No. 4 Eagles Earn Freedom Championship
ST. DAVIDS, Pa.- Eastern University Volleyball earned a fourth straight Freedom Conference Championship with a decisive 3-0 win over visiting DeSales University (27-6). Courtney Reinhold finished the evening with a match-high 19 kills.
It was the Eastern defense and passing, however that stole the show. Led by junior libero Kelly Groff's 20 digs, the Eagles (32-2) were nearly flawless in serve receive and limited the Bulldogs to a .069 hitting percentage. Senior defensive specialist Christi Schlager recorded six digs, several of them spectacular, to earn Most Outstanding Player Honors for the Championship.
No. 4 Eastern won the opening set 25-14, but the Bulldogs put together a run of 6 straight points to force an Eastern timeout at 16-11. Out of the timeout, the Eagles won four straight points to reassert control. Eastern hit only .156 in the opening set, but they limited the Bulldogs to only six kills.
The second set was Reinhold's time to shine. The senior All-American recorded eight kills in the frame to help the Eagles to a 25-13 set win. Katrina Pisch had five kills as the Eagles hit .298 in the second set.
The Bulldogs led 11-7 in the third set before a strong run of passing and defense created several points on Maria Horning's and Kearby Benak's serves, and the Eagles put away the match by a 25-17 score.
For the match, Horning finished with 38 assists and Benak tallied nine kills. Amy Guarino hit .500 with six kills in her first Freedom Conference Championship match.
The Eagles, the top-ranked team in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic rankings, await news from the NCAA on the location and times for the Regional Tournament which will be held Friday, Nov. 11-13th. That information will be made public on Monday at 11:00 am on NCAA.com.