ARLINGTON, VA.- The Juniata men's volleyball team picked up a big 3-2 (25-16, 25-15, 22-25, 18-25, 15-9) victory at #5 Marymount in the Verizon Sports Arena Saturday afternoon.
The opening set was a back and forth affair as the teams were tied at 8-8 early. Juniata stormed ahead with a 14-6 run including six straight points. Marymount tried to stop the run calling timeouts at various points, but JC cruised to a 25-16 set one victory. Juniata had their best hitting percentage in the opening set (.429 with 14 kills).
The second set saw the Eagles grab a 5-2 lead early before Marymount quickly tied things at five all. Juniata scored six of the next seven points to take a 12-6 lead. The Saints got within four at 12-8, but the Eagles responded with an 8-2 run to make it 20-10, and Marymount called timeout. The teams traded points and following a Saints kill JC called timeout. A kill from Mahlon Bender (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) and an ace from Joe Fick (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) led JC to set point. Following two Marymount points JC took the second set via service error.
The third set saw Juniata have their worst hitting percentage of the match (.174) while Marymount had their second best of the match (.280). The Eagles trailed most of the set but pulled within one at 19-20 and later at 21-22 via a block by David Hibner (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock Secondary). Marymount tallied three of the next four points to prevent the sweep and force set four.
The Saints went up 3-8 early and did not look back. Juniata narrow the gap to three a few times including at 17-20 following a kill from Sean Cavanagh (Cranberry Twp., Pa./Seneca Valley) and a block by Hibner. A four-point flurry from the Saints caused JC to try and stop the run via timeout, but the Saints reached set point immediately after. One more kill gave them the set 18-25 as the teams went to a decisive fifth.
Two Fick kills opened the final set and the Eagles led 6-2 early. The Saints pulled within two at 7-5 before an attack error, a kill by Matt Schaeffer (Mount Wolf, Pa./Northeastern) and a Quinn Peterson (Las Vegas, Nev./Shadow Ridge) kill made it 10-5. The teams traded points as the Eagles kept their lead at five, before a Fick kill and then a block brought JC to match point. The Saints scored the next two points before a service handed the Eagles a massive win.
Juniata returns to action Friday on the 30th at the Hiram Invitational. They will face Adrian at 8 p.m.