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Eastern Tops Gettysburg In NCAA Regional Semifinal

(Posted November 11, 2005)

Huntingdon, PA - For the third-consecutive season the Eastern University women's volleyball team has advanced to the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship this time on the strength of a 3-0 win over Gettysburg College in Huntingdon, Pa. Friday night. It also marked the third-straight year the Eagles have eliminated Gettysburg in the Regional Semifinal. Eastern (32-5) will move on the play the winner of semifinal between fourth-seed Gallaudet University and top-seed Juniata College. Gettysburg closes its season with a record of 21-13.

In a tightly-contested match, Eastern was able to make plays down the stretch of each game to claim the 31-29, 30-26, 30-28 victory.

The Eagles seemed to have game one in hand after an Emma Klein kill gave Eastern a 26-22 advantage. But Gettysburg countered with a four point run with a kill from Mandy Platt tying the score at 26. The teams then exchanged side outs before Gettysburg took a 29-28 lead on a Lauren Thul finish. Eastern responded by scoring the next three points, on three kills from Kara Hildebrand to earn the 31-29 win.

Game two turned on another Eastern run late in the game. A double block from Jayme Massey and Shannan Smith put Gettysburg comfortably in front 22-18. A kill from Meghan McCalip then sparked an eight-point Eastern run which gave the home team a 26-22 edge. Gettysburg would pull back within two points, but Eastern sealed the game with block from Chelsea Lyon and Mandy Platt.

Gettysburg was in position to earn a win late in game three as well, but Eastern again made the plays at the end. The Bullets twice took two-point advantages late in the game, leading 27-25 and 28-26 with a pair of late kills from Thul. The Eagles then scored the final four points with a pair of kills from Jacey Bray, the final one sending Eastern to the regional championship.

Hildebrand led all players with 17 kills in the match, with Klein adding 16. Lyon passed out 41 assists and was one of four Eagles in doubles figures with 10 digs. Bray paced the team with 13 digs, while Platt was tops on the team with four blocks.

Katie Heffner was the leading attacker for the Bullets as she produced 11 kills. Erica Rau added nine in her final collegiate match while Thul and Massey both had eight. Smith finished with 40 assists in leading the Gettysburg offense. Steph Vial had three aces and a match-high 19 digs. Gettysburg out-dug Eastern 74-70 with senior Margaret Hallahan adding 14 digs in the defensive effort.

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