HUNTINGDON, Pa. – The Susquehanna volleyball team suffered a 3-0 defeat at Juniata in Saturday evening's Landmark Conference Championship match. Although the Crusaders lost in straight sets, the match was much closer than that: the Eagles prevailed 25-22, 26-24, 27-25 in a rematch of the 2013 finals.
Susquehanna had an opportunity to extend the match to a fourth set with a game point late in the third, but the defending Eagles held SU off.
Although SU fell behind 5-1 in the first, the Crusaders battled back and neither team was able to create separation as the set featured several ties and lead changes. After calling a timeout with a 23-21 lead, the Eagles took two of the next three points to capture the set.
The second set was also closely-contested as neither team was able to lead by more than three points. Juniata earned a set point opportunity at 24-23, but the Crusaders battled back. Unfortunately, the Eagles would go up 2-0 shortly after on its second opportunity to close the game.
Set number three was similarly tight, but Juniata would not be denied another Landmark Conference title on its home court.
Morgan Whiteman (Camp Hill, Pa./Trinity) was on the attack all night, recording 17 kills and only five errors on 35 attempts for a .343 hitting percentage. Erin Byrne (San Diego, Calif./Scripps Ranch) swung 12 kills to go with eight digs and one service ace.
Maggie O'Hearn (Mountville, Pa./Hempfield) handed out 40 of the team's 44 assists and senior Hayley Dunkel (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville Area) contributed two solo blocks.
Two Crusaders reached double figures in digs as Alyssa Chiodo (Lansdale,Pa./North Penn.) notched 17 and Corinne Eidle (Reading, Pa./Wyomissing Area) recorded 10.
Susquehanna finishes the season with a program-best 30-9 record and is eligible to receive at an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.