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Juniata women's volleyball opens 2009 campaign with win over Dickinson

(Posted September 4, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa.-- Second-ranked Juniata College hit .311 for the match while racking up 55 kills on its way to a 3-1 win over Dickinson College, in Friday afternoon's opener of the 2009 Asics Invitational at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center. Set scores for the Eagles were 25-8, 25-10, 19-25, and 25-11.

Sophomore outside hitter Drew Barnhart (Titusville, Pa./Titusville) paced the Eagles with the 10 kills on 18 swings. Newcomer Kelsey Fuller (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion) put down nine terminations on 23 swings in her collegiate debut, while junior Kristin Noetzel (Closter, N.J./Northern Valley Regional) recorded eight kills.

Juniata (1-0) recorded nine service aces, including three by Megan Sollenberger (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) and two by Barnhart. Sollenberger led the Eagles with 28 of the team's 63 digs, while Fuller turned up 10 digs.

Juniata breezed through the opening set on its .480 hitting, while holding Dickinson to a -.138 attack percentage. The Eagles opened on a 5-0 run on the serving of Steph Strauss (Penn Hills, Pa./Penn Hills), with kills by Barnhart and Paige Johnston (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) during the run. Juniata clinched the set with a nine-point run with Sollenberger serving, that left the Eagles with a 21-5 lead.

The second set was more of the same by the Eagles, with Juniata opening the set with an 8-0 run. Ashley Schnader (Reinholds, Pa./Garden Spot), Johnston and Fuller each had kills during the run. The Eagles notched six of the set's final seven points to wrap up the set two victory, with a Johnston kill clinching the win.

Dickinson (0-1) rallied for its only set victory in the third frame, posting a team high .219 attack percentage in the set. The Red Devils broke a 9-9 tie with back-to-back Eagle attack errors, with a Michelle Morchesky (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield Area) kill briefly stopping the Dickinson run. Dickinson slowly pulled away from Juniata from there, eventually sealing set three with a Kristen Lee kill.

Juniata had to battle back in the fourth set, rebounding from a 4-2 deficit to eventually tie the set at 4-4 on a Strauss kill. A pair of Amanda Schmidt (Boswell, Pa./North Star) kills sandwiched around one by Fuller widened the Eagle lead to 7-4, and a Morchesky ace expanded Juniata's advantage to 8-4. The Eagles went on to close out the match with the final five points of the set, closing the match with a Barnhart kill.

Juniata plays its second match of the 2009 Asics Invitational later on Friday evening, when its hosts 23rd-ranked Eastern University at 8:00 p.m. The Juniata-Eastern contest will be a rematch of the 2008 NCAA Juniata Regional championship, which was won by Juniata.

For a video recap of this game, click here.

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