HUNTINGDON, Pa. – The Susquehanna women’s volleyball team grabbed a set from ninth-ranked Juniata but ultimately fell 3-1 in the Landmark Conference championship match on Saturday afternoon.
SU (29-9) dropped 17-25, 18-25, 25-19 and 10-25 decisions to the Eagles (30-4) who won their seventh-straight Landmark title.
Erin Byrne (San Diego, Calif. / Scripps Ranch) led the team with 12 kills while also adding eight digs and two service aces. Sarah Paluck (Nesquehoning, Pa. / Tamaqua Area) had a team-high 23 digs while Maggie O’Hearn (Mountville, Pa. / Hempfield) tallied 39 assists, two service aces and five digs. Hayley Dunkel (Pottsville, Pa. / Pottsville Area) hit for a .375 attack percentage with nine kills.
In the first set, the Crusaders fell into an early, 15-5 deficit before rallying to make it a five-point match at 19-14. Unfortunately the Eagles scored six of final nine points to win the opening set.
Set two again saw Juniata jump out to a lead although Susquehanna was within just four (19-15) late in the action. Like the first set, though, Juniata was able to close it out by scoring the final two points of the set for a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Crusaders finally put everything together in the third set. Up two late in the action (20-18), Susquehanna upped its lead to 22-18 after kills from Morgan Whiteman (Camp Hill, Pa. / Trinity) and Kady Faller (Reading, Pa. / Exeter Township). After the Eagles scored the next point to make it 22-19, SU closed out the set with three unanswered points and won the set on an attack error by Juniata’s Amy Miller.
Unfortunately that momentum did not carry through to the fourth set as Juniata held the Crusaders to only 10 points and scored the final five points of the match to claim the Landmark title.
Susquehanna finished the season with a program-record 29 victories versus just nine losses.
The Division III volleyball selection show will be aired Monday, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. More information can be found here.