(Posted August 26, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The defending Landmark Conference champion Juniata College women's volleyball squad was picked to repeat in 2008, according to a preseason poll of the league's coaches and sports information directors released Tuesday.

Juniata was the top selection on every ballot, and earned 66 points in the voting.

Trailing the Eagles were Catholic University, who edged the University of Scranton for second place in the poll with 51 points. The Royals were third with 50 points. Goucher College finished fourth in the voting with 39 points, followed by Moravian College (29 points), Susquehanna University (26 points), and the United States Merchant Marine Academy (12 points).

Juniata reached the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship semifinals last season, falling to Wisconsin-Whitewater in the semis. The Eagles finished the season with a 37-5 overall record, making their 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Juniata returns the services of AVCA Division III Player of the Year and Landmark Conference Player of the Year Amber Thomas (Ephrata, Pa./Conestoga Valley), along with All-American setter Beth Kozak (Huntingdon, Pa./Huntingdon Area) and All-American libero Megan Sollenberger (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley). Also returning to the lineup are All-Landmark Conference selections Paige Johnston (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) and Erin Albert (Philipsburg, Pa./Philipsburg-Osceola).

Juniata opens its 2008 season on Friday, Aug. 29, when it hosts Salisbury University at 7:00 p.m. in the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center. The Eagles follow up with a game against no. 17 Stevens on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.

Complete preseason poll results are listed below:

2008 Preseason Women's Volleyball Poll

1. Juniata College - 66 pts.
2. Catholic University - 51 pts.
3. University of Scranton - 50 pts.
4. Goucher College - 39 pts.
5. Moravian College - 29 pts.
6. Susquehanna University - 26 pts.
7. United States Merchant Marine Academy - 12 pts.


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.