WESTERVILLE, Ohio- The Juniata women's volleyball team started off slow before cruising to a 3-1 victory over SUNY Brockport in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament Friday afternoon.
Marybeth Weihbrecht (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) had 10 kills with six block assists, Katie Byrne (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck) had 27 digs while Victoria Taylor (Middletown, Del./Delaware Military Academy) had 11 kills and a block assist. Megan Moroney (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) had five kills, two solo blocks and four block assists.
The Eagles fell behind 8-3 early in the match and took timeout but never got closer than five for the set as they fell 25—13.
Juniata took the first four points of the second set behind two kills from Weihbrecht, a kill from Chelsea Scafuro (Geneva, Ohio/Geneva) and a Golden Eagle attack error. Brockport hung around, keeping the Eagle lead within four with the score at 10-6. Weihbrecht smashed back to back kills which forced the Golden Eagles to call timeout, but following the timeout Weihbrecht just putdown another kill to make it 13-6. Later, with the score at 18-12, Moroney put down a kill and Korin Koehler (Whitehall, Pa./Whitehall) notched an ace to make it 20-12. The Golden Eagles eventually pulled within seven at 22-15 and Juniata called timeout. Another Weihbrecht kill, an ace from Alyssa Tavera (Whittier, Calif./La Salle H.S.) and a Brockport attack error ended set two, 25-15.
Set three was the tightest set of the match, with a Brockport block making it 7-5 Juniata early on. Kills from Moroney and Weihbrecht followed by a block by Weihbrecht and Rachel Boe (San Carlos, Calif./Saint Francis) made it 10-5 as the Golden Eagles called timeout. They rallied to take the next five points and tie things at 10-10. Brockport took a narrow 12-13 lead before a kill from Morgan Edwards (Lancaster, Pa./Penn Manor), an ace from Byrne, a block from Moroney and Edwards and a Moroney kill gave Juniata the lead back at 16-13. A couple of Brockport attack errors help the Eagles near set point, but a Golden Eagle kill pulled them within five at 23-18. A service error gave Juniata set point and a block from Weihbrecht and Edwards gave Juniata set three, 25-18.
The fourth set saw Juniata take a 9-5 lead and take the next four points to go up 13-5. Brockport took two of the next three points to make it 14-7 before a Golden Eagle service error followed by back to back Weihbrecht and Edwards blocks made it 17-7. Juniata continued to control the set, and with the score at 23-10, Boe tallied another kill to give the Eagles match point. The Golden Eagles got one back to keep their season alive, but a kill from Taylor sent Juniata into the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Juniata will face Wittenberg, tomorrow at 2:30.