Oct. 18, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Six American players hit over .500 in a 3-0 victory by the Eagles over the Navy volleyball team Friday night at the Wesley A. Brown Field House in Annapolis. The Eagles improved their overall record to 21-2 and their Patriot League mark to 7-1 with the 25-12, 25-20, 25-12 win over the Mids. Navy's record fell to 8-11 overall and 4-4 in league play with the loss.
"American is a good team in all aspects of the game," said Navy head coach Larry Bock. "We never really got our blocking or defense going. I thought American passed the ball real well. It was not light serving from us that they were passing either. It was our best stuff. How they passed was more a product of a positive for them as opposed to a negative for us."
After American took a quick 5-1 lead at the start of the first set, Navy reeled the Eagles back in as the Mids closed to within 6-5 and 10-8. American promptly went on a 4-0 run to separate itself slightly from Navy. The Eagles soon held an 18-12 lead when American rattled off the next seven points to win the opening frame.
"We don't matchup real well with American in the best of circumstances," said Bock, "but I put us in the worst lineup to start the match with. I didn't do a real good job of preparing us for as hard and fast of a game American played with tonight."
American again took a 5-1 lead in the second set before building cushions of 16-6 and 18-10. Navy answered with a run of its own as the Mids cut the deficit down to four points at 18-14. The American advantage would soon be just three points at 19-16 before the Eagles took a 22-16 lead. Again Navy responded with a 3-0 run of its own to winnow the gap down to 22-19. Back-to-back kills for American gave it a 24-19 lead, then the teams traded sideouts to finish off the scoring in the set.
American built an early 8-5 lead in the third set before a 6-0 run gave it a 14-5 advantage. From there, the difference between the teams was between 8 and 13 points.
The Eagles as a team tallied a .411 hitting percentage. American posted 44 kills and just five attack errors on 95 swings in the 75-minute match. Conversely, Navy was held to a mark of .105 on 30 kills and 19 errors over its 107 swings. Further helping the Eagles to their offensive advantages was their 8.5 blocks against the 2.0 blocks recorded by the Mids.
Erin Fortner (Sr., Villa Hills, Ky.) and Katie Sylakowski (So., Escondido, Calif.) both posted eight kills for the Navy offense. Sylakowski did not tally an attack error on her 16 attempts to end the night with a .500 hitting percentage, while Fortner chipped in eight digs. Starting setter Alex Karika (So., Cranberry Township, Pa.) dished out 12 assists, with teammate Star Steele (So., Tampa, Fla.) recording 15 assists. Pacing the Navy defense was Alli Graf (Fr., Annapolis, Md.) with 15 digs.
"Star was a real bright spot for us," said Bock. "She gave us some energy. She did a lot with the passing and digs that were not always what we ideally wanted."
For American, Allison Cappellino finished the night with 12 kills, a .455 attack percentage and 13 digs, with Kelly McCaddin totaling 10 kills, a .625 hitting percentage and five blocks.
Navy will step out of league play Tuesday night when the Mids play host to Towson in a 7 p.m. match in the Wesley A. Brown Field House.