HUNTINGDON, Pa. – CUA's championship dream ended on Saturday evening, when the No. 2 Cardinals fell to top-seeded Juniata 3-0 in the Landmark Conference championship. CUA was playing in its first Landmark championship after downing Moravian in five sets earlier in the day. The Cardinals finish the year with 27 wins, their most since 2002.
Against Juniata, the Eagles won the first set 25-18 and then went in front 2-0 with a 25-20 win in set number-two.
CUA refused to go away quietly, pulling within one on several occasions in set three, but the Cards came up just short, falling 25-22.
Senior Kelly Crimmins led CUA in her final match with 11 kills, while Bridget Kulesh finished with nine kills.
Claudia Jean added six kills for the Cardinals, in addition to a team-high 23 digs. Kristina Purcell and Katie Chefalas both finished with nine digs, and Mariana Cruz totaled 28 assists.
Megan Chefalas totaled six digs on the night, the same number as Cruz.
For Juniata, Sarah McCarthy handed out 40 assists and Kelsey Fuller totaled 12 kills and 14 digs.
Courtney Lydick totaled six of the Eagles' 12 blocks.
Earlier in the day, CUA and Moravian needed all five sets to decide their match, with the Cardinals taking the first set 25-14, before the Greyhounds came back with a 25-21 win in set two.
CUA pulled out a 25-18 win in the third set, but Moravian forced the fifth and deciding set with a 25-21 win in set number-four. The Cardinals pulled ahead in set five, before Moravian responded and made things interesting, but CUA had enough down the stretch to come away with a 15-13 win.
As she has done all season, Jean led the Cardinals with 24 kills and 13 digs. Kulesh had a big match of her own with 13 kills, seven blocks and five kills, while Crimmins added nine kills and five blocks.
Cruz handed out 51 assists on the day, and also totaled 11 digs, while Purcell led the Cards in digs with 21.
Katie Chefalas (11) and Megan Chefalas (11) both finished in double figures in digs, and Audrey Bizak led the Cardinals in blocks with seven. As a team, CUA registered 25 blocks.
Moravian's Samantha Savite finished with 19 kills and 13 digs for the Greyhounds, while Jesse Krasley was the team leader in digs with 19.
Kelly Brown finished with 51 assists, Victoria Bobyak was the team leader in blocks with four.
This marked the fourth straight year in which CUA won at least 20 matches and advanced to at least the semifinals of the Landmark Conference Tournament.