HUNTINGDON, Pa. — After two days of the Juniata Invitational, No. 6 Juniata was the only team to walk away undefeated. The Eagles closed out competition Saturday with wins against No. 9 New Paltz State 3-1 (26-28, 25-22, 25-22, 25-19) and Penn State Altoona 3-0 (25-10, 25-16, 25-17). Juniata (11-3) took down three ranked teams over the course of the invitational and remains undefeated at home.
On the first day of the invitational, Juniata upset No. 1 Springfield 3-2 (24-26, 25-20, 22-25, 28-26, 24-22) and took down No. 12 Medaille 3-2 (27-25, 19-25, 27-29, 25-21, 15-7).
“I’m proud of how the guys fought,” Juniata head coach Kevin Moore said. “I know that we hear too often that people left it on the court, but the guys without a doubt did. It was a collective group effort. Everyone played their role and everyone had a piece in this win. That includes the guys in practice that keep pushing us to get better and better.”
The upset avenged a 3-0 loss the Eagles suffered to Springfield earlier this year. Juniata is now 4-2 against ranked opponents and 3-1 in five-game matches.
On the final day of the tournament, sophomore Mark Feiler led the Eagles with a total of 18 kills. He was followed closely by Joe Bortak who picked up 17 of his own with only two errors on 25 swings for a .600 hitting percentage.
In the win against New Paltz, Juniata dropped the first game (26-28) but rebounded to sweep the next three. The Eagles recorded 16 team blocks. Bortak finished with a team-high 13 kills after committing zero errors. Junior Ross Madden and freshman Matthew Kinnebrew also earned double-digits. They finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Juniata went on to sweep Penn State Altoona with help from a set of players. Freshman Carlos Faccio took over setting in the match and tied his career-high 16 assists. Senior Cameron Andrew was the only hitter to reach double figures. He earned 13 kills in 21 swings with only one error.