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Women's volleyball falls to fourth-ranked Emory in Wid Guisler Invitational

(Posted October 22, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Emory University took advantage of some sluggish Juniata College hitting on its way to a 3-1 win over Juniata, in Friday night's second match of the 2010 Wid Guisler Invitational women's volleyball tournament at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center.

Set scores for Emory were 25-23, 19-25, 25-12, and 26-24.

Juniata (24-4), ranked number one in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll for the first time this season, hit just .220 for the match, despite recording 61 kills to Emory's 53. Juniata was undermined by its 25 attack errors - in effect handing a complete set to fourth-ranked Emory.

Junior outside hitter Drew Barnhart (Titusville, Pa./Titusville) finished with 16 kills while hitting .190 for the match, while middle hitter Kristin Noetzel (Closter, N.J./Northern Valley Regional) put away 13 terminations with a .290 attack clip. Sophomore opposite Kelsey Fuller (Red Lion, Pa./Red Lion) finished in double-digits in kills (11) and digs (11), and paced the offense with her .296 hitting percentage.

Senior setter Steph Strauss (Verona, Pa./Penn Hills) tallied 48 assists while running the Juniata offense, and also had 10 digs. Libby Morrison (Portland, Ore./Oregon Episcopal School) had 26 digs on the night.

Emory (21-4) also had three hitters in double figures, led by Jessica McAlvany's 16 kills. Middle hitter Breanah Bourque had 12 kills with 10 digs and four blocks, and had a match-high 16.5 points. Setter Natalie Schonefeld also had four blocks, to go with her 45 assists, while middle Alexandra Wright also had four blocks in addition to seven kills. Senior pin hitter Amelia McCall tallied 10 assists on the night.

Juniata had its chances to force the deciding fifth set by taking set four, but were unable to hold onto its early 9-3 lead. Emory eventually caught Juniata at 11-11 on a Schonefeld service ace, but Juniata regained the lead on a Fuller kill. Two straight side out points advanced the score to 13-12 in Juniata's favor, and Juniata pulled away from there.

JC's advantage reached 23-19 following a bad set by Schonefeld, but four straight Emory points knotted the set a 23-23. A Noetzel kill put Juniata on set point, only to see Emory regain the lead on one of Alena Ransom's seven kills of the evening. Back-to-back Juniata attack errors allowed Emory to take the set and clinch the win.

Juniata will face Williams College (16-8) at 11:00 am in Saturday's continuing action at the Wid Guisler Invitational, with a clash against fifth-ranked Eastern University (22-1) awaiting at 5:00 p.m.

The day's first match, Eastern knocked off Williams in five sets, by set scores of 23-25, 25-8, 21-25, 25-13, and 15-4.

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