Oct. 15, 2011
EASTON, Pa. -- Strong starts in each set boosted Lafayette to a four-set victory over the Navy volleyball team Saturday afternoon at the Kirby Sports Center in Easton, Pa. The Leopards defeated the Midshipmen by scores of 22-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-13.
"We didn't do a good job of earning points today," said Navy head coach Larry Bock. "We were relying too much on waiting for Lafayette to make errors."
The first set saw Lafayette (8-11, 1-6 Patriot League) quickly score five of the first six points of the match and soon take a 9-5 lead over Navy (6-16, 1-6). The Mids answered with a 6-0 run to take an 11-9 lead. Lafayette tied the set at 11-11, then the score was tied at each point up through 18-18. Back-to-back points by Navy gave the Mids a 20-18 lead, but that was erased by a 3-0 run by Lafayette that gave the Leopards a 21-20 lead. Carolyn Ewert (Jr., Bakersfield, Calif.) knocked down a kill to tie the score at 21-21, then Christy Rapp (Jr., Royal Oak, Mich.) tallied a kill to give the Mids the lead again. A Lafayette attack error increased the Navy advantage to two points at 23-21. Alana Taylor posted a kill for Lafayette to slice the margin in half, but that was followed by consecutive kills from Erin Fortner (So., Villa Hills, Ky.) to allow the Mids to claim the opening set.
Lafayette put together another strong start in the early going of the second set. The Leopards jumped out to a 7-1 lead and were able to extend it out to 14-8. Navy slowly climbed back into the set and winnowed the margin down to one point at 20-19. However, the Leopards scored five of the next six points to even the match at one set apiece.
"I think we struggled with our rhythm from the start of the second set through to the end of the match," said Bock.
The beginning of the third set was much closer than the first two sets were. The lead changed hands several times in the early going before a 5-0 run gave Lafayette an 11-7 lead. The Leopards would go on to hold a lead of between three and six points over the remainder of the set.
Set number four was very similar to set number three. The score was tied at 8-8 when Lafayette scored the next six points to take a 14-8 lead. The Leopards would soon expand that cushion to 20-9 on their way to closing out the set and the match.
"I don't think either team played particularly well today," said Bock. "We passed a little better on first contact, but there also were some out of character contacts for us which we as coaches will need to better prepare the players for."
The two defenses played very well in the match. Lafayette hauled in 69 digs in helping hold the Navy offense to a .078 attack percentage, while the Mids grabbed 73 digs in limiting the Leopards to a .153 hitting percentage.
Individually on defense, Lafayette's Christy Mebust tallied 32 digs in the match, while Rapp's 17 digs made her one of five Mids to record double digit digs. Offensively, Lafayette's Camisa Beghou finished with 12 kills and Fortner totaled 11 kills for the Mids.
Navy will open the second half of the Patriot League season with matches Oct. 21 at Bucknell and Oct. 22 at Colgate.