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Four Eagles earn slots on AVCA All-America teams

(Posted November 18, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Four members of the Juniata College women's volleyball team were named to American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America teams for 2008, when the squads were released Tuesday afternoon.

Senior outside hitter Amber Thomas (Ephrata, Pa./Conestoga Valley) was a First team All-America selection for the third year in a row, joining Christy Orndorff (1991-95) as only the second Juniata student-athlete to earn All-America honors all four years of their athletic career. Thomas was a Third team All-American in 2005 as a freshman. Thomas, the Landmark Conference Player of the Year in 2007 and 2008, is averaging 3.81 kills, 2.15 digs, and 0.42 blocks per set, and is currently sixth among Juniata's all-time kills leaders (1,703).

Junior libero Megan Sollenberger (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) earned Second team All-America honors, along with sophomore setter Steph Strauss (Penn Hills, Pa./Penn Hills). Sollenberger, who was a Second team All-American in 2007, is averaging 4.86 digs per set, and leads the Eagles with 44 service aces. She is currently third among Juniata's career digs leaders with 2,076. Strauss is a first-time selection to the AVCA All-America teams, and becomes Juniata's 34th All-American in women's volleyball, 109th overall. She is averaging 5.20 assists this season, to go with 1.25 kills and 0.52 blocks.

Senior setter Beth Kozak (Huntingdon, Pa./Huntingdon Area) made her second career appearance on the AVCA All-America teams as an Honorable Mention selection. A Second team All-American last season, Kozak averaged 5.24 assists this season with 1.98 digs.

Juniata (34-4) won its 28th consecutive conference championship when it defeated Susquehanna University for the Landmark Conference title, then earned an NCAA tournament berth as an at-large selection. The Eagles defeated Eastern University to win their NCAA Regional, and will face the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (40-2) in a national quarterfinal match on Thursday, Nov. 20, at 1 p.m. (CST) at the Shirk Center in Bloomington, Ill.

The AVCA will announce its 2008 Division III Player of the Year at the NCAA national championship banquet on Wednesday, Nov. 19.

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