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Eagles Volleyball Opens Postseason With Win

(Posted November 2, 2005)

Kristi Fitzsimmons led Juniata with four aces and 11 digs to help the Eagles top Moravian 3-0 in Commonwealth postseason action.

Juniata 3, Moravian 0

Huntingdon, Pa. ? The Juniata College women?s volleyball team got its postseason off on the right foot with a convincing 3-0 win over Moravian College in a Commonwealth Conference semifinal Wednesday night in Huntingdon. Juniata, which is the top seed in the four-team conference postseason, advances to the championship match which will be played on Saturday. Juniata will host second-seed Lebanon Valley in the championship match after the Flying Dutchmen topped third-seed Elizabethtown College 3-0 in the other semifinal. The Eagles improved to 32-1 with the victory, while Moravian fell to 21-10 with the set-back.

Moravian was the only conference team to extend Juniata to a fourth game during the regular season, but the Eagles finished things in three game on Wednesday, claiming the match by game scores of 30-13, 30-15, 30-19.

Juniata used a strong service game, particularly by freshman Kristi Fitzsimmons (Diamond Ranch/Pomona, Calif.) and Abby Leonard (Shade/Johnstown) to help limit the Greyhounds to a -.048 hitting percentage. The Eagles finished with 11 aces on the match as Fitzsimmons produced three and Leonard tossed in two.

The freshman defensive specialist helped Juniata jump out to big leads in each of the three games. In game one, she served five-consecutive points to help the Eagles to an early 7-2 advantage. In the second game it was a seven-point serving run from Fitzsimmons that gave Juniata a 10-3 edge. Finally in game three early runs from Leonard and Fitzsimmons gave the Eagles a 12-4 cushion early in the game.

Amber Thomas (Conestoga Valley/Ephrata) was the top attacker for the Eagles as she produced 14 kills. Katie Laucks add 11 finishes for the Blue and Gold. Jessica Ritchey (Greencastle-Antrim/Greencastle) passed out 26 assists in two games, while Beth Kozak (Huntingdon/Huntingdon) set game three and finished with 12 assists.

Fitzsimmons also led the team?s defensive effort with a team-high 12 digs. Tara McMinn (Huntingdon/Huntingdon) was also in double figures with 10. Stephanie Kines (Towson/Towson, Md.) finished with six blocks to lead Juniata?s defense at the net.

For Moravian, Kelly Bauer was tops with five kills. Valerie Korsak dished out 14 assists and had 10 digs. Bauer led all players with 16 digs in the match.

Juniata will be looking for its 25th-consecutive conference championship in Saturday?s championship match. The winner of the Commonwealth Championship earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

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