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Volleyball Downs Lebanon Valley For Conference Title

(Posted November 5, 2005)

Stephanie Kines was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2005 Commonwealth Conference postseason.

Juniata 3, Lebanon Valley 0

Huntingdon, Pa. ? The Juniata College women?s volleyball team claimed its 25th-consecutive conference championship, and earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament that goes with it as the Eagles downed Lebanon Valley 3-0 in the Commonwealth Championship match in Huntingdon Saturday afternoon. The victory moved Juniata to 33-1 on the season, while Lebanon Valley fell to 26-6.

The Eagles will begin NCAA play in the Mid-Atlantic Regional, which will be hosted by Juniata, beginning Thursday November 10.

On this night, the Eagles continued their run atop the Commonwealth by topping the Flying Dutchmen by game scores of 30-15, 30-14 and 30-24. Lebanon Valley was making its first-ever appearance in the conference championship match.

The Eagles jumped out to early leads in games one and two, but were forced to come from behind in the third game. Trailing by as many as five points early on, the Eagles used a seven-point run, keyed by the serving of Abby Leonard (Shade/Johnstown) and the offense of Stephanie Kines (Towson/Towson, Md.) to move in front for good. The visitors made a late run, scoring four consecutive points with Juniata a point away from the victory, before a kill from Kines sealed the match.

Kines finished with 12 kills, four blocks and five digs en route to earning Tournament Most Valuable Player honors. Katie Laucks (West York/York) and Amber Thomas (Conestoga Valley/Ephrata) both produced a team-high 14 kills. Leonard led the team with four aces, while Thomas provided a team-best 12 digs. Jessica Ritchey (Greencastle-Antrim/Greencastle) and Beth Kozak (Huntingdon/Huntingdon) split the setting duties as Ritchey finished with 28 assists and Kozak notched 20. The pair helped Juniata hit .400 as a team in the match.

Natalie Goodfellow was the top attacker for the Flying Dutchmen as she finished with seven kills. Cat Roth passed out 21 assists for the visitors, while Brandi Roth had 12 digs.

Juniata is the defending Division III National Champion, and will be appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the 25th season. The Eagles are the only Division III team to have earned a berth in each NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.

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