HUNTINGDON, Pa. — No. 4 Juniata was 0-3 against top-eight teams coming into Friday night’s match against No. 2 Springfield College.
That frustration against the upper echelon teams was vented in a big way against the visiting Pride.
Juniata hit a season-best .447 against Springfield on its way to a 3-0 shutout against the Pride. Set scores for Juniata were 27-25, 25-21, and 25-20, as the Eagles broke their three-match winless streak against Springfield.
Juniata (11-5) middles Ben Wolff and Joe Bortak controlled the match for the Eagles from the outset, and each finished with 14 kills. Bortak logged his 14 terminations on 18 error-free swings for a .778 hitting percentage, and recorded six block assists to finish with 17 points. Wolff hit .684 for the match, combining the 14 kills with two block assists for 15 points.
Eagle pin hitters Paul Kuhn and Ross Madden recorded nine kills each, while setter John Almquist tallied 41 assists while running the Eagle offense.
Almquist also had a team-high eight digs, while libero Mike Kraft had seven.
Springfield (12-5) was led by outside hitter Mike Pelletier with 10 kills on 25 swings and a .280 hitting percentage, with outside hitter Angel Perez finishing with nine. Middle Greg Falcone logged seven kills and one block assist on the night.
The Pride was held to a .253 hitting percentage and just four total blocks, while Juniata collected 11 blocks at the net.
The first set proved to be the closest set of the match, with Springfield arriving on set point at 24-22. A Falcone service error followed by a Bortak kill knotted the set at 24-24. A Madden block put Juniata on set point, 25-24, and Springfield called timeout to regroup.
Coming out of the timeout, Almquist served up an error to tie the set at 25-25. However a Madden kill got the Eagles to set point number two, and a double-block by Kuhn and Bortak clinched the opening set for Juniata.
Juniata controlled sets two and three with much more ease, taking an early lead in both and extending their advantage over the course of the set.
In the day’s opening match, Juniata quickly dispatched Lancaster Bible 3-0, with set scores of 25-11, 25-11, and 25-18.