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Volleyball Tops Muskingum In Four Games

(Posted September 2, 2006)

Amber Thomas pounded out a career-high 29 kills to help Juniata earn its fourth victory of the season as the Eagles topped Muskingum.

Juniata 3, Gettysburg 0 Juniata 3, Muskingum 1 Huntingdon, Pa. ?The Juniata College women?s volleyball team continued exactly where it left off Friday night as the Eagles posted a 3-0 win over Gettysburg in their opening match and then took care of Muskingum 3-1 in the final match of the 2006 ASICS Invitational Saturday afternoon in Huntingdon. Juniata closed the season-opening event with four victories. In their second and final match of the day the Muskingum College came bursting out of the gates with a strong challenge as they took an early 5-1 lead in game one. Juniata would fight its way back into the game but ultimately fell short as the Muskies came away with a 34-32 game one victory. From there Juniata would ride the hot hitting of sophomore Amber Thomas (Conestoga Valley/Ephrata) who knocked out a career-high 29 kills to help Juniata bounce back and take the final three games 30-25, 30-22 and 30-27. Thomas led all with her 29 kills while hitting an impressive .583 and adding 12 digs. Senior middle hitter Stephanie Kines (Towson/Towson, Md.) and sophomore outside hitter Brittany Carr (Titusville/Titusville) both contributed 15 kills. Jessica Ritchey (Greencastle-Antrim/Greencastle) dished out a game high 67 assists to lead the Blue and Gold offense. Juniata had six players reach double figures in digs with Beth Kozak (Huntingdon/Huntingdon) matching Carr with a team-high 17. Erin Albert (Philipsburg-Osceola/Philipsburg) had a team-high four blocks. Muskingum had 13 kills from Allie Buckhor in the match along with 11 finishes from Amanda Hawkins. Jessica Gromes passed out 46 assists for the Muskies while Elizabeth Guinsler led all players with 32 digs. The play from Thomas and Kines in the finale helped the two of them earn a spot on the All-Tournament Team. Joining them from Wittenberg University was outside hitter Emily Bell and libero Laura Fender. Muskingum placed Hawkins and Guinsler on the All-Tournament squad. In the first match of the day Juniata jumped out early lead against Gettysburg and never looked back. As a team, the Blue and Gold hit .447 in game one while holding Gettysburg to a negative .029 hitting percentage, helping the Eagles cruise to a 30-13 victory in game one. Juniata would be tested in both games two and three but proved to be too much for the Bullets as they went on to defeat Gettysburg by scores of 30-24 and 30-27. Two freshman lead the way for the Eagles as Paige Johnston (Hempfield/Lancaster) and Michelle Morchesky (Hempfield/Greensburg) pounded out 10 and 11 kills respectively. Ritchey guided the offense as she passed out 26 assists in the match. Cassie Dickmann (Unionville/Kennet Square) led all Juniata blockers as she tallied three for the match. Defensively Megan Sollenberger (Cumberland Valley/Mechanicsburg) had a team high 19 digs. Gettysburg was led offensively by Lauren Thul and Stephanie Rickabaugh as both attackers racked up seven kills apiece. Steph Vial played solid defensively as she led all players with 21 digs. Juniata resumes play on Tuesday when the Eagles travel hit the road to take on Division II foe Indiana University (Pa.). ###

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