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Greyhounds Fall to No. 22 Juniata in Landmark Conference Semifinals

Mary Zacher '18 serves up the ball during a Landmark Conference Semifinal match at No. 22 Juniata College.
Mary Zacher '18 serves up the ball during a Landmark Conference Semifinal match at No. 22 Juniata College.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. --- The fourth seeded Moravian College women's volleyball team saw its 2017 season come to a close with a 3-0 loss at top seed and 10-time defending conference champion Juniata College Wednesday evening in a Landmark Conference Semifinal contest.

The Greyhounds finish the fall with an 18-15 record under the direction on 25th-year Head Coach Shelley Bauder, who earned her 500th career win in the regular season finale that clinched the Hounds' first trip to the Landmark Conference Tournament since 2014.

"It's never easy having a season end when the team has shown such great strides and improvement," Bauder stated. "I'm very proud of the way these 14 young ladies came together and were relentless in their efforts to get back into postseason play. Our three seniors Ashton, Jean and Mary did a great job finishing their careers well and I and their teammates will miss them dearly."

The opening set Wednesday with the No. 22 Eagles started with the Blue and Grey earning the first point of the night. The Hounds pulled out to a 3-1 lead on a service ace by sophomore defensive specialist Alexis Szaro; however, Juniata came back to take a 10-6 lead in the set. The Greyhounds fought back and eventually took a 19-18 lead when senior outside hitter Mary Zacher served up three straight points. The Eagles answered and scored seven of the final eight points to take the first set 25-20.

Moravian scored first once again in the second set before Juniata scored three straight points to take the lead for good in the set, eventually scoring the last seven points for a 25-12 win. For the third straight game, the Hounds scored first in the third set and led 2-1 after a block by junior middle hitter Erin Tiger. The Greyhounds closed within four points late in the set on a service ace by sophomore outside hitter Brooke Kusmider; however, Juniata ended up winning the set 25-20 to finish off the match.

Freshman middle hitter Madi Anslow led Moravian with nine kills and a .600 hitting percentage in the match while Zacher contributed eight kills and four digs to finish her career fourth in school history with 1,491 kills and sixth in the Moravian record books with 1,506 digs. Zacher also contributed one service ace to finish her career sixth all-time with 163 aces, and she is fourth in sets played with 481 and first in attack attempts with 4,753.

Kusmider had seven kills, two service aces and a block in the final match of the season while Tiger contributed six kills and a block. Sophomore setter Victoria Kauffman race the Moravian offense with 26 assists to go along with a pair of digs while senior libero Jean Markovic had nine digs to finish her career second in school history with 2,239 digs. Markovic also had 144 career service aces, which is tenth in Moravian's record book, while playing in 451 sets. Szaro added two service aces in the match Wednesday evening while junior defensive specialist Bridgette Devlin had a pair of digs.