Oct. 12, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army held a .363-.096 hitting percentage advantage on its way to posting a 3-0 victory over the Navy volleyball team Saturday night at Gillis Field House in West Point, N.Y. The Black Knights (9-8, 6-1 Patriot League) defeated the Midshipmen (7-10, 3-3) by scores of 25-17, 25-14 and 25-18.
"Army played a terrific match," said Navy head coach Larry Bock. "In each phase of the game, they kicked our behinds."
Army jumped out to early leads of 5-1 and 10-5 in the first set. Navy inched its way back into the frame by winnowing the margin down to four points at 14-10 and 15-11. It was still a four-point difference at 19-15 when the Black Knights scored back-to-back points to open up a 21-15 lead and result in a Navy timeout. Erin Fortner (Sr., Villa Hills, Ky.) knocked down a kill for the Mids out of the break, but Army answered with consecutive points to take a 23-16 lead. An Army attack error was followed by consecutive kills by the Black Knights to give them the first set.
Navy again fell behind very early in the second set. The score was tied at 4-4 when Army rattled off the next six points to take a 10-4 lead. The closest the Mids would get to the Black Knights over the remainder of the set was at 10-5 when Navy scored a point on an Army service error.
Army took early leads of 4-1 and 6-3 in the third set, but this time Navy was able to climb back into the set and soon took a 10-9 lead. The score would be tied at 14-14 when Army scored the next six points to build a 20-14 advantage.
In addition to its sizable hitting percentage advantage, Army also held statistical leads over Navy in kills (44-29), aces (6-3), digs (41-31) and blocks (8-3).
"We served very light, blocked poorly and couldn't dig anything," said Bock. "We passed less than we normally do, and that led to us being out of system for most of the night and Army being in system for most of the night."
Fortner led the Navy offense with nine kills while also adding eight digs. Alli Graf
(Fr., Annapolis, Md.) paced the Navy passers with 11 digs.
"Erin was really good offensively," said Bock. "And I thought Olivia Yeager (So., Lutz, Fla.) did a good job of shouldering the offensive load on our left side (five kills). This was a good match for her to bolster her standing."
The lone Army player to reach double figures in kills was Olivia Fairfield, but she not only tallied 17 kills, she also did not commit an attack error on 24 swings for a .708 attack percentage.
Navy will close out a stretch of three-straight road matches Wednesday when the Mids play at Loyola.
"We have to learn from tonight and get ready for an important week," said Bock.