals helped Juniata come all the way back and lead 23-21. The Cardinals took the next point, but a kill from Fick and a Hibner block allowed Juniata to take set two 25-22 and tie it at one set apiece.
The third set saw the Eagles lead by as many as five at one point at 17-12, but the Cardinals battled back to get within on at 20-19. A Cardinal service error and an attack error followed by the by two Fick kills brought JC to set point. St. John Fisher took the next two points before another attack error by the visitors allowed Juniata to take set two, 25-21.
The Eagles stormed ahead 10-2 in the fourth set and never looked back as they won 25-16 decisively to take the fourth set and the match.
The Juniata Eagles will host Eastern Mennonite in the CVC Championships quarterfinals, Tuesday at 7:00.