Springfield, OH- The Juniata men's volleyball team fell to #9 Carthage, 3-1, Saturday morning on the final day of the Wittenberg Invitational at Pam Evans Smith Arena.
All tournament team nominee Quinn Peterson (Las Vegas, Nev./Shadow Ridge) had 21 kills, an ace and six digs while Michael Young (Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake Village) tallied 41 assists. Matt Vasinko (Loyalhanna, Pa./Derry Area) totaled eight kills, an ace, and 10 digs.
The first set started evenly, with the Red Men holding a narrow advantage as JC tried to narrow the gap. A kill from Mahlon Bender (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) followed by a block by Bender and Vasinko tied the score at 11-11. JC never trailed by more than two, and a Carthage attack error made it 20-21. The Eagles could not get all the way back as the Red Men took the first set, 22-25.
The second set saw Carthage take a 7-10 lead before an attack error and a kill from Peterson got JC back within one. Following two Carthage points another Peterson kill made it 10-12, but the Red Men took the next three points to go up 10-15. An attack error got JC within two at 14-16 and a few points later a kill from Young narrowed the gap to three at 15-18. The Red Men took the next six points to go up 15-24 and won the set 16-25.
Juniata led 6-5 early in the third set before Carthage went on a 6-0 run to go out in front 6-11. The Eagles kept at it, and after whittling the deficit down to one a few times eventually tied the score at 21-21. A kill from Young made it 24-23 and the Red Men called timeout. Carthage took the next point, but a service error and kill from Vasinko gave the Eagles the set 26-24.
The fourth set started with Carthage again taking the lead at 5-11 and JC having to dig themselves out of a hole. They managed to tie the score at 20-20 off a kill from Peterson. The teams went back and forth, with a kill by Sean Cavanagh (Cranberry Twp., Pa./Seneca Valley) tying the contest at 24-24 and another Peterson kill knotting the score at 25-25. Stephen Ash (Elk Grove, Calif./Cosumnes Oaks) kept the Eagles alive with a kill to make it 26-26, but Carthage took the next two points and the final set 28-26.
The Eagles return to action Friday with their home-opener against Nazareth, Friday at 5:30.