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Eagle WVB flies past #5 Carthage; falls to #1 Wittenberg

(Posted October 26, 2007)

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - The Juniata College women\'s volleyball team faced perhaps its toughest test of the 2007 season, going up against top-ranked Wittenberg University on its own floor on the first day of the Wittenberg Fall Classic, and eventually falling to the Tigers, 3-1, in front of a packed house of 1,400 fans at the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Center in Springfield, Ohio. Game scores were 30-23, 30-20, 28-30, and 30-17. The game four loss marked the first time this season that Juniata had been held to under 20 points in anything other than a fifth game. \"In think Wittenberg played us very well. They were very physical, and we just didn\'t respond,\" said Larry Bock, Juniata\'s head women\'s volleyball coach. \"We identified the weak spots. Blocking has been a concern in the latter half of the season, and when the blocking goes bad you\'re putting a lot of pressure on yourself to dig a lot of balls,\" added Bock. Juniata (30-4, 6-0 Landmark) recorded just seven blocks in the four-game Wittenberg match, including two solo blocks and three total blocks by Erin Albert (Philipsburg, Pa./Philipsburg-Osceola). Wittenberg picked up 17 team blocks on their way to the victory. Amber Thomas (Ephrata, Pa./Conestoga Valley) led Juniata in kills against the Tigers with 17, while Albert added 12 terminations. As a team, the Eagles posted a .120 attack percentage - far below their season average of .294. Megan Sollenberger (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) finished with 35 digs, just four shy of her season high of 35 set against Washington University (Mo.). Jessica Ritchey (Greencastle, Pa./Greencastle-Antrim) logged 19 digs. Beth Kozak (Huntingdon, Pa./Huntingdon Area) recorded 40 assists. \"We had a mirror held up against us tonight, and it was an instructive kind of match,\" summed up Bock. In the tourney opener, the Juniata offense was firing on all cylinders as the Eagles cruised past fifth-ranked Carthage College, 3-0. Game scores were 30-25, 30-25, and 30-25. Juniata logged a .305 attack percentage for the match, led by Thomas\' 22 kills and .422 attack rate. Albert finished with 12 kills on her 17 total attacks, a .647 attack percentage. Four Eagles logged double-digit dig totals, led by Megan Sollenberger with 17. Ritchey had 15 digs, while Molly Sollenberger (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) finished with 14 and Kozak dug up 13 balls. Juniata managed just four service aces against 21 service errors over Friday\'s two matches. The Eagles return to action on Saturday against a pair of unranked foes. Juniata will face the University of Dallas at 11:00 a.m., followed by a rematch against Carnegie Mellon at 5:00 p.m. -30-

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