Juniata 3, NYU 0Â


The New York University women`s volleyball team, playing in the Final Four of the NCAA Division III Tournament, lost to top-ranked Juniata College 30-21, 30-25, 30-19 in the National Semifinal on Friday evening at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minnesota.

The Violets (40-6), currently ranked #9 in the nation, will face the University of La Verne in the Third-Place Game on Saturday.

NYU had early leads in the first two games, and trailed by only two points, 26-24, late in the second game. But, the Eagles (36-3) scored three straight points to put the game out of reach.

"The second game was a killer," said NYU head coach Ed Caesar. "We made a push at the end, but couldn`t take the lead. Every time we made a play, they came up with a bigger one."

The Violets fell behind 3-0 in game three and never trailed by less than two the rest of the way.

NYU, who finished as National Runner-up in 2003, was led by All-American Katya Khmelnitskaya`s 28 assists and 11 digs. Serena Bountour had 12 kills for the Violets, while Jennifer Gardikas added 10.

Juniata, who will face defending champion University of Washington (a 30-25, 30-15, 30-25 winner over La Verne) on Saturday, was led by Carli Dale`s 38 assists. Stephanie Kines and Katie Charles each had 11 kills.

-- Courtesy NYU