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Volleyball Earns Top Spot in Commonwealth Poll

(Posted August 26, 2004)

Huntingdon, Pa. - The Juniata College fall athletic teams are represented in the Commonwealth Conference preseason coaches polls which have been released this week. Each poll is compiled by collecting the votes of the eight conference coaches in the respective sports.

Leading the way for Juniata is the women's volleyball team which holds the top spot in the conference poll. The Eagles received all but one first-place vote in capturing 49 points. Also ranking in the top half of its poll was the Eagle field hockey team which was picked third with 37 points. Juniata was just three points shy of second-place Lebanon Valley. Earning the next highest spot was women's soccer team which ranked sixth in the coaches poll. The team earned 18 points, 13 points behind fifth-place Elizabethtown. Rounding out the polls is the men's soccer squad which has been picked seventh by the conference coaches. The Eagle men earned 13 points, 11 points behind Widener which sits in sixth place.

The women's volleyball team returns five starters and a pair of first-team All-Americans to a team that posted an undefeated regular season in 2003. Juniata won its 23rd-consecutive conference championship in 2003 and extended its NCAA record conference winning streak to 264 matches. The team also returns the reigning conference player, and rookie of the year, and bring back a total of four All-Conference players.

The field hockey team is coming off a season in which the team set a new program record for wins in a season, and earned a spot in the Commonwealth Conference championship match. Juniata brings back a pair of All-Conference players from last season, along with a three-year starter in goal. Juniata finished the 2003 season with a record of 15-8 and a 4-3 mark in conference play.

The Eagle women's soccer unit was in the running for its first conference postseason berth up until the final game of 2003 and could be poised to threaten again this season. Juniata placed a program-record five players on the All-Conference team last season, and bring three of those players back into the fold this year.

Juniata's men's soccer team returns both of its All-Conference players from a season ago, as it looks to improve on its 1-6 conference mark from 2003. The Eagles lost just one starter from the 2003 team, and also had the benefit of playing two weeks in Germany before returning for normal preseason drills.

The men's and women's soccer teams along with the field hockey team will get the 2004-05 athletic season underway on Wednesday September 1. The soccer programs each host an opponent for their season openers, while field hockey will play on the road at Neumann.

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.