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Juniata girls turning the corner on volleyball trail

St. Joseph’s 3, Juniata 0
SJ 25 25 25
JU 13 11 21

By Kenny Varner

BOALSBURG – Another Page has been turned in the learning process of the Juniata girls volleyball team Thursday night at St. Joseph Academy as they took the Wolves to distance in the final game.
After falling in the first two games, the Indians exploded onto the scoresheet, taking an early 15-5 lead.
With the crowd sounding like a Home Juniata game, the Indians didn’t look like a first year team in this one battling tooth and nail to try to pull out the win down the stretch before falling to the 6-5 Wolves, 25-21.
“I’m very proud of them. I tell them everyday it’s always better than day one and they know it and when their confident in themselves and I’m confident in them they play so much better,” Juniata coach Samantha Liberatore said. “I think our support home and away it’s so great for a new program that everyone is so supportive, parents, teachers and our administration are so supportive of this program that no matter where we are it feels like a home game and the girls feel that and they want to play more and they want to play better.”
Trailing 2-0 in the match, it was the Indians that came out with the energy and the momentum to start the game.
With the crowd loudly behind them, server Susanna Ranck got her team going posting an opening blast that was not returned followed by an ace giving Juniata a 2-0 advantage.
After a St. Joseph’s side out, Juniata started to sizzle as Madison Royer along with the strong front line play of Malin Kint and Rank helped their team go on a 4-0 run, upping the lead to 6-1.
St. Joseph picked up a side out and gave it back to the Indians right away.
With two service points, both aces, from Kiersten Willis, the crowd got even louder as the visitors were suddenly up 9-2.
Adding just another side out, the Wolves couldn’t muster a rally early on.
With the ball and a 10-3 lead, it was Hunter Johns’ turn at showing what she could do at the line, posting three more service points and increasing the advantage once again to 13-3.
Juniata would get it to as big of a lead as 15-5 before St. Joseph would start to regroup and take a climb to erase the deficit.
Ana Leguspi started the Wolves comeback with her powerful serve. In the process of her blasting away at the line, her team was able to cut the lead to six, 15-9.
With an important side out, Juniata added another point to up it to 16-9.
But the Wolves continued to warm up at the line and found some open areas to land the ball.
Leading the way from the service line was Anna Griggs who posted four more points for St. Joes to cut the lead even further at 16-14.
The rest of the way, the teams battled back and forth with the Wolves frontline hounding the Indians down the stretch.
However, despite falling behind late in the contest, the Lady Indians never gave up and gave everything they had before ST. Joeseph outlasted them 25-21.
In the first game, the Wolves got out to an slim lead early on at 4-3 and was able to maintain its distance from a gutsy Juniata team for most of the first half of the game.
Juniata trailed only 10-7 before St. Joseph started to pull away, 25-13.
The Wolves got off to a stronger start in the second game and leaped ahead and never looked back as they defeated to battling Indians 25-11.

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