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.