DIII No. 2 Juniata Takes Advantage of Princeton Errors to Earn Win
PRINCETON, N.J. - Juniata College outhit Princeton University and took advantage of numerous Tiger miscues on its way to a 3-2 win over the Tigers, in an EIVA Tait Division matchup Friday night in Princeton, N.J. Set scores were 21-30, 30-28, 30-27, 29-31, and 15-10.
The win was Juniata's third in a row, its sixth in the last seven matches, and gives the Eagles a season sweep over Princeton (5-5, 2-2 EIVA Tait).
Sophomore outside hitter Chris Vrooman (Baden, Pa./Ambridge Area) led the Eagles with 19 kills on 32 swings, while junior outside hitter Zach Wanner (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) tallied 17 kills. Senior middle Dan Powers (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) turned in his second stellar performance in as many nights, racking up 14 kills on 28 swings with only two errors, and making eight total blocks.
Senior Matt Werle (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) set 61 assists for the Eagles, while junior libero Anthony Damiano (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Township) turned up 12 of Juniata's 49 digs.
Aiding Juniata's cause were 31 Princeton attack errors, to go with 22 service errors against only eight service aces. The Tigers were held to .272 hitting for the match, including a .000 attack percentage in the decisive fifth set, while the Eagles hit .292 for the match.
Princeton captured the first set easily, using a four-point run - including three kills by Jeff McCown - to break an 8-8 deadlock. The Tigers slowly pulled away from there, closing out the set with three straight points.
Set two opened in Juniata's favor, with the Eagles taking eight of the first 10 points of the set. Juniata maintained a four-point advantage throughout much of the set, with Princeton finally making a move 25-21 with three straight points. A side out kill by Vrooman temporarily stopped the Tiger rally at 26-24, and a block by Werle and Evan Halteman (Perkiomenville, Pa./Christopher Dock) stretched the Eagle lead to 27-24.
Three straight side out kills left Juniata holding a 28-26 lead, but Princeton tied the set at 28-28 with a McCown block and a Mike Vincent service ace. The Eagles responded with back-to-back kills by Wanner and Powers, to finish off the set in Juniata's favor.
Juniata captured the third set, with a four-point run at 18-18 breaking open the set for the Eagles. A Dan Follett (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) kill opened the run, with a pair of blocks by Powers and a Werle service ace fueling the drive. Powers eventually wrapped up the win on Juniata's third attempt at set point.
The Tigers sent the match to a winner-take-all fifth set, after taking the fourth set on extra points.
Juniata was on match point in the fourth set, 29-28, but a McCown kill tied the set at 29-29. Rosenberg's kill put the Tigers on set point, and a block by McCown and Carl Hamming gave the set to Princeton.
Princeton grabbed a 3-0 lead in the fifth set, but Juniata answered with two points on Tiger attack errors and a third point off a block by Wanner and Powers. Back-to-back side out kills left the set knotted at 4-4, when Juniata started to pull away from Princeton. The Eagles gained one point on the Tigers with Vincent Tuminelli's attack error at 5-4; four side out points later, Juniata gained two more points over Princeton with a Rosenberg attack error and a Wanner kill.
The two squads traded four more side out points, moving Juniata's lead to 11-8, and back-to-back kills by Wanner and Follett stretched the Eagle lead to 13-8. Four more side out points later, Juniata won match point on a kill by Powers.
McCown led Princeton with 21 kills, with Vincent chipping in with 17 terminations. Rosenberg and Tuminelli had 15 kills each. Rosenberg also had 17 digs for the Tigers.
Juniata (7-3, 4-2 EIVA Tait) returns to action next Friday, Feb. 27, when it hosts Springfield College at 7:00 p.m. at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center.
Article courtesy of Juniata athletics.