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A week after dispatching a friend from the NCAA tournament, Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala has a similar unenviable task on Saturday when the third-seeded Blue Jays meet No. 6 Denver at Hofstra University's James M. Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y.

The Pioneers are coached by Bill Tierney, who was formerly the coach of Princeton when the Tigers captured six national championships. Tierney was also the assistant coach at Johns Hopkins when he recruited a tall, powerful defenseman named Dave Pietramala.

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Last Saturday, the Blue Jays bounced Hofstra from the first round, and the Pride is coached by Seth Tierney, Bill Tierney's nephew and the former offensive coordinator at Johns Hopkins when he and Pietramala worked together.

Meeting another friend on opposing sidelines is an assignment Pietramala would prefer not to deal with.

"When you face friends, it is difficult," he acknowledged. "But in the end, we're all professionals, and it's not about us. It's about Denver and Johns Hopkins, and it was about Hofstra and Johns Hopkins. It's not about the head coaches or the assistant coaches or those storylines. I know I go into this game coaching against a man for whom I have tremendous respect for, who's been very good to me, who's imparted a ton of knowledge to me, who recruited me. I get to stand on a sideline with a guy that's a Hall of Famer. You can't imagine that a college football coach doesn't stand on the sideline and think, 'Wow, this is pretty neat. I get to coach against Joe Paterno.' Or 'I get to coach against Bobby Bowden.' So I still have that kind of respect for him. It should be a great game between two good teams that are playing pretty well late in the season."

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