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volleyball-women-d3 flag | November 9, 2013

Juniata earns Landmark conference championship berth with victory

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata advanced to its seventh consecutive Landmark Conference championship match with a 3-1 (25-16, 25-16, 21-25, 25-10) semifinals victory against Scranton.

"We were sloppy, but it's hard to play a team three times," head coach Heather Pavlik said. "That's the third time we've played Scranton. I thought Scranton played really well. I thought they were about as scrappy as they could be. I thought they played great defense and I don't know that we were as patient as we needed to be."

Scranton battled to stay in the opening slue of points, keeping pace with the Eagles all the way up to 10-10 before a run of powerful kills by freshmen Nakita Gearhart and Mar-Jana Phillips put Juniata up front 14-10 and forced a timeout by the Royals. Phillips showed off her quick-hitting power, earning a team-high 10 kills, and Juniata displayed its hard serving, as the Eagles pulled away with the first set 25-16. Junior libero Brittani Young put on a defensive show finishing with six hard earned digs in the first set and a match-high 21 overall.

MIAA Tournament

No. 1 Hope 3, Trine 0

HOLLAND, Mich. -- A three-set sweep of Trine on Friday gave top-ranked Hope the opportunity to play for a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) tournament title.

The Flying Dutch will play second-ranked Calvin for the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Division III playoffs and expected opportunity to host a regional that will send one team to the Nov. 21-23 national championships at Hope.

Hope (29-1 overall) advanced by beating third-seeded Trine 25-20, 25-15, 25-18 in Friday's first semifinal at Calvin.

Junior outside hitter Jenna Grasmeyer topped the Flying Dutch by recording a match-high 15 kills.

Senior middle hitter Mari Schoolmaster chipped in 11 kills and a .500 kill percentage.

No. 2 Calvin 3, St. Mary's (Minn.) 0

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Calvin hosted the Belles of Saint Mary’s in the second MIAA tournament semifinal matchup on Friday evening. Calvin, the top seed in the MIAA tournament, defeated Saint Mary’s, the fourth seed, in both of their regular season meetings. And, in similar fashion, with a three-set 25-11, 25-15, 25-20 sweep of the Belles on Friday evening, Calvin advanced to the MIAA tournament final against Hope which will be played Saturday at Van Noord Arena.

Calvin held the Belles to a .051 hitting percentage while hitting .315 as a team.

Diepersloot and Kamp paced the Calvin attack with 10 kills apiece, while Danhoff tallied eight. Rietema dished out 27 assists while adding 9 kills and 6 digs. Senior Kristi Zietse led the Knights with 12 digs.

UAA Championships

No. 6 Emory, No. 8 Washington-St. Louis

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Emory has advanced to the title match of the University Athletic Association championships following a victory against No. 8-ranked Washington-St. Louis in the semifinals Friday afternoon. The Eagles raised their overall record to 30-3 following a 3-0 verdict (25-23, 26-24, 25-16) against the Bears who slipped to 26-6.

Emory hit .260 (45-13--123) for the match while limiting Wash U, who entered the match No. 2 in the UAA in hitting percentage (.248) to an effort of .136 (38-20--132). The Eagles finished with a 64-52 edge in digs and a 10-5 margin in blocks.

For the second consecutive match, junior Leah Jacobs topped all players in kills finishing with 12 terminations, her fifth consecutive outing of double figures in that category.  Jacobs led a balanced Emory attack that saw four players register eight or more kills. Freshman Jessica Holler closed out an error-free day in the hitting department with 10 terminations to go along with a fine hitting percentage of .455 (10-0--22). Over the two Friday outings, Holler hit .500 with 18 successful attack attempts and no miscues in 36 opportunities. Holler also paced all players with seven blocks (0-7), her 10th outing of five or more this year. Freshman Sarah Maher boosted the offense with eight timely kills and hitting .400 (8-2--15). Sophomore setter Sydney Miles racked up 36 assists and contributed 14 digs while sophomore Taylor Erwin tallied a match-high 18 digs.

CCIW Championships

No. 5 Elmhurst 3, Wheaton 0

ELMHURST, Ill. -- Elmhurst rolled into the championship match of the CCIW tournament with a 25-19, 25-14, 25-22 win against Wheaton.

Elmhurst, ranked fifth in the latest AVCA Division III poll, wonits 12th consecutive contest and improved to 34-4 overall with the victory.

With the score tied at six in the opening set, Elmhurst used a 7-2 run to open up a 13-8 lead. Wheaton closed to within two points at 15-13, but the Bluejays responded with a 5-1 run to take a 20-14 lead before pulling away for the 25-19 win.

Elmhurst grabbed a 5-1 lead in the second set before extending their lead to 16-8 en route to the 25-14 win.

The two squads traded points for much of the third set with the score tied at 20-20. Wheaton took a 21-20 lead but a Megan Reynolds' kill evened the score at 21. Pavilonis and Kaitlyn Wilks combined for a block to give Elmhurst a 23-22 lead. Back-to-back kills from Pavilonis gave the Bluejays the set and the match.

Elmhurst finished the contest hitting .312 (47-13-109) while Wheaton hit .173 (35-17-104).

OAC Championships

No. 10 Mount Union, Otterbein

ALLIANCE, Ohio -- Top-seeded Mount Union, ranked No. 10 in the nation, defeated fourth-seeded Otterbein, ranked No. 16 in the nation 3-0 in the Ohio Athletic Conference Volleyball Tournament Semifinals on Friday.

The Purple Raiders improve to 29-4 overall as the Cardinals fall to 26-7 overall.

In the 25-13, 25-22, 25-20 win against Otterbein, Mount Union was led by senior Taylor Webb who notched nine kills as junior Lauren Mastroine tallied 15 digs.

Juniors Sarah Schleich and Brittany Woodard each recorded 16 assists. Sophomore Kara Berger had six blocks on the night.

Otterbein was led offensively by Annie Juenger who tallied 10 kills as Evelyn Carus recorded 12 digs. Tabatha Piper notched 25 assists in the loss in the semifinals.