Women's Volleyball Can't Complete Comeback, Falls in Opener at #22 CNU in Five

Marie Gonsar
Marie Gonsar amassed 13 kills, three aces, 16 digs and two block assists at CNU, Friday evening.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va.-The #3 Juniata women's volleyball team dug themselves out of a 2-0 hole early but couldn't complete the comeback as they fell in five sets, 3-2 (21-25, 22-25, 25-22, 27-25, 11-15), Friday night against #22 Christopher Newport at the Freeman Center. 

The opening two sets were close as Juniata knotted things at 21-21 in the first set and at 22-22 in the second but they couldn't quite clinch either set as they fell behind two sets to none. 

The third set was tight early, but with the score at 7-7, JC engineered a 6-0 run to pull ahead. A Captains service error was followed by three straight kills from Victoria Taylor (Middletown, Del. / Delaware Military Academy) before the CNU coach called timeout. A solo block by Dejia Danhi (Ashburn, Va. / Stone Bridge) was followed by a block by her and Moira Folan (Pittsburgh, Pa. / Oakland Catholic HS) to make it 13-7. The Captains hung around and eventually narrowed the gap to two at 20-18. A Captains service error followed by a pair of Taylor kills made it 23-19 after CNU got one back with a kill of their own. Another service error from the hosts gave JC set point. The Captains got two back before Morgan Edwards (Lancaster, Pa. / Penn Manor) put down a kill to keep the match alive for the Blue and Gold. 

Set four saw the Captains take a lead midway through the set, 12-16, and to nurse the lead for a bit as they eventually led 17-22. A kill from Emma Davis (East Berlin, Pa / Dover Area HS), back to back Captain mishaps followed by a Marie Gonsar (New Castle, Pa. / Shenango H.S.) kill pulled the Eagles within one, 22-23, and forced a CNU timeout. The Captains took the next point on a JC service error prior to a solo block from Davis, a block from Folan and Danhi followed by a CNU attack error gave the Eagles set point. CNU tied things back up before another Taylor kill and a Captain error sent the match to a decisive fifth set. 

The teams traded the first two points of the match with Edwards knotting things at 1-1 with a kill before CNU rattled off four straight points and JC called a timeout. Kills from Danhi, Davis, and Gonsar pulled JC within one before another CNU surge made it 4-9. The teams traded points and with the score at 6-11 two errors from the host and another Taylor kill made it 9-11. Following the Captains timeout, they captured the next two points before a service error made it 10-13. They reached match point via kill, an Edwards kill staved off the Captains for a point, but they took the next one to end the match, 11-15.  

The Eagles will take on #4 Wisconsin-Eau Claire, who also reached last year's NCAA Final Four, at 11:00 before taking on Marymount at 3:00.