HUNTINGDON, Pa.-The Juniata men's volleyball team honored their seniors prior to their 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 28-26) victory over visiting Thiel, Friday evening in Memorial Gymnasium.
The opening set was tightly contested as Tomcats stayed on the heels of the Eagles early as Juniata led 8-7. A kill from Kevin Duffy (Carlisle, Pa. / Carlisle HS) paired with two attack errors from the visitors pushed the lead to four. Following an Eagle service error, another Thiel attack error combined with a Quinn Peterson (Las Vegas, Nev. / Shadow Ridge) kill and a block from Stephen Ash (Elk Grove, Calif. / Cosumnes Oaks) had the Eagles up by six. The Tomcats clawed their way back, as they pulled within one several times with the last one at 19-18. The teams traded points as kills from Ash and Joe Fick (Venetia, Pa. / Peters Township) helped the Eagles get to 23-20. The teams traded service errors to put Juniata at set point and a Thiel attack error ended the it at 25-21.
Thiel jumped out to an early lead, with a five-point surge making it 7-11. Coming out the time out Ash smacked down a kill, Thiel responded with a kill of their own before the Eagles rallied. Two attack errors by the visitors, a solo block by Peterson and a bad set from Thiel tied things at 12-12. The teams went back and forth before a service error and a kill from Leland Hacecky (Ashburn, Va. / Stone Bridge) finally pushed Juniata in the lead, 17-15. It didn't last as the Tomcats managed to regain the lead twice, with the final time at 20-19. From their Juniata went on a 5-1 run that included two Peterson kills and one from Hacecky to push them to set point at 24-21. Back to back service errors ended set two, 25-22.
The third set saw Thiel open up a 0-4 lead to start, but two Ash kills and a block quickly had the Eagles back within one. The Eagles hung around before they made their move. With the score at 8-9, a kill from Duffy, a block by Hacecky, Ash and Matt Schaeffer (Mount Wolf, Pa. / Northeastern) along with kills from Hacecky and Ash made it 12-9 Juniata. The teams tied 10 times the rest of the set as Thiel tried to stay alive. Later, the Tomcats managed to get to set point, 24-25, and the Eagles called timeout. A Duffy kill followed by a solo block had the Eagles at Match point but a Tomcat kill knotted things again. A service error and a final kill from Duffy ended things for the home team and completed the sweep.
The Eagles return to action Tuesday against Geneva.