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Eagles roll past Hiram College, begin season 3-0

(Posted September 5, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Juniata College women's volleyball team used a .357 hitting attack to take down Hiram College (3-1) to continue the 2009 Asics Invitational on day two of the tournament. The Eagles swept the three game set inside the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center on Saturday morning by scores of 25-16, 25-13, and 25-15. Juniata is now 3-0 to open the 2009 season.

The first set started quickly for the Eagles, who jumped out to a 4-0 lead with Megan Sollenberger (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) serving. Another five-point stretch extended their lead to 10-3 with Drew Barnhart (Titusville, Pa./Titusville) serving, finishing with three aces during that stretch. The set was put out of reach with a 10-4 rally by the Eagles to finish off Hiram 25-16. As a team, the Eagles hit .355 for the set with five kills coming from both Barnhart and Kelsey Fuller (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion).

The second set was a complete one by Juniata (3-0) who had a 50 percent kill to attempt ratio. Once again, the Eagles sprinted out of the gates and opened a 10-4 lead. Michelle Morchesky (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield-Greensburg) served six consecutive times late in the match to essentially put it away 22-12. Barnhart finished off the set with two of her team high 13 kills.

Heading into the third set up 2-0, the Eagles had their least proficient set, but still yielded the same result. Juniata only hit .243 as a team, but was able to hold the Terriers to a .061 hitting clip. The set was in arm's reach for Hiram, but a late surge by the Eagles saw the game go from 13-9 to 25-15 to end the set and match.

Leading the way for the Eagles was Barnhart with her 13 kills, Fuller who finished with 11 kills and Paige Johnston (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) who put the ball on the court eight times. Sollenberger finished with 12 digs and right behind her was Morchesky, Fuller, and Steph Strauss (Penn Hills, Pa./Penn Hills) with nine each. Strauss also led the team in assists with 33.

Juniata is back in action this afternoon in the final game of the 2009 Asics Invitational against Ithaca College at 3 p.m.

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