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Eagles Open Volleyball Tourney With Win

(Posted October 21, 2005)

Juniata 3, Franklin & Marshall 0
Juniata 3, New York 2

Huntingdon, Pa. ? The Juniata College women?s volleyball team earned a pair of victories in very different ways on the first day of the ?Wid? Guisler Invitational in Huntingdon. Juniata outlasted fourth-ranked New York University in the nightcap after breezing past Franklin & Marshall 3-0 in the first match of the day. The Eagles are now 26-1 on the season, and have now won 21-consecutive matches.

After seemingly having the match against New York in control after claiming the first two games, the Violets roared back to win games three and four. Juniata then rallied from an early deficit in game five before earning the 30-21, 30-25, 27-30, 26-30, 15-13 win.

Trailing 12-9 in game five after an NYU double block and a Juniata attack error, the Eagles stormed back to tie the score at 12. Katie Laucks (West York/York) sparked the run with a kill and then tossed in a serve ace to knot up the game. Rachael Schatz (West Perry/Elliotsburg) answered an NYU score to tie the game back up at 13. The Eagles then clinched the match on a pair of NYU attack errors.

The Eagles featured a balanced offensive attack as four players finished in double figures in kills. Laucks paced the team with 15 kills while also producing five blocks. Schatz and Stephanie Kines (Towson/Towson, Md.) each finished with 14 kills while freshman Amber Thomas (Conestoga Valley/Ephrata) added 13.
The two teams were nearly even in each category, as Juniata out-blocked the visitors 11-10 while New York had eight more digs than Juniata. Juniata had 14 serve aces, compared to 11 for the Violets.
Freshman setter Jessica Ritchey (Greencastle-Antrim/Greencastle) passed out a season-high 55 assists in the match.
Defensively, Tara McMinn (Huntingdon/Huntingdon) led all players with 21 digs, while Erin Albert (Philipsburg-Osceola/Philipsburg) had a team-high six blocks. Kristi Fitzsimmons (Diamond Ranch/Pomona, Ca.) finished with a match-high five aces in the contest.
Juniata?s win over NYU marked the Eagles fifth win of the season over teams ranked in the Division III top-25.
Juniata opened the day with a convincing 30-8, 30-10, 30-20 win over Franklin & Marshall.
Laucks was again the most productive attacker for the Blue and Gold as she provided 12 kills. Brittany Carr (Titusville/Titusville) added six kills for the Eagles.
Fitzsimmons and Carr both had two aces for Juniata in the match, while Fitzsimmons topped the team with 10 digs. Cassie Dickman (Unionville/Kennett Square) was tops on the team with four blocks.

Ritchey again handled the setting duties for Juniata and finished with 28 assists.

The Eagles look to continue their winning streak on Saturday as they take on Carnegie Mellon and Eastern on the second day of the Guisler Tournament.

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