Eagles Outshine Golden Eagles

Juniata women's volleyball player Katie Byrne

CLARION, Pa.- The no. six ranked Juniata women's volleyball team swept aside Division II Clarion, 3-0 (25-11, 25-17, 25-22), Tuesday evening in the Clarion University Student Recreation Center. 

Trailing 4-5 early in the opening set, the Eagles took complete control of the game with a 12-0 run. A service error tied the game at five, a kill by Marybeth Weihbrecht (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley), an ace from Marie Gonsar (New Castle, Pa./Shenango H.S.) and two Golden Eagle errors made it 9-5. A block from Victoria Taylor (Middletown, Del./Delaware Military Academy) and Weihbrecht, three straight errors from Clarion and another Taylor kill made it 14-5. Kills from Weihbrecht and Taylor pushed the edge to 16-6. Later, with the score at 19-10, JC pushed to finish the set. A kill from Dejia Danhi, (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) two straight kills by Morgan Edwards (Lancaster, Pa./Red Land H.S.) paired with two attack errors by Clarion gave JC set point. The hosts got one point back before Alyssa Tavera (Wittier, Calif./La Salle H.S.) dumped the ball over the net to end set one. Katie Byrne (Annapolis, Md./Broadneck) had nine digs in the set.  

The second set saw Juniata quickly take control as they capitalized on several Golden Eagle errors to take a 6-1 lead. Clarion stuck around, and pulled within two at 12-10. Two straight kills from Taylor, a Golden Eagle error, followed by two more Taylor kills made it 17-10. Juniata cruised the rest of the way to capture set two, 25-17.

Set three was the Eagles best hitting set as a team as they hit .520, but it was not a cake walk. They trailed early and had to battle their way back as the Golden Eagles tried to fight off getting swept. With the score tied at 19-19, a kill from Moira Folan (Pittsburgh, Pa./Oakland Catholic HS) and two from Taylor sandwiched around a kill by Clarion had JC up two. Following a Clarion timeout, the Golden Eagles got within one before they committed two errors to make it 23-20. Following a Clarion kill, Danhi laid down a kill to give Juniata match point. After a service error, Weihbrecht put down her eighth kill to end the match as JC took set three 25-22. 

Juniata will open conference play this weekend at Susquehanna. They face the River Hawks at 11:00 a.m.