Aug. 25, 2012
Final Stats |
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy volleyball team closed out its first weekend of the season by dropping a pair of matches Saturday at the Kristen Dickmann Invitational that was played at the Wesley A. Brown Field House in Annapolis. The Mids (1-2), who on the day lost three sets by five or fewer points, first suffered a 25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 25-21 setback to Norfolk State before losing a 25-23, 25-14, 25-15 contest to invitational champion Nebraska-Omaha.
"There was a lot of youth displayed by us, and not always by the freshmen," said Navy head coach Larry Bock. "It was a young team out there for us, so this was a great learning opportunity for us. When the bell rings for the start of the Patriot League season in a few weeks, we know that some of what occurred today can't happen again."
Navy struggled coming out of the gate in each of its four sets against Norfolk State, which ended the weekend with a 1-2 record. The Spartans jumped out to leads of 9-2 in the first set, 5-1 in the second, 6-2 in the third and 10-5 in the fourth set. However, after each of those slow starts, the Mids played Norfolk State fairly even over remainder of each of the frames.
The first set saw Norfolk State expand its advantage to 19-12 before Navy dramatically cut into it. The Mids first closed to within three points of the Spartans at both 23-20 and 24-21 before a kill by Navy's all-tournament team representative Carolyn Ewert (Jr., Bakersfield, Calif.) made the score 24-22. However, Ewert would then end the set with a service error.
Norfolk State tried to pull away from Navy several times in the second set, but the Mids were able to reel in the Spartans each time. Navy was first able to tie the set at 10-10 before Norfolk State inched its way back out to three-point leads on seven different occasions including at 22-19. A Ewert kill made it a two-point margin, then a block by Caroline Jacobs (Jr., Arnold, Md.) made the score 22-21. A ball-handling error by the Mids allowed the Spartans to double their lead, but that was answered by back-to-back kills from Ewert and Erin Fortner (Jr., Villa Hills, Ky.) that knotted the score at 23-23. Fortner followed her kill with a solo block to give Navy its first lead of the set at 24-23, then Ewert recorded her fifth kill of the set to give the Mids the victory in the frame.
Navy was able to winnow its early third set deficit down to two points at 12-10 before a 6-2 run allowed Norfolk State to take an 18-12 advantage on its way to winning the frame. The fourth set would be very similar to the third as the Mids closed to within one point of the Spartans several times, including at 13-12, but another small run of points allowed Norfolk State to separate itself from Navy for good.
The final statistics between the teams were very similar. Norfolk State held slim advantages over Navy in kills (42-41), hitting percentage (.092-.091) and blocks (10-8), while the Mids grabbed 53 digs and the Spartans totaled 46 digs. However, Norfolk State dropped in nine service aces (against 12 errors) while Navy tallied just three aces (against 10 service errors).
Ewert posted a team-high 12 kills to go along with 10 digs, with her latter number placing her second on the team to Christy Rapp (Sr., Royal Oak, Mich.), who grabbed 13 digs as Navy's libero. Additionally, Olivia Yeager (Fr., Lutz, Fla.) contributed 11 kills to the Navy offense, while Fortner added four blocks and Jacobs finished the match with three blocks.
Beatriz Ferreira's 11 kills led Norfolk State's offense, while Coralie Jarema notched eight blocks and Noelle Eagles snared 14 digs to lead the defense for the Spartans.
Navy's first set against Nebraska-Omaha started very differently than any of its sets against Norfolk State did. This time, it was Navy which built a significant early lead. The Mids quickly ran out to a 9-3 advantage against the Mavericks before the score was tied at 12-12. The score would again be level at 16-16 when a 3-0 run by the Mavericks gave them a 19-16 lead. The Nebraska-Omaha lead would again be three points at 21-18 before another 3-0 sprint gave it a 24-18 cushion. Just as in the first match of the day, a late Ewert kill sparked the Mids to a rally. Her kill was followed by a bad set by UNO that made the score 24-20. Back-to-back attack errors by the Mavs sliced that four-point margin in half, then another Ewert kill pulled Navy to within one point at 24-23 and resulted to UNO calling timeout. The Mavericks finally converted their sixth set-point opportunity when Michaela Schimmer knocked down a kill to close out the set.
The Mids again started the second set strongly as they took a 7-4 lead early in the frame. After the teams traded points to make the score 8-5, however, the Mavs rolled off the ensuing nine points to gain control of the set at 14-8. The narrowest Navy could close the deficit down to over the remainder of the set was four points at 14-10.
UNO continued its strong play at the start of the third set as it took a 7-4 advantage in the early going. Back-to-back points by Navy made it a one-point margin before the teams played sideout volleyball for a number of points that resulted in UNO holding a slim 13-11 lead. A 4-0 run by the Mavs gave them a 17-11 cushion and they would lead by at least five points over the rest of the set.
Nebraska-Omaha's offense posted 41 kills and a .309 attack percentage while its defense limited Navy to 28 kills and .152 attack percentage. The Mavericks also dictated play from the service line as they dropped in 10 aces (against eight errors) and allowed Navy to notch just one ace (against five errors).
Ewert paced the Navy offense for the third match on the weekend as she produced eight kills against the Mavericks. Her tally was one more than teammate Case Trimble (So., Orlando, Fla.) finished the match with. Both Rapp and setter Alex Karika (Fr., Cranberry Township, Pa.) snared nine digs, while Alex Cassel (So., Sandy, Utah) added three blocks to the Navy effort.
Kelley Wollak from UNO led all players in the match with 11 kills.
"There were a lot of big runs by both of the teams we faced today," said Bock. "They scored in big bunches really easily and really fast. We had to work real hard for the points we were able to score, and I think that kind of ground us down a little bit midway through our second match of the day against Nebraska-Omaha.
"We tried a lot of people and used a number of different lineups this weekend. We saw what worked and what didn't work. We have a gigantic to-do list. There are a lot of positives to take away from this weekend for us and we will work on eliminating the negatives. We are real athletic. If we win the pass-serve game against most opponents, we will do fine. But when we don't do that, there will be challenges for us."
Navy is slated to play four matches as part of the Patriot Invitational that is being contested next weekend on the George Mason campus in Fairfax, Va. The Mids will square off against Niagara and West Virginia on Sept. 1 before facing South Carolina and the host Patriots on the following day.
Kristen Dickmann Invitational Summary
1-2 Norfolk State
Bailey Baxter, UNO (MVP)
Amy Roberts, UNO
Jackie Tamburri, UH
Sareeta Nethersole, UH
Noelle Eagles, NSU
Darcy Moore, NSU
Carolyn Ewert, Navy