(Posted November 15, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College middle hitter Erin Albert tallied 13 kills on a .545 hitting percentage and helped her Eagles to a 3-0 win over Eastern University, in Saturday's Regional Championship of the Division III Women's Volleyball Juniata Regional. Set scores were 25-6, 25-16, and 25-23.

Juniata (34-4) advances to the national quarterfinals, where the Eagles will face the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (40-2). The Titans survived their Regional Championship game with Carthage College, eventually posting a 3-2 win (25-23, 25-19, 16-25, 20-25, 15-10).

Albert logged seven kills on her first nine swings to open set one, helping Juniata build a 12-3 lead right out of the gate. Juniata finished the set by scoring 11 of the last 12 points, with a Steph Stauss kill clinching the Juniata win. Juniata pulled away from Eastern late in the second set on its way to the win; Juniata finished by winning seven straight points of the serve of Michelle Morchesky, with Amber Thomas logging three kills during that stretch.

Eastern (35-2) held a lead midway through the third set, grabbing an 8-6 lead after kills by Courtney Reinhold and Mary Poole, sandwiched around a Juniata attack error. The Eastern lead reached its widest at 18-12, following four straight Juniata errors.

Juniata eventually caught Eastern at 21-21 after a pair of kills by Paige Johnston and a single kill by Morchesky. Three straight side-out points left Juniata holding a 23-22 lead, and Morchesky tallied a pair of kills to seal the Juniata victory.

Thomas finished with 11 kills while Morchesky put down 10 kills on 20 swings. Setter Beth Kozak guided the offense on her 22 assists, with Strauss tallying 14 assists. Megan Sollenberger logged 21 digs, with Morchesky adding another 10 digs to go with three service aces.

Reinhold paced the Eastern attack with 11 kills on 33 swings, and turned up 11 digs. Setter Maria Horning had 22 assists.

Eastern's Reinhold and Horning were named to the Juniata Regional All-Tournament Team, as was Juniata's Thomas and Megan Sollenberger. Rounding out the All-Tournament squad was middle hitter Nicole Massarelli from Salisbury University, along with Carnegie Mellon University opposite Aislinn McCloskey. Juniata's Albert was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Juniata Regional.

All-Tournament Team

Nicole Massarelli, Salisbury University (MH, Jr., Clarksville, Md.)
Aislinn McCloskey, Carnegie Mellon University (OPP, 6-1, Lafayette, La.)
Courtney Reinhold, Eastern University (OH, Fr., Adamstown, Pa.)
Maria Horning, Eastern University (S, Fr., Denver, Pa.)
Megan Sollenberger, Juniata College (L, Jr., Mechanicsburg, Pa.)
Amber Thomas, Juniata College (OH, Sr., Ephrata, Pa.)

Most Outstanding Player: Erin Albert, Juniata College (MH, Sr., Philipsburg, Pa.)


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