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Juniata WVB fights off challenge from upstart Christopher Newport to complete two-match sweep at CNU Invite

(Posted October 9, 2009)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- The Juniata College women's volleyball notched an easy win over one opponent but had to battle away a challenge from the host squad, to escape the first day of competition at the Christopher Newport University Invitational with a pair of victories.

Second-ranked Juniata (17-2) began the day with a 3-0 win over Randolph-Macon College, by set scores of 25-20, 25-16, and 25-23.

Sophomore outside hitter Drew Barnhart (Titusville, Pa./Titusville) and junior setter Steph Strauss (Penn Hills, Pa./Penn Hills) each recorded seven kills to lead the Eagles offensively. Senior libero Megan Sollenberger (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) turned up 22 digs, while freshman middle Ashley Schnader (Reinholds, Pa./Garden Spot) chipped in with a pair of blocks.

The Eagles finished the day by going into extra points on the fifth set before knocking off Christopher Newport, 3-2. Set scores for Juniata were 23-25, 28-26, 25-27, 25-14, and 16-14.

Junior middle Kristin Noetzel (Closter, N.J./Northern Valley Regional) paced the offense with 16 kills and four blocks, followed by Barnhart with 14 kills and four blocks.

Sollenberger logged 29 digs, and had one service ace - which came on match point.

Senior opposite Paige Johnston (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) tallied 19 digs, while Strauss recorded 59 assists while playing all five sets.

Juniata completes play in the CNU Invitational on Saturday against the University of Mary Washington and Salisbury University.

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