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Juniata volleyball advances to NCAA quarterfinals with win over Haverford

(Posted November 10, 2007)

HAVERFORD, Pa. - The Juniata College women\'s volleyball team earned its way through to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division III Women\'s Volleyball Championship with a 3-0 win over 16th-ranked Haverford College, Saturday evening at Haverford College in Haverford, Pa. Game scores in the match were 30-19, 30-12, and 30-14. After struggling through five games to put away unranked Christopher Newport University (Va.) on Friday afternoon in the regional semifinals, the Eagles (36-4) dominated Saturday\'s match from start to finish, completing the rout of Haverford (31-2) in just an hour and ten minutes. Juniata set the tone for the night early, posting a .459 attack percentage in the opening game. The Eagles opened with a 4-0 lead off serving by Megan Sollenberger (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley). Amber Thomas (Ephrata, Pa./Conestoga Valley) logged eight of her game-high 22 kills in the first game, including the game-winning point. Paige Johnston (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) had five kills in the opening frame, while Megan Sollenberger had a pair of service aces. The Eagles used another run to take charge of game two, this time taking the score from 8-2 all the way to 17-3 during service by Jessica Ritchey (Greencastle, Pa./Greencastle-Antrim) and Molly Sollenberger (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley). Erin Albert (Philipsburg, Pa./Philipsburg-Osceola) logged four kills during that span, to go with her service ace later in game two. Brittany Carr (Titusville, Pa./Titusville) wrapped up the game two win with a kill, one of two in the game and six for the match. Game three opened with Juniata seizing an 11-2 advantage, including a pair of Molly Sollenberger service aces. The Eagle defense helped close out the game and the match; three of Juniata\'s final six points came due to blocks, including the match point, with Albert having a hand in all three. Albert posted nine kills during the match, with four total blocks. Megan Sollenberger finished with a game-high 20 digs to go with five assists and two service aces, while Ritchey had 13 digs. Beth Kozak (Huntingdon, Pa./Huntingdon Area) tallied 41 set assists and nine digs. As a team, Juniata posted a .345 attack percentage, while holding the Fords to a -.027 hitting clip. Laura Nuyen was Haverford\'s top offensive threat with six kills; no Ford player finished in double-digits in either kills or digs. The win allows Juniata to advance to the \"elite eight\" round of the NCAA tournament for the 27th consecutive year. The Eagles will face Amherst College (30-4, 9-1 NESCAC) in a quarterfinal matchup on Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Shirk Center on the campus of Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Ill. Game time for that match will be 3:30 p.m. Central Time. The Lord Jeffs advanced after posting a 3-1 upset victory over Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 30-25, 30-16, 24-30, and 30-23. -30-

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