The Juniata men’s volleyball team defeated Rutgers-Newark 3-1 (25-20, 25-18, 21-25, 26-24) Saturday afternoon in Memorial Gymnasium.
The opening set was tight early with Rutgers-Newark pulling within one at 8-7. A kill by Kevin Duffy, a Scarlet Raider attack error, an ace by Quinn Peterson and a kill from Leland Hacecky made it 12-7. The visitors took the next point before another Duffy kill and a Joe Fick ace made it 14-8. Rutgers-Newark went on a 7-3 run to pull within two at 18-16 and the Eagles called timeout. A kill from David Hibner, a block from Peterson and Duffy and a Scarlet Raiders attack error made it 21-16. Rutgers-Newark pulled within three again at 22-19 before a service error and another ace from Fick gave JC set point. A Duffy kill handed the Eagles set one, 25-20.
The Eagles came flying out to start the second set, quickly building a 19-9 lead behind kills from Peterson, Fick, Hibner, Hacecky, Duffy and Sean Cavanagh along with several Scarlet Raider errors. Rutgers-Newark responded with a 7-1 run to make it 20-16. A service error and a Will Hafen kill followed by a big block by Peterson made it 23-16. The teams traded points as the Eagles reached set point before another attack error gave JC set two, 25-18.
The Scarlet Raiders built up an early five-point lead, 9-14 but the Eagles didn’t go away. An attack error, a block by Michael Young and Stephen Ash, and an Ash kill made cut the deficit to two, 12-14. Following a Scarlet Raider kill, two more attack errors and a Hacecky kill had JC even at 15-15. The teams traded points as a Hafen kill again pulled the Eagles within one, 20-21. But that was as close as the Eagles would get as Rutgers-Newark took the next three points to get to set point. An Austin Goodsel kept the Eagles alive for a point but they eventually fell, 21-25.
The Scarlet Raiders opened on a 0-6 run and Juniata spent most of the set climbing out of the early hole. The Eagles slowly clawed back into it, trailing by three 18-21. A big Duffy kill, an attack error and a block by Duffy and Peterson tied things at 21-21. Rutgers-Newark went ahead 21-23 and JC called timeout. Fick smashed another kill and a Scarlet Raider attack error tied things at 23-23. Rutgers-Newark reached set point before a block from Fick and Hibner, a Scarlet Raider attack error and a block from Goodsel ended the match for the Eagles 26-24.
The Eagles will take the court next against Elizabethtown, Tuesday at 7 p.m.