HUNTINGDON, Pa. – The Susquehanna Volleyball team took the nationally ranked Eagles of Juniata College to five sets in Saturday's Landmark Conference Championship loss.
SU (26-10) has done what no other Landmark volleyball team has done; they took No. 2 Juniata (30-2) to five sets in a Championship match, winning the first and fourth in the 3-2 (25-19, 21-25, 24-26, 25-13, 16-18) loss.
The Crusaders were down 4-2 in the first set when a pair of kills from Morgan Whiteman tied the game 4-4. The Eagles won the next two points to go up 7-5 but SU scored nine unanswered points to take the first decisive lead of the match 14-7 and they did not give it up winning the set, on an Erin Byrne kill, 25-19. SU totaled 19 kills to Juniata's 9 after set one for an attack percentage of .273.
Juniata led in the second set until an attacking error for the Eagles tied the game at 8-8 and a Whiteman kill would give the Crusaders their only lead of the set. A SU service error tied the game at 9 all and the Eagles went on to win the set 25-21.
Susquehanna started the third set with a 12-7 lead however; Juniata would go on a 7-2 run to tie the set at 14. The Crusaders would take a three point lead at 24-21 after trading points back and forth for a total of five ties. Juniata proceeded to score five unanswered points to win the set 26-24.
SU came out on fire in the fourth set and after tying the set 4-4 on a Whiteman kill and taking the lead 5-4 on another Whiteman kill they never looked back winning the set 25-13.
The fifth, and deciding set, had the Crusaders leading for most of the set but the Eagles came back and won in extra points 18-16.
The Crusaders out-hit the Eagles with 67 total kills (.204 attack percentage) to Juniata's 54 (.142 attack percentage). SU was led by Whiteman, who earned a double-double with a match high 22 kills and 12 digs. She was followed by Leana Carvin and Marykate Sherkness with 13 and 12 kills respectively. Maggie O'Hearn tallied a match high 53 assists while Sarah Paluck made a match high 26 digs. Carvin led in blocks with three and Whiteman and Tara Mahoney contributed two apiece.
SU could possibly earn an at large bid to the NCAA Tournament and will find out Monday, Nov. 9 at 11:00 a.m. The selection show can be watched at NCAA.com.