ARLINGTON, Va. - The Navy volleyball team dropped a four-set match to Denver and won a four-set decision over The Citadel Saturday at the Armed Forces Tournament that was played at The Pentagon. The Mids (3-7) lost a 24-26, 25-10, 25-12, 25-16 match to the Pioneers while defeating the Bulldogs by scores of 25-20, 20-25, 25-15, 25-17.
"Our Denver match was a beneficial one for us, even with losing the match," said Navy head coach Larry Bock. "Taking the first set against them may have been one of the high moments of the weekend. Denver is a very good team that swept Army a few hours after they played us. We let everyone take to the court starting in the second set, so having all of our players receive playing time now against a strong opponent will help us down the road."
Carolyn Ewert (Sr., Bakersfield, Calif.) paced Navy against the Pioneers with 12 kills and a .379 attack percentage.
"We are trying to find more consistent levels with this team in terms of their emotion, physical play and energy," said Bock. "I feel we displayed that level far more in the match against The Citadel than we did against Denver."
Olivia Yeager (Fr., Lutz, Fla.) led the Mids with 16 kills and a .481 attack percentage against The Citadel. Additionally, Katie Sylakowski (Fr., Escondido, Calif.) posted 12 kills and hit .333, Erin Fortner (Jr., Villa Hills, Ky.) knocked down 13 kills and matched Sylakowski's attack percentage, and Alex Karika (Fr., Cranberry Township, Pa.) dropped in four service aces.
"Our defense toughened up over the weekend," said Bock, "and Christy Rapp (Sr., Royal Oak, Mich.) was right in the middle of that. She averaged more than five digs a set today, which is right where we want our libero to be. That average for the libero opens up a whole new world for us. Christy is starting to see this defense as being hers, and she really wants the ball. It is great to see."
Navy will close out its non-Patriot League slate of matches next weekend when the Mids play Temple (Friday) and Central Connecticut State (Saturday) in Philadelphia.
Note: Neither a box score nor play-by-play from both matches were available when this story was written.