Men's Volleyball Sweeps Juniata to Earn Spot in NCAA Semifinals

Men's Volleyball Sweeps Juniata to Earn Spot in NCAA Semifinals

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Three players recorded 10 or more kills including senior Jake Reed (Arvada, Colo.) who had a team-high 12 as the Wentworth Institute of Technology men's volleyball team swept Juniata, 3-0, in a quarterfinal round match of the 2017 NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball Tournament played at Springfield College.

With the win the fifth-ranked Leopards improve to 28-6, establishing a program record for both wins in a season and consecutive victories (11). Wentworth advances to the national semifinals for the first time in program history. The Black & Gold will play fourth-ranked New Paltz (26-8) on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. as the Hawks beat Vassar, 3-0. The semifinal match will be a rematch of last season's quarterfinal match, won by the Hawks, 3-1.

In the opening set there were four ties early before Wentworth took an 11-9 lead after a block from junior Ollie Oshman (Pennington, N.J.) and a Juniata service error. The Leopards' lead went to 14-10 after a ball handling error and would take a 15-11 lead at the media time out. Out of the time out the Black & Gold pushed the lead to 19-14 after a kill from junior Jon Roat (Macedon, N.Y.). Juniata crept back in, cutting the lead to 19-17 after a kill from junior Matt Vasinko (Loyalhanna, Pa.) and forced Wentworth to take a time out. Reed recorded a kill out of the time out and Roat followed with a kill to make it 21-17. The Leopards took a 23-18 lead on an Oshman kill and took the set 25-20 after a service error. Roat had six kills in the set.

The Eagles opened the second set by scoring the first three points before a service error got Wentworth on the board. The Leopards used a 5-1 spurt to take a 7-5 lead on a kill from senior Sean Mullen (Longwood, Fla.). An attack error gave Wentworth a 10-6 lead and forced Juniata into calling a time out. The Leopards' lead increased to 15-9 after a kill from Roat and after an ace from Potts made it 15-10, the Eagles called their second time out of the set. Out of the time out, the Black & Gold increased their lead to 21-12 after an Oshman kill. Juniata scored the next two points to make it 21-14 and closed the gap to 22-16 before a blocking error made it 23-16 and Wentworth took the second set 25-17.

A tight opening to the third set let to Wentworth taking a 6-3 lead on back-to-back aces from Mullen. Juniata closed the gap to 8-6 before a service error and two aces from Mullen made it 11-6. The Eagles closed the gap to 13-9 on a kill from senior Kyle Seeley (Ellicott City, Md.) and pulled within three on a freshman Sean Cavanagh (Cranberry Township, Pa.) kill. Back-to-back kills from Mullen extended the lead to 16-11. The Eagles scored four of the next five points to pull within a pair at 17-15 after a ball handling error and forced the Leopards to call time out. Out of the time out Oshman recorded a kill to end the run, however Wentworth gave the point back on a service error and an attack error brought the Eagles within one at 18-17. Reed threw down a kill to make it 20-18 and a Potts block made it 21-18. A ball handling error made it 22-19 before a Seeley kill made it 22-20. Potts recorded a kill and served an ace to make it 24-20, which forced Juniata to call time out. Out of the time out the Eagles closed it to 24-21 however Mullen ended the match with a kill.

Reed hit .400 on the match (12-4-20) and had four digs. Roat finished with 11 kills while Mullen added 10 on 16 swings with just two errors for a .500 attack percentage. Oshman hit .750 on the night (6-0-8) while Potts had five kills and served four aces. Junior Collin Ritter (Feeding Hills, mass.) had 35 assists and 12 digs.

Seeley had a team-high eight kills to pace Juniata while Seeley had seven without making an error on 13 swings (.538).

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