(Posted November 8, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The top-seeded Juniata College women's volleyball team delivered its 28th consecutive conference championship on Saturday, knocking off third-seeded Susquehanna University, 3-0, in the 2008 Landmark Conference Championship match at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center in Huntingdon, Pa.

Set scores in the victory were 25-21, 25-6, and 25-19, and gave Juniata its 94th straight conference tournament victory dating back to 1980.

The Eagles (31-4) were led by Amber Thomas (Ephrata, Pa./Conestoga Valley) with 12 kills on 30 swings, while Cassie Dickmann (Kennett Square, Pa./Unionville) recorded seven kills. Beth Kozak (Huntingdon, Pa./Huntingdon Area) guided the offense with 21 assists to go with her seven digs, while Megan Sollenberger (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) had 13 digs to go with three service aces. Paige Johnston (Lancaster, Pa./Hempfield) had a pair of blocks for the Eagles,

"We had some good moments, but I suspect I interrupted the rhythm of the contest by doing some strange substituting in the third game," said Juniata head coach Larry Bock. "But Susquehanna played well and showed great spirit and our kids had to play very well and do the right things to score points. We had to earn every game."

Juniata, ranked second in the nation in the AVCA Division III poll, will host an NCAA Regional at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center on November 13-15. Pairings for the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship will be announced on Monday, Nov. 10.

Juniata broke open close contest in the first set, recording five straight points off Kozak's serve to eventually take a 19-13 lead and hold the Crusaders at bay the rest of the way.

The Eagles dominated the second set, jumping out to a 9-1 lead thanks to Kozak's serving. Thomas had three kills and a block during the run. Juniata clinched the set with four straight points with Megan Sollenberger serving, including three attack errors by the Crusaders.

Susquehanna rallied from a 6-1 deficit in game three, eventually pulling even with the Eagles at 9-9. The Crusaders took advantage of a pair of Juniata errors and a kill by Alexandra Dowling to grab a 13-11 lead, but Juniata answered with a Thomas kill and an attack error by Lindsey Jankiewicz to knot the game at 13-13.

The set continued to be a one-point affair through 18-18, when the Eagles pulled ahead on a kill by Michelle Morchesky (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield) and a bad set by Susquehanna's Lacey Chase to take a 20-18 lead. Juniata won five of the last six points to seal the win, with a kill by Erin Albert (Philipsburg, Pa./Philipsburg-Osceola) securing the win.

Earlier in the day, Juniata dispatched fourth-seeded Moravian College in a semifinal match up, 3-0. Set scores were 25-13, 25-8, and 25-12.

The Eagles were led in the Moravian victory by Thomas with 17 kills and Albert with 12. Drew Barnhart (Titusville, Pa./Titusville) also finished in double figures with 10 kills. Both Albert and Barnhart had three blocks. Megan Sollenberger had 12 digs, with Kozak tallying 19 assists.


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