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Women's volleyball puts the hammer to Cal Vulcans, 3-1

(Posted October 20, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College women's volleyball team posted its second win over a Division II opponents this season with a 3-1 win over California University of Pennsylvania, Tuesday night at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center in Huntingdon, Pa.

Set scores for the Eagles were 25-21, 28-30, 26-24, and 25-22.

Juniata (24-2) narrowly outhit California, .342 to .321, in a hard-fought see-saw contest that saw few long point runs for either squad, but plenty of momentum stopping side-out points.

"There were so many times when we were on the bench saying if we can just score this next serving point, I think we can put this away. And invariably, Cal would side out real fast at those times," said Juniata head coach Larry Bock. "They have such an ability to put the ball on the floor quickly, that we had to work a little bit harder in transition and counter-attacking."

Sophomore outside hitter Drew Barnhart (Titusville, Pa./Titusville) led a trio of Juniata players who finished with double-digit kill totals, as she collected 18 kills on 31 swings for a .516 attack percentage. Senior opposite Paige Johnston (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) was equally efficient on the right side, racking up 17 kills on 32 swings for a .500 hitting clip while adding four service aces.

Freshman middle Kelsey Fuller (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion) logged 14 kills on 45 swings, but also had nine attack errors and finished with a .111 attack rate.

Steph Strauss (Penn Hills, Pa./Penn Hills) logged 57 assists on Juniata 69 kills, while six kills of her own with seven digs and one block. Megan Sollenberger (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) had 19 digs, with Johnston turning up 10.

"Megan Sollenberger, as well as Molly Sollenberger (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley), had control of the first contacts, and Steph Strauss set a terrific match so we were in control of our second contacts, and Paige Johnston and Drew Barnhart came up big at all the right times," said Bock. "It was a slugfest, and that was a very, very good team. We were real fortunate to get a win there; Cal's a final eight Division II team, and they've been pretty unstoppable since their setter came back from an injury."

Cal countered with 19 terminations off the arm of outside hitter Joanna Nist, while outside hitter Ashley Moore tallied 10 kills. Setter Renata da Silva, a Division II AVCA All-American last season, had 53 assists.

Juniata held middle Ludmila Amaral, another Division III All-America honoree last season, to seven kills and a .087 hitting percentage.

The Eagles' victory extended their current winning streak to 12 matches, while snapping the Vulcans' 15-match win streak.

Juniata, ranked second in this week's AVCA Division III Top 25 coaches poll, returns to action this Friday, Oct. 23, when it hosts Carnegie Mellon University in the annual Wid Guisler Invitational.

For a video recap of this match, click here.

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