(Posted November 9, 2006)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - The top-ranked Juniata College women\'s volleyball team got its NCAA Tournament play off to a strong start with a 3-0 victory over Mary Baldwin College in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Mid-Atlantic Regional. Juniata raised its record to 36-1 and will face Eastern University Friday night in an NCAA regional semifinal. Mary Baldwin ends its season with a record of 17-18 with the loss. The Eagles used a strong service game and a balanced offensive attack to claim the 30-11, 30-13, 30-18 victory in the contest. Juniata had 12 serve aces in the match, and had limited Mary Baldwin to a -.180 hitting percentage. The Eagles wasted little time taking control as a service ace and serving run from Megan Sollenberger (Cumberland Valley/Mechanicsburg) put Juniata in front 11-4. Amber Thomas (Conestoga Valley/Ephrata) continued the team\'s hot start with another ace that put Juniata in front 24-6 and led to the 30-11 win. The serving again was the difference in game two, with the Eagles racing out to a 20-6 lead when Mariel Little (Walled Lake Central/Commerce, Mich.) tossed in six service aces to spark a 10-0 run that put the game out of reach. Game three was the tightest in the match but the Eagles again took control in the early going as a Brittany Carr (Titusville/Titusville) kill started a 9-1 Juniata spurt that left the score at 12-4 in favor of the Eagles. Mary Baldwin pulled back into the match, cutting the lead to four after a Colena Roberts service ace. The Squirrels hung around keeping the margin to four or five points before the Eagles pulled away behind several late kills from Aly Pompeani (Hopewell/Aliquippa) to earn the 30-18 win. Pompeani led the Eagles with nine kills in the match and hit a robust .500. Megan Lamens (Berlin Brothersvalley/Schellsburg) and Michelle Morchesky (Hempfield/Greensburg) each added five finishes for Juniata. Beth Kozak (Huntingdon/Huntingdon) had 15 aces in two games for the Eagles, while Kristi Fitzsimmons (Diamond Ranch/Pomona, Calif.) passed out 12 assists. Megan Sollenberger paced Juniata with seven digs, while Little contributed a team-high six aces. Lamens and Erin Albert (Philipsburg-Osceola/Philpsburg) both added three blocks for Juniata\'s defense. Mary Baldwin was led by Roberts offensively as she produced five kills. Kim Clum passed out 12 assists for the team. Kristin Guffey was tops on the squad with nine digs. Juniata and Eastern have met each of the past four seasons in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championship match, but will square off in a regional semifinal this season. ###

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