Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Saturday, September 2, 2006
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The Muhlenberg volleyball team took home third-place honors at its season-opening tournament after losing a pair of Championship Bracket matches against host Moravian and Eastern.

The Mules (2-2) were swept in both matches, though losing by only two points in four out of the six. They saw early leads slip away in their second match against Eastern, dropping all three nail-biters to a team that received votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association preseason top 25 poll.

A pair of Megans shined on the court for ’Berg despite the losses. Sophomore setter Megan Eiser contributed all over the court, picking up 27 assists and 24 digs with 11 kills in day two’s action. Junior libero Megan Young, who set a career-high with 24 digs against Eastern, totaled 36 digs.

Senior Kate Haggerty, who was named to the all-tournament team, led the Mules with 16 kills while freshman outside hitter Liz Leslie added 13.

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Muhlenberg suffered a 3-0 loss to Elizabethtown, a team that was ranked 17th in Division III at the end of the 2005 season, in the pouring rain on the second day of the Mule Classic.

Senior Lauren Schram made 10 saves, all in the first half.

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Both Mule soccer teams had their scheduled Saturday games rained out. The women’s game against Gwynedd-Mercy at Kean was rescheduled for Sunday, September 3, replacing that day’s scheduled contest against Kean. The men’s home match with Rhode Island College was cancelled.

The Muhlenberg football team scored a big touchdown early and a big touchdown late, and the defense took care of the middle in a 24-14 season-opening defeat of New Jersey under the lights at Scotty Wood Stadium.

Sophomore Brandon Doyle returned the opening kickoff of the game 94 yards for a touchdown, marking the first time since 1999 that the Mules found the end zone the first time they touched the ball in a new season.

Later, with Muhlenberg clinging to a 17-14 lead, sophomore John DeLuca ran around right end 14 yards for the clinching six-pointer on fourth-and-1 with 24.8 seconds left.

The Mule defense held the Lions to 79 total yards, 65 of which came on
Keith Shalvoy
Senior fullback Keith Shalvoy caught a 12-yard pass on fourth down to extend the drive that ended with Santagato’s touchdown.
their lone scoring drive. TCNJ gained just 26 yards on 32 rushing attempts.

Sophomore Matt Rathbun, making his first career start, led the defense with eight tackles, including two for loss, and partially blocked a punt late in the fourth quarter to set up DeLuca’s TD run. Senior Chris Musselman also had two tackles for loss, and sophomore William Moates forced a fumble that was recovered by Muhlenberg two plays after the Lions returned an interception deep into Mule territory.

Senior Eric Santagato, also making his first career start, was 15-of-21 passing and scored Muhlenberg’s middle touchdown on a 1-yard sneak midway through the fourth quarter. Eleven of his completions went to senior tight ends Stephen Montalto (7-57) and Derek DiMattina (4-61). DeLuca rushed for a game-high 69 yards.

Doyle’s return and Rathbun’s blocked punt were just two of several big special teams plays for the Mules (although they did allow a kickoff return for a touchdown to start the second half). DiMattina blocked an extra-point try, senior Anthony Acquafredda recovered the ball after his kickoff was fumbled, and senior Ryan Sassaman downed a punt at the 2-yard line.

Timothy Hughes, a senior playing in his first varsity game, was 3-for-3 on extra points and booted a 27-yard field goal.

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Last updated September 2, 2006