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Eagles Rally Falls Just Short Against Wittenberg

(Posted September 3, 2004)

Stephanie Kines piled up 32 kills on the first day of competition at the ASICS Invitational, including a career-high 23 against Wittenberg.

Juniata 3, Frostburg 0
Wittenberg 3, Juniata 2

Huntingdon, Pa. ? After blitzing through the regular season without a loss in 2003, the Juniata College women?s volleyball team was probably due for a tough regular season loss. And that?s exactly what happened on the opening day of competition at the ASICS Collegiate Invitational as Juniata dropped a hard-fought five-game match to Wittenberg by a 3-2 score, after earning a win in the first match of the season against Frostburg State.

Juniata?ranked third in the CSTV/AVCA Division III Preseason Coaches poll?was forced to rally after falling behind two games to none against the visiting Tigers. Wittenberg?the eighth-ranked team in the preseason poll?controlled much of games one and two behind the strong setting of Sarah Yuskewich and the hitting of Kristin Fox. The visitors took both the first games by 30-27 scores to take control of the match.

But Juniata rallied in the next two games, as sophomore Stephanie Kines (Towson/Towson, Md.) came to life to lead the offense. Kines would finish the match with a career-high 23 kills as she powered the Eagles to a 30-24 win in game three.

Then it was sophomore Rachael Schatz (West Perry/Elliotsburg) who carried the offensive load in game four, as she punched out four kills and a block in the early going to give the Eagles a lead. Then down the stretch Juniata went to Katie Laucks (West York/York) who responded with several kills to seal the 30-23 win.

Game five then belonged to Wittenberg as the Tigers rode the strong attack of Fox who was unstoppable throughout the match. The Eagles held a 6-5 lead before a Fox kill tied the match. Laucks answered with a kill, but Fox responded again, tying things at seven. Yuskewich then called her own number for a point, and teamed with Emily Dixon for a block that swung the momentum to Wittenberg. Fox knocked out one more kill as the Tigers pulled away to win 15-8.

Kines paced the team with her 23 kills, while also piling up seven blocks. Laucks finished with 17 kills and seven blocks of her own. Schatz was also in double figures with 10 finishes. Setter Carli Dale (Cochranton/Cochranton) dished out 56 assists along with a team-high 16 digs. Freshman Tara McMinn (Huntingdon/Huntingdon) added 15 digs.

Against Frostburg, the Eagles started slow in games one and two, before finding their rhythm and pulling away. The jump serving of Laucks was the difference in game one as she tossed in several of her seven aces to propel Juniata to a 30-18 win.

In game two Erin Wisor (Altoona/Altoona) got hot offensively as Juniata rallied from an early deficit to claim a 30-19 win. Then the Blue and Gold controlled game three from the start and capped the match with a 30-21 triumph.

Wisor was tops on the team with nine kills. Kines added nine as well, and Laucks finished with eight. Dale and Lindsey Habel (Glen Oak/Canton, Ohio) each posted eight digs, while Dale passed out 36 assists.

Juniata will finish up play at the tournament on Saturday when they take on Gettysburg and Waynesburg.

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