HUNTINGDON, Pa.- The Juniata men's volleyball team vanquished Continental Volleyball Conference foe Ramapo 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-17) before defeating Messiah 3-1 (25-21, 19-25, 25-19, 25-22) Saturday afternoon in Memorial Gymnasium.
The Roadrunners scored nine of the first 11 points of the match to put the Eagles in an early hole. JC battled back and blocks by Joe Fick (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) and Mahlon Bender (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) gave JC the lead back at 13-12. The Eagles maintained their narrow lead, with a Ramapo kill making it 21-19. A service error and a big block by Quinn Peterson (Las Vegas, Nev./Shadow Ridge) made it 23-19. Matt Vasinko (Loyalhanna, Pa./Derry Area) smashed a kill to end set one, 25-21. Juniata hit a match best .625 in the set.
The second set was a tight battle most of the way with the teams tying 11 times throughout the set. A kill from Bender, another from Fick and a block by Bender and Vasinko made it 20-17 JC. The Eagles took five of the final seven points with Vasinko again ending the set with a kill.
Juniata trailed early in the fifth before they catapulted ahead with a 5-0 run and cruised from there. Bender laid down a kill to end the match with a 25-17 win in the final set.
The Eagles hit .443% as a team in the match.
In the second match, the Falcons flew out to a 0-6 lead. JC methodically worked their way back, using a 4-0 surge highlighted with an ace by Bryce Workman (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) brought them even at 13-13 as Messiah called timeout. The teams went back and forth, with a Messiah kill knotting the score at 17-17. A kill from Peterson, two Fick kills and Peterson block made it 21-17. Juniata eventually took set one via a service error.
Messiah again took an early lead as they led 2-8 early, but again the Eagles answered early to pull within on at 10-11. This time Messiah managed to keep their lead and eventually increases it to 16-20. Juniata could not get back into the set as they eventually fell 19-25.
The third set was a tight affair as neither team could gain any separation. A kill from Peterson and an attack error gave JC a narrow 18-16 lead. Messiah got one back before the Eagles took the next five points to go up 23-18. Messiah broke the run up with a kill before a kill from Vasinko and an attack error gave JC the third set 25-19.
The fourth set followed a similar script to third as the teams traded the lead back and forth as the score was knotted at 19-19. A service error, a kill from Peterson and a massive kill from the middle by Bender made it 22-19. The Falcons wanted to force a fifth set as they tied the score at 22. Another kill from Bender, an attack error followed by one more Peterson kill gave JC the match.
The Eagles move above .500 to 12-11 with the pair of victories and will face Stevenson, Friday at 7:00.