(Posted November 12, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College required a little more time to put away Cabrini College in the third set before eventually dispatching the Cavaliers, 3-0, in Thursday's first round of the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship Juniata Regional at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center.

Set scores for the Eagles were 25-9, 25-20, and 25-23.

Junior setter Steph Strauss paced the Juniata attack with 10 kills on 10 swings, and set 25 assists while driving an Eagle offense that hit .315 for the match. Sophomore outside hitter Drew Barnhart put down six kills on 13 attacks, while junior middle Kristin Noetzel and freshman middle Ashley Schnader had five kills each.

Senior libero Megan Sollenberger paced Juniata defensively, turning up 16 digs for the Eagles.

Senior outside hitter Traci Beltz paced Cabrini's attack with eight kills on 30 swings, but she also committed seven errors and hit .033 for the match. Juniata outhit Cabrini (24-7), .315 to .083, and recorded 8.0 total team blocks to Cabrini's 5.0.

Juniata (32-3) hit .571 in the opening frame, while holding Cabrini to a .000 attack rate, and posted a .318 hitting percentage in the second set.

The third set, however, turned into more of a struggle, as the Cavaliers grabbed an 8-5 lead in the early-going. Juniata eventually caught Cabrini at 11-11 on a Michelle Morchesky kill, but the Cavaliers responded with the next three points to re-stake their three-point advantage at 14-11.

The Eagles held their first led of the match at 22-21, following back-to-back aces by freshman middle Kelsey Fuller. A side out kill by Beltz and a Cavalier ace put Cabrini back in the lead, 23-22. Juniata regained the lead with consecutive kills by Barnhart, putting the Eagles on match point. An attack error by Beltz sealed the Juniata win.

The Eagles advances to Friday night's 7:00 p.m. Regional Semifinal match against Mount Union College.


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