Eagles Defeat Royals 3-0; Advance to Landmark Championship

Eagles Defeat Royals 3-0; Advance to Landmark Championship

Courtesy of Juniata Sports Information

HUNTINGDON, Pa.- Juniata hosted Scranton in the semifinals of the Landmark Tournament on Wednesday night at Memorial Gymnasium. The Eagles were able to defeat the Royals 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-19) and advance to the championship for the 10th straight year.

Three Eagles reached double figures in kills led by Megan Moroney's 13. Nakita Gearhart added 11 kills while Mar-Jana Phillips tacked on 10 kills. Kelly Reynolds put up 44 assists. Defensively, Katie Byrne totaled 13 digs while contributed 12 digs. Both Gearhart and Phillips had three assisted blocks with Reynolds chipping in two.

Juniata led 7-2 in the first set but Scranton rallied to eventually take a 10-9 lead. The Eagles answered with a 6-1 run to go up 15-11. The Royals fought back and led 19-18. JC shut down the Royals from that point on with a 6-1 run down the stretch to take the set and lead 1-0.

In the second set, Scranton led early on 11-7 and looked to try and even the match up. The Eagles were undeterred and went on an 11-4 run to go up 19-14. The Royals were able to get to 24-21 but Suzanne Gloekler's kill gave JC the winning point and the 2-0 lead.

The two teams played evenly in the beginning of the third set. Juniata slowly began to break away and turned a 9-6 lead into a 20-12 advantage. Scranton was able to cut its deficit to 22-19 but kills by Phillips and Brittanie Tannenbaum along with an attack error by Scranton's Kristin Kirwan gave JC three points and the win.

Juniata will host Susquehanna for the fourth straight year to determine the Landmark Champion. Match time from Memorial Gym will be at 7:00 p.m.