Eagles Sweep Battle of the Birds on Day Two of CNU Invitational

Eagles Sweep Battle of the Birds on Day Two of CNU Invitational

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Juniata women's volleyball team swept through day two of the CNU Invitational, defeating both Wesleyan and Roger Williams 3-0, Saturday afternoon at the Freeman Center.

Marybeth Weihbrecht (Mechanicsburg, Pa. / Cumberland Valley) and Marie Gonsar (New Castle, Pa. / Shenango HS) were both named to the All-Tournament team for their performances throughout the weekend. Weihbrecht led Juniata with 18 kills, seven block assists, and three solo blocks combined over the two matches. Gonsar totaled 18 kills and two service aces while Megan Moroney (Mentor, OH / Mentor) and Dejia Danhi (Ashburn, Va. / Stone Bridge) each notched 10 kills apiece. Katie Byrne (Annapolis, Md. / Broadneck) recorded 26 digs and had two aces.

The Eagles opened the day with Wesleyan. The Cardinals were first to get on the board, but Juniata was quick to answer back with a kill by Weihbrecht. Juniata kept a narrow lead, but two errors for the Eagles left the teams neck and neck at 9-9. Wesleyan went up 10-9 and continued to hold a small advantage until the Eagles pushed back, scoring six straight points to jump ahead 15-12. The Cardinals held on to fight back 20-20 and the two teams continued to battle back and forth until a Morgan Edwards (Lancaster, Pa. / Penn Manor) kill and an error on Wesleyan sealed the 25-23 victory in set one.

The second set was tightly contested until the Eagles pulled away after kills from Gonsar and Moroney to put Juniata ahead 14-11. Juniata kept a significant lead, ultimately ending the set 25-18 with a kill by Victoria Taylor (Middletown, De. / Delaware Military Academy) and a Wesleyan error.

Juniata jumped out ahead early in the third set with three straight points coming from an error on Wesleyan and kills from Danhi and Gonsar. The Eagles held a substantial lead throughout the rest of the set, gaining match point on a kill by Moroney. Gonsar's kill then clinched the victory for the Eagles at 25-16.

Against Roger Williams, Juniata put up two after a ball handling error by the Hawks and a kill by Taylor. The Eagles kept their lead until the Hawks went on a five point run, battling back for an 11-11 score. The two teams traded points with one another until Byrne's ace gave the Eagles an 18-15 advantage. From that point forward, Juniata cruised to a 25-19 victory sealed by a kill from Edwards. 

The second set saw Juniata once again jumping out to a strong start, taking the first three points of the set. The Eagles proceeded to go on a 4-0 run with kills from Christine Irwin (State College, Pa. / State College), Edwards, and Danhi. The Hawks continued to push, ultimately closing the gap toward the end of the set to make the score 23-22 after a Juniata error. The Eagles were able to ultimately take the set 25-23 after a kill by Irwin and a bad set on the Hawk's side.

Juniata led throughout the third set. The Eagles went on a five-point run that contained kills from Tatum Poirier (Evans City, Pa. / Seneca Valley HS) and Gonsar to create a 17-9 edge. Juniata did not let up and emerged with a 25-17 win to complete the sweep.

The Eagles move to 9-4 on the season and will travel to Eastern on Friday, Sept. 29, taking the court at 7:00pm.