Huntingdon, Pa.- The #8 Juniata men's volleyball team dropped a 3-2 (19-25, 28-26, 16-25, 25-23, 10-15) decision to #5 Marymount in a battle of two top 10 teams, Friday evening in Memorial Gymnasium.
Quinn Peterson (Las Vegas, Nev./Shadow Ridge) had 22 kills and eight digs, Joe Fick (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) had seven kills and eight digs while David Hibner (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock Secondary) had seven kills, a solo block and six block assists. Mahlon Bender (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) had three kills, two solo blocks and four block assists. Matt Vasinko (Loyalhanna, Pa./Derry Area) tallied four kills, four digs and three block assists. Michael Young (Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake Village) had 18 assists and a block assist while Matt Schaeffer (Mount Wolf, Pa./Northeastern) had 21 assists, a solo block and two block assists.
The Saints jumped out to an 4-8 lead early. The Eagles narrowed the gap to two at 11-13 via an ace from Hibner and later an ace from Fick got them within one at 14-15. A kill from Vasinko made it 15-16, but JC could not get closer than two the rest of the set as they fell, 19-25 in set one.
The second set saw the teams battle back and forth with neither team claiming a lead bigger than three until the Saints grabbed leads of 14-17, 16-19 and 18-21. The Eagles battled back, with Hibner getting back to back blocks with Vasinko and Peterson to get to 21-21. The Saints took the next two points before kills from Hibner, Peterson and an attack error made it 24-23. The back and forth affair continued, until the Eagles took the final two points via a Marymount attack error and a block by Bender and Young as JC took set two 28-26.
The Saints jumped on the Eagles in the third set, going up 3-19 and cruising to a 16-25 win. The Saints hit a blistering .421 in the set.
Marymount opened the fourth set on a 0-5 run, but the Eagles kept fighting and eventually clawed their way back late. With the score at 16-20, three attack errors got JC within one. Following a Saints kill, two big Peterson kills and a Marymount attack error gave the Eagles their first lead at 22-21. With score at 24-23, Bryce Workman (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) served up a massive ace to force a decisive fifth set.
The Saints let the final set 1-3 early but kills from Hibner, Bender and a big Bender block made it 4-3. A service error gave the Eagles the lead at 5-4, but the Saints took the next four points to lead 5-8. A big cross court kill from Fick brought the Eagles within two, 7-9, but they couldn't get closer as Marymount won 10-15.
The Eagles face another top-flight team tomorrow, as they host #2 Stevens, tomorrow at 12:00.