OWINGS MILLS, MD.- The last time Juniata and Stevenson met in men's volleyball back on February 24, the two teams played four close sets with the Mustangs winning 3-1 in Huntingdon. On Friday night in Maryland, it was not nearly as close and it was the Eagles on the winning end in a 3-0 victory.
Juniata won its third straight match by a 3-0 score and its fifth in its last sixth. The Eagles improve to 16-10 overall and 8-3 in the Continental Volleyball Conference. The victory puts JC in third place in the conference while Stevenson drops to fourth.
Juniata held on to a 10-9 lead in the first set but a 10-4 run increased its advantage to 20-13. The Mustangs attempted a comeback but the Eagles stayed ahead as they won 25-18.
JC led as much as 16-8 in the second set until the Mustangs rallied to get to 17-14. It was still a three-point lead for Juniata at 20-17 but a 5-2 run shut Stevenson down as the Eagles claimed a 25-19 win.
The third frame was closely contested throughout. JC clung to a 19-18 lead. Three straight points increased the lead to 22-18. The Mustangs kept close at 22-20 and 23-21. Juniata was able to withstand the Stevenson threat with points on a Mustang attack error and a kill by Mahlon Bender (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) to slam the door shut and give Juniata the 25-21 set win.
The Eagles hit a season-best .485 on the night. Matt Vasinko (Loyalhanna, Pa./Derry Area) put down 10 kills while hitting .529. Quinn Peterson (Las Vegas, Nev./Shadow Ridge) added nine kills and a .368 hit percentage. Bender had seven kills on seven attempts for a perfect 1.000. Michael Young (Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake Village) accumulated 33 assists. JC had a strong defensive effort as Kyle Seeley (Ellicott City, Md./Howard) had five block assists with Peterson adding four. Chris Heron's (Las Vegas, Nev./Arbor View) eight digs led the team.
Juniata travels to Reading on Wednesday night to play Alvernia. Start time for the match is 7:00 p.m.