Cardinals head to Juniata to compete in conference semifinals

Cardinals head to Juniata to compete in conference semifinals

WASHINGTON – After defeating sixth-seeded Scranton by a 3-1 score on Wednesday, the CUA volleyball team heads to the campus of Juniata this weekend seeking its first Landmark Conference championship.  Winners of five straight, the Cardinals will be joined by the host Eagles, as well as Susquehanna and Moravian for the conference semifinals.

CUA is on a season-best five match winning streak, including that 3-1 victory on Wednesday over the Royals.  The Cardinals received strong contributions from a number of players, including Claudia Jean, who led CUA with 19 kills and 33 digs.  Kristina Purcell and Katie Chefalas added 32 and 30 digs, respectively, while Megan Himler recorded 12 digs.

Michaela Carroll led the Cardinals with 33 assists and Kelly Crimmins totaled a team-best three blocks.

Jean's terrific sophomore season continues as she leads CUA with 412 kills, good for an average of 3.61 per set.  Other Cardinals in triple digit kills include Bridget Kulesh (212), Chefalas (201) and Crimmins (120).

The team leader in digs is Purcell with 469, while Jean is not far behind with 448.  Carroll has racked up 939 assists for CUA and Crimmins is the leader with 66 blocks.

CUA is 7-5 on neutral courts this season and with its win on Wednesday, improved to 2-2 all-time in the Landmark Conference Tournament.

Susquehanna enters the semifinals with a record of 24-11, which includes a record of 5-1 in the conference.  The Crusaders have won ten neutral court matches on the season and enter this weekend with wins in six of their past seven overall matches. 

Top-ranked Juniata swept its way through the conference season with a perfect 6-0 record.  The Eagles are 28-5 overall and have gone 6-2 on their home court.  Moravian meanwhile, is 22-10 overall and went 3-3 in the Landmark.  The Greyhounds have won eight straight matches and 10 of their last 11.

CUA has played all three teams in the semifinals once this season.  The Cardinals defeated Moravian 3-2, but fell to Susquehanna and Juniata by identical 3-1 scores.  

Action on Saturday begins at 11:00 AM when top-seeded Juniata takes on No. 4 seed Moravian in the first semifinal match.  CUA and Susquehanna will then get together at 1:30 with the two semifinal winners meeting at 7:00 in the 2010 Landmark Conference Championship match.

Live video of all the weekend's action can be found on Juniata's website.