(Posted October 5, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College women's volleyball couldn't get past a Clarion University squad that won most of the battles in the middle, dropping a 3-0 decision to the Golden Eagles on Tuesday night at the Kennedy Sports + Recreation Center.

Set scores for Clarion were 25-23, 25-22, and 25-19.

Juniata outside hitter Drew Barnhart (Titusville, Pa./Titusville) had a match-high 13 kills on 25 swings for a .360 hitting percentage, posting her second straight match with 10-or-more kills and her eighth double-digit performance of the season.

However Juniata (18-2) struggled to get points in the middle, where Division II Clarion (15-2) seemed to have an answer for every Eagle attack. Middle Kristin Noetzel (Closter, N.J./Northern Valley Regional) was held to just six kills on 16 swings, while Ashley Schnader (Reinholds, Pa./Garden Spot) tallied five kills. Juniata's three middles combined to hit .114 for the match, but it wasn't as if they didn't get their attempts - Clarion was simply everywhere along the net where Juniata wanted to go.

Clarion finished the match with 10.0 total blocks, led by middle Rebecca Webb and outside hitter Kellie Bartman with five apiece. Middle Corinne Manley tallied three blocks. Bartman and outside hitter Kaitlyn Anderson led the Golden Eagles with 11 kills, with Bartman getting hers on 25 swings with just one error - yielding a .400 hitting percentage from the left side.

Juniata had its chances to steal wins in the first and third sets, but was unable to close the deal on each occasion.

In the first set, after trailing by as much as four points at 20-16, Juniata closed within one at 23-22 following three straight Clarion errors. A Webb kill put Clarion at set point, but Barnhart responded with a sideout kill of her own to again the cut the margin to one. Another Webb kill, coming off a Libby Morrison (Portland, Ore./Oregon Episcopal School) service, sealed the set for Clarion.

In the third set, Juniata trailed by six points, 17-11, when the Eagles regained serve off a sideout kill by Noetzel. Juniata won the next five points off Jordan Hopper's (Laguna Beach, Calif./St. Margaret's Episcopal) serve, including kills by Noetzel and Rachelle Wiegand (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central). A Juniata attack error and an Anderson kill extended Clarion's lead back to 19-16, and a pair of sideout points advanced the score to 20-17. A kill by Clarion's Amanda Gough stretched that advantage to 21-17, but Schnader got the point back with a kill of her own.

Back-to-back sideout kills left Clarion with a 22-19 lead, and the Golden Eagles scored the next three points to clinch the set and the match.

Morrison finished with 19 digs, while Steph Strauss (Penn Hills, Pa./Penn Hills) had 33 assists. Juniata hit a season-low .144 on Tuesday night against Clarion, committing 25 attack errors. Amy Miller (Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch) logged eight kills but was held to just .074 hitting on the night, while Strauss finished with five kills of her own.

Juniata heads to Whitewater, Wis., this weekend to play in the UW-Whitewater Invitational. The Eagles will face the host Warhawks on Friday night, followed by a match against UW-Eau Claire on Saturday morning; Saturday evening, the Eagles will face Carthage College down the road in Kenosha, Wis.


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