Honolulu, HI- The Juniata men's volleyball team opened their season with a 3-0 set back to #12 ranked Division I foe University of Southern California, Thursday afternoon.
Matt Vasinko (Loyalhanna, Pa./Derry Area) had six kills and an ace while Quinn Peterson (Las Vegas, Nev./Shadow Ridge) had six kills and a block assist. Joe Fick (Venetia Pa./Peters Township) had five kills, an ace and three digs while David Hibner (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock Secondary) added three kills, two aces and three block assists.
Peterson put down a kill off a pass from Michael Young (Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake Village) to give JC their first point of the season and early 1-0 lead. The Trojans took a 3-4 lead, but an attack error followed by a Fick ace gave the Eagles the lead back at 5-4. USC reeled of the next seven points to go up 5-11 and forced JC to call timeout. A kill from Vasinko and couple Trojan errors pulled JC within four at 8-12, but they could not get any closer as the Eagles dropped set one, 19-25.
The second set started similarly to the first, with JC taking the first point and a kill from Fick soon after giving them the lead back at 3-2. USC eventually tied the score at 4-4 and proceeded to go on a 9-0 run as they led 4-13. JC got the deficit to within seven at 7-14, but that was as close as they got as USC took set two, 9-25.
Vasinko opened the third set with a kill as JC again took the first point, but the Trojans took an early 3-6 lead. Juniata did not back down, as they hung around and a Trojan attack error made it 9-10. USC pushed their lead to four at 11-15, but a block from Vasinko and Hibner followed by two straight Hibner aces got the Eagles back within one at 14-15. The Trojans took the next two points, but two errors got JC back within one again at 16-17. USC took the next three points, and the Eagles could not narrow the gap until another USC error pulled the Eagles within two at 21-23, but USC closed them out 21-25.
Juniata will faced #6 ranked University of Hawaii, Saturday at 12:00 a.m. EST.