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Eagles Outlast Cougars to Advance to the Continental Volleyball Conference Championship

Courtesy of Juniata College

The #9 Juniata men’s volleyball team won a hard-fought 3-2 (25-19, 29-31, 21-25, 25-16, 15-10) match against Kean, Wednesday evening to advance to the Continental Volleyball Conference Championship Game this Saturday.


The first set was tight throughout, with the Cougars on the Eagle heels late at 20-18. Kills from Will Phelan (Saegertown, Pa. / Saegertown H.S.) and Kevin Duffy (Carlisle, Pa. / Carlisle HS) pushed the lead to four. Kean took the next point before a service error, and another Phelan kill gave the Eagles set one, 25-19.


The second set was the reverse, with Kean tallying two points late in the set to go up by four, 18-22. Two Cougar attack errors, a block by Duffy and Reese Ganter (Reading, Pa. / Exeter Township HS), and a kill from Phelan knotted things at 22-22. It was back and forth from there, as Kean reached seven set points and the Eagles fought six of them, but JC couldn’t take the set as Kean wound up taking set two 29-31. The Juniata offense was humming in the second set, as they hit .514 to go with 22 kills.


In set three, the Eagles seemed to be in control, with a Tyler Goldsborough (Reading, Pa. / Exeter Township HS) kill making the score 17-12. From that point on, it was all Cougars as they went on a 13-4 surge to grab set three 21-25.


The fourth set saw Kean erase an early 8-4 JC lead to tie things at 11-11, but Juniata put together another run to take control with two Phelan kills, one from Robert Bowling (Columbus, Ohio / Hilliard Darby) and a Kean attack error. A kill from Duffy and another from Phelan made it 17-11. An attack error momentarily broke the run before the Cougars had a service error, Duffy and Ganter combined for a block, and another Kean attack error made it 20-12. The teams traded points for a while, with Phelan getting JC to set point and a block from Bowling and Luke Hoffman (Reading, Pa. / Exeter Township HS) made it 25-16.


The fifth set saw the Eagles jump out to a 6-2 lead and took the final set 15-10 behind a blistering .733 hitting percentage to punch their ticket to the conference championship.


It was a night of career-highs as Phelan tallied a career-high 20 kills, Goldsborough had a career-high 17 kills, while Ganter had a career-high 57 assists. Daniel Voronov (Northbrook, Ill. / Glenbrook North HS) tied a career-high 18 digs.


Juniata will travel to Southern Virginia Saturday. Game time is TBD

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