HUNTINGDON, Pa.- Juniata men's volleyball team put up a strong fight but ultimately fell to Division I University of Charleston (W.V.), 3-1 (14-25, 23-25, 27-25, 28-30), Wednesday evening at Memorial Gymnasium.
The Golden Eagles jumped ahead 3-8 early in the opener, but the Eagles managed to get within four 6-10. A kill from Kevin Duffy (Carlisle, Pa. / Carlisle HS), a block by him and Austin Goodsel (Corry, Pa. / Fort Leboeuf HS) followed by a Charleston attack error closed the gap to one, 9-10. The Golden Eagles blew the set open with an 11-2 run that had them up, 20-11 and they never looked back as they took set one, 14-25.
Set two was a much tighter affair, as neither team led by more than two points at any point. A Golden Eagle attack error put the Eagles ahead late, 22-20 as JC looked to tie things up. Charleston smashed three straight kills to retake the lead, 22-23 and Juniata called timeout. A service error made it 23-23, but the Golden Eagles took the final two points to steal set two, 23-25.
Set three the Golden Eagles tried to grab the sweep as they slowly built their lead to six, 18-12. A Charleston attack error and a Joe Fick (Venetia, Pa. / Peters Township) service ace closed the deficit to four. The teams traded points with Quinn Peterson (Las Vegas, Nev. / Shadow Ridge) tallying a kill for JC before the Golden Eagles took the next two to push their lead back to six. Kills from David Hibner (Burke, Va. / Lake Braddock Secondary) and Peterson along with a visitor ball handling error made it 18-21. Charleston took the next point but the Eagles kept coming. A service error, Peterson and Hibner teamed up for a block before Peterson smacked down another kill to pull the Eagles within one, 22-21. Charleston scored via a kill, but Hibner responded with one of his own to pull JC within one again and the Golden Eagles called timeout. An attack error by Charleston and a Peterson kill pushed the Eagles to set point, 24-23. The Golden Eagles fought of set point twice as a service error made it 25-25. Duffy emphatically put down a kill and following another Charleston timeout, Peterson ended the set with another kill as the Eagles took set three 27-25.
Set four followed a similar script to the second as the teams remained tight all the way through. Ahead by one, 23-22, the Eagles dropped the next two points as Charleston reached match point, 23-24. Following a JC timeout, Sean Cavanagh (Cranberry Twp., Pa. / Seneca Valley) crushed a cross court kill from the left side to keep Juniata alive. The Golden Eagles again reached match point, 24-25, but back to back Peterson kills flipped the scrip and had Juniata looking to force set five. Charleston took the next point to keep the set alive, and following a block from Hibner and Cavanagh they again managed to take the following point to make it 27-27. A big Hibner solo block again had the Eagles knocking on the door of the fifth set, and the Golden Eagles called timeout. Charleston took the next three points to take the fourth set, 30-28.
The Eagles winning streak stops at eight.
Juniata returns to action this Friday at Ramapo. They will face Ramapo at 4:00 and UC Santa Cruz at 6:00.