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Volleyball Wins Regional Championship

(Posted November 12, 2005)

Huntingdon, PA ? The Juniata College women?s volleyball team rode a balanced offensive effort to a 3-0 win over Eastern University in the NCAA Division III Women?s Volleyball Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship match. With the victory Juniata (34-1) advances to the NCAA Quarterfinal against Colby College which claimed the New England Regional Championship. The quarterfinal will be played on Thursday in Salem, Va. Eastern closes its season with a record of 32-6 after reaching the regional championship for the third-consecutive season. Juniata earned the win by game scores of 30-25, 30-21, 30-26.

Eastern rallied after Juniata jumped to an early 8-2 lead on back-to-back kills from Stephanie Kines. Eastern closed to within one at 17-16 after a kill from Emma Klein. Juniata countered by scoring four of the next six points, capped by a Kristi Fitzsimmons ace. The visitors again climbed within one point, trailing just 23-22 after a Chelsea Lyon finish. But Juniata found answers and scored seven of the final ten points, with kills from Rachael Schatz and Kines helping Juniata claim the win.

With the score tied at nine points apiece in game two a double block from Jessica Ritchey and Kines capped a Juniata run by putting the home team in front 15-11. Eastern inched back within three at 16-13 but Juniata pulled away with a seven-point surge featuring a pair of double blocks and two kills from Amber Thomas. Thomas added another pair of kills late to help Juniata post the 30-21 win.

Game three was a nip-and-tuck affair with Juniata holding no more than a four point lead at any point in the game. Eastern inched within one at 22-21 following a Juniata error. The teams exchanged points to make the score 25-23 Juniata after a kill from Eastern?s Megan McCalip. The home team then put the game away with a five point run, sparked by a kill from Thomas. Kara Hildebrand kept Eastern alive with a kill, but Schatz closed the match with the team?s final kill.

Juniata finished with four players in doubles figures in kills, with Schatz leading the way with 14. Thomas and Katie Laucks both added 12 finishes for the Eagles while Kines contributed 11 finishes. Ritchey passed out 48 assists for the Eagles and also led the team with three aces. Tara McMinn finished with a team-high 22 digs, while Kines led all players with six blocks.

Klein was the top Eastern attacker as she notched 11 kills while also leading the team with 10 digs. Hildebrand finished with eight digs for the Eagles. Lyon passed out 30 assists and also had 10 digs, while Mandy Platt led the team with three blocks.

Juniata and Colby met earlier this season at the McDaniel Invitational, with Juniata earning a 3-1 victory in the match.

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