These Eagles Look Regal as Women's Volleyball Ends West Coast Trip Unbeaten with 3-2 Thriller Over #15 Cal Lutheran

women's volleyballs Marybeth Weihbrecht and Moira Folan
Marybeth Weihbrecht amassed 19 kills, three solo blocks and eight block assists while hitting .500. Moira Folan had 16 assists and nine digs.

CLAREMONT, Ca.-The Juniata women's volleyball completed their west coast jaunt in style with a 3-2 (25-19, 23-25, 25-20, 21-25, 20-18) win over #15 Cal Lutheran in Roberts Pavilion on the final day of the East-West Challenge. 

The Eagles closed the final day of their California trip with a block party as they tallied 22 total blocks as a team. Dejia Danhi's (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) nine block assists are tied for the second most in a match in Eagle history while Marybeth Weihbrecht's (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) eight are tied for the fourth most in a match in team history.  

"It was a good weekend in lots of different ways," said head coach Heather Pavlik. "We had to overcome some different things. We got in late Thursday, we had to make a lineup change at the last minute after someone got sick. It was nice to see us battle back from all the different adversity and come away with a positive result." 

The opening match saw JC take an early 8-4 lead that was erased by a 7-3 surge by the Regals left things even at 11-11. Juniata countered with a 9-2  surge that included blocks from Morgan Edwards (Lancaster, Pa./Penn Manor)Marie Gonsar (New Castle, Pa./Shenango H.S.), Danhi and Weihbrecht. Samantha Freese (Lewisberry, Pa./Red Land HS), Edwards and Danhi all tallied kills during the run. Cal Lutheran closed in within four, but Juniata put the set away, with a block from Weihbrecht and Edwards ending set one at 25-19.

Juniata again built a lead and carried it midway through the second set as a kill from Gonsar put the Eagles up 15-10. This time the Regals managed to climb all the back as they tied things up at 18-18. A kill from Danhi followed by a block from Freese and Weihbrecht put JC ahead by two. Cal Lutheran responded with five straight points as they reached set point, 20-24. Two Regal attack errors paired with a kill from Weihbrecht pulled JC within one, 23-24, but Cal Lutheran put down a final kill to tie the match at one. 

Cal Lutheran went up 3-6 early in the third, but the Eagles jumped after several ties as they led 14-10. The Regals stayed close, and managed to get within one several times with the final time at 18-17. JC tallied six straight points as they reached set point. The Regals took the next three before a Victoria Taylor (Middletown, Del./Delaware Military Academy) kill ended set three.

The teams traded the lead back and forth four times in the early going, with Cal Lutheran going up 12-14. The teams traded points, with a kill from Weihbrecht knotted things at 18-18. Five straight points from the Regals made it 18-23. Two kills from Weihbrecht and an ace from Gonsar pulled Juniata within two, but Cal Lutheran wrapped up set four 21-25 to force a decisive fifth set. 

Juniata went up 7-3 behind kills from Taylor, Weihbrecht, Gonsar, Edwards and some Regal errors. A 4-0 push from Cal Lutheran tied things at 7-7, before a service error and a Gonsar kill put JC ahead by two. A 6-0 surge from Cal Lutheran catapulted them ahead, 9-13. The teams traded points which put the Regals at match point, 10-14. A kill from Danhi, a block by Freese and Weihbrecht followed by two straight Weihbrecht kills tied the score at 14-14. Juniata fought off match point three more times. With the score at 17-18, Edwards put down three straight kills to give the JC a 20-18 victory. 

Juniata returns to action against Marymount at home, Saturday at 1:00.