HUNTINGDON, Pa.-The Juniata women's volleyball team cruised past Scranton, 3-0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-18), Wednesday evening in Memorial Gymnasium to advance to the Landmark Conference Championship.
The teams were close early before JC took control of the opening set as they hit .375 to Scranton's -.107. With the score at 6-6, kills from Dejia Danhi (Ashburn, Va. / Stone Bridge) and Marie Gonsar (New Castle, Pa. / Shenango H.S.) made it 8-6 before an attack error got the Royals back within one, 8-7. Two kills from Morgan Edwards (Lancaster, Pa. / Penn Manor), one from Danhi, an ace from Makenna Hallager (Glenolden, Pa. / Merion Mercy Academy) and a Scranton error put Juniata ahead 13-7. The Royals closed within five at 14-9, but three straight errors but JC back ahead 17-9. Later, with the score at 20-12, Juniata closed off the set by taking the final five points. Two errors from Scranton, an ace from Katie Byrne (Annapolis, Md. / Broadneck) and a kill from Victoria Taylor (Middletown, Del. / Delaware Military Academy) gave the hosts set point and Moira Folan (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Oakland Catholic HS) ended the set kill, 25-12.
The second set saw the Royals stick around longer as the teams went back forth early and wound up tied, 13-13. A kill from Edwards, a block from Marybeth Weihbrecht (Mechanicsburg, Pa. / Cumberland Valley.) and Folan, an error by Scranton followed by a kill from Weihbrecht forced a Scranton timeout as JC pushed their lead to four. Scranton got the next point via service error, but Juniata took the next six points to push their advantage to 23-14. Later, with Juniata at set point, the Royals managed to get within four, 24-20 before another Danhi kill ended the set, 25-20.
The third set followed a similar script as the Scranton managed to pull even at 10-10, but that was the final time. An error and a block by Danhi and Edwards gave JC their lead back and later, a kill from Gonsar two more Royal errors and a Danhi ace put JC ahead by six at 19-13. Scranton scored the next two before an error made it 20-15 and they called timeout. The Royals took the next point following the timeout before kills from Weihbrecht and Taylor made it 22-16. A JC attack error followed by another Taylor kill and a block from Danhi and Folan gave Juniata match point. Scranton staved off elimination for one point before Danhi smashed one final ball to make it 25-18 and sent Juniata to the Landmark Championship game.
Juniata will be making their 12th appearance in the Landmark Conference Championship and their 38th appearance in championship dating back to their time in the Middle Atlantic Conference.
The Eagles will host #2 Susquehanna this Saturday at Memorial Gymnasium.