PITTSBURGH, Pa.- The Juniata College women's volleyball team narrowly edged #6 Carnegie Mellon, 3-2 (25-18, 21-25, 29-31, 25-21, 15-10), Tuesday evening at Skibo Gymnasium.
Megan Moroney (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) tallied 13 kills and four block assists, Victoria Taylor (Middletown, Del./Delaware Military Academy) notched a team-high 14 kills and a block assist while Marybeth Weihbrecht (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) had 12 kills, a solo block and a block assist. Tatum Poirier (Evans City, Pa./Seneca Valley H.S.) amassed three aces, 14 digs a solo block and a block assist. Morgan Edwards (Lancaster, Pa./Penn Manor) had 12 kills and a block assist. Katie Thomas (Batesville, Ind./Batesville) had 21 assists and 21 digs while Alyssa Tavera (Whittier, Calif./La Salle H.S.) had 35 assists and 22 digs. Katie Byrne (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck) had totaled 29 assists.
The opening set saw Juniata trail early at 0-2 before quickly retaking the lead and start to take control. Back to back kills from Thomas and Moroney made it 11-5. Later, a kill by Poirier made it 17-8 and forced the Tartans to call timeout. Carnegie Mellon went on a 5-0 run and pulled within three before two kills from Weihbrecht, a kill from Edwards and a Poirier made it 22-15. Taylor scored the final point of the set as Juniata took set one 25-18.
The second set was back and forth early, with a kill from Edwards giving Juniata a 7-6 lead. But the Tartans retook the lead at 8-7 and did not relinquish it, wining the set 21-25.
The third set kicked off with the Eagles jumping out to a 4-1 lead after a kill by Taylor. Three straight kills from the Tartans made tied the score at 4-4 and from that point on, neither team led by more than two points the rest of the set in which the winner would need to get to 31. With score at 27-27 Moroney smashed a kill to give Juniata set point, but Carnegie Mellon scored the next two points to go up 27-28. A Tartan attack error tied it up at 29, but back to back kills from Heather Holton gave Carnegie Mellon the third set at 31-29.
Facing defeat, Juniata took the first two points of the fourth with a kill from Weihbrecht and an ace from Tavera. Carnegie Mellon tied things up at 5-5 and again later in the set at 16-16. Boe had back to back kills to help the Eagles retake the lead at 18-16 and force a Tartan timeout. The Tartans hung around and made the Eagles sweat, and after another timeout notched a kill to pull within two at 23-21. Edwards made it set point before Moroney smashed a kill to send the match to a fifth set.
Juniata went up 4-1 early, but Carnegie Mellon narrow the gap and eventually pulled within two at 9-7 which forced the Eagles to call timeout. The Tartans took the next point to make 9-8, but Juniata took control from there. Tavera scored via a dump, Poirier set Taylor for a kill and the Tartans called timeout. Poirier then served up an ace to make it 12-8. The teams traded points to make it 14-10 and facing match point, Moroney mashed a kill from the middle to give Juniata the upset 3-2 victory.
Juniata will play at Scranton, Saturday at 2:30.