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Women's volleyball favored to repeat as conference champs in Landmark preseason poll

(Posted August 20, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College women's volleyball team, two-time Landmark Conference champions, were tapped by the league's head coaches and sports information directors to make it three-in-a-row in 2009, according to the results of pre-season voting released Thursday.

Juniata tallied 60 points in the poll, followed by Susquehanna University second with 52 points. The voting was tight at the third and fourth spots with Moravian College placing third with 35 points, just one point ahead of fourth place Catholic University with 34 points.

The University of Scranton was fifth with 31 points, with Goucher College (30 points) in sixth and Merchant Marine (10 points) in seventh place.

The Eagles finished their 2008 campaign with a 35-5 record, and advanced to the national semifinals of the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship. Juniata graduated five seniors off last year's squad, including a two-time AVCA Division III Player of the Year, but return a pair of All-Americans in senior libero Megan Sollenberger (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) and junior setter Steph Strauss (Penn Hills, Pa./Penn Hills).

Juniata, ranked second in the AVCA Division III poll, opens its 2009 season on Friday, Sept. 4, with the first two matches of the Asics Invitational at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center. The Eagles face Franklin & Marshall at 4:00 p.m., followed by a clash with 23rd-ranked Eastern University at 8:00 p.m. The Juniata-Eastern battle will be a rematch of last season's NCAA Regional championship, also hosted by Juniata College.

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