Juniata Takes Down #6 Emory in Battle of the Eagles

Juniata women's volleyball player Morgan Edwards

CLAREMONT, CA.- The Juniata women's volleyball team wrapped up day one of the East-West Challenge by coming back to beat #6 Emory, 3-2 (25-21, 16-25, 25-27, 27-25, 15-12) Friday evening at Roberts Pavilion on the campus of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. 

The teams were even early as they traded points and wound up tied at 10-10. Emory took the next point, but JC took the next four to go up 14-11. Kills by Dejia Danhi (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge), Morgan Edwards (Lancaster, Pa./Penn Manor), Victoria Taylor (Middletown, Del./Delaware Military Academy) and a block by Danhi made it 22-15 as Juniata looked to cruise to a set one win. Emory had other ideas as a 5-0 rally by them brought them within two as Juniata called timeout. The teams trade points to get to 23-21 before Edwards put down two straight kills as JC took the opening set. 

Set two saw Emory build up at six-point lead midway through the set as they led 11-17. Juniata never got closer than six the rest of the set as they lost set two 16-25.

Set three saw Emory again build an early lead, but Juniata did not let them build the lead as a kill from Marie Gonsar (New Castle, Pa./Shenango H.S.) made it 8-7. The teams stayed even as Emory knotted the score at 13-13. Juniata went ahead after kills from Marybeth Weihbrecht (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley), Moira Folan (Pittsburgh, Pa./Oakland Catholic HS), Edwards and Taylor made it 18-14. Emory took the next seven points to put them up 18-21. Juniata countered with a four-point surge to ahead 22-21 before three straight from Emory gave them set point, 22-24. A Danhi kill followed by one from Edwards along with an Emory attack error flipped the score in favor of Juniata, 25-24. JC did not score again as Emory took set three, 25-27. 

The fourth set saw Emory go ahead by as many as eight as 13-21 as they looked to end the match. JC did not back down as they rattled off eight of the next nine points to get within one at 21-22. Emory scored the next three points to reach match point. A kill from Taylor kept the set alive and an attack error from Emory made it 23-24. During that point, Katie Byrne (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck) made an outstanding play on a ball to keep the match alive for the Eagles. Emory called timeout, but to no avail. A kill from Taylor and a block from Danhi and Taylor gave Juniata their first lead of the set since 7-6. Emory scored once more before a kill from Taylor gave Juniata set point and Edwards sent the match to a decisive fifth set. 

Juniata trailed for most of the set, as Emory went ahead by as many as four, 7-11. A kill from Danhi and two Emory attack errors brought Juniata within one, 10-11 as Emory called timeout. The teams traded points as Emory held a 11-12 lead but JC would not let them score again.  Two straight Weihbrecht kills, made it 13-12 as Emory called another timeout but it didn't stop JC as Gonsar gave JC match point and Weihbrecht ended the match with her seventh kill. 

The win marks Juniata's first time defeating Emory since 2009.

Juniata will face Cal Lutheran, tomorrow at 5:30.