Oct. 26, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- American used 15 team blocks to outhit the Navy volleyball team by 150 points and defeat the Mids in four sets Friday night at the Wesley A. Brown Field House in Annapolis. The Eagles (16-9, 7-3 Patriot League) recorded a 25-20, 25-10, 21-25, 25-21 victory over the Midshipmen (9-13, 5-5).
"I though American played extremely well in the first two sets," said Navy head coach Larry Bock. "We were reacting the whole time. They dictated the pace of play. We didn't help things with our light serving. American was `in system' a ton and we were `out of system' an equal number of times.
"It is a complement to our players that teams are going to be very ready for us now. It is not like we can sneak up on anybody. We need to respond accordingly and be real ready for teams that are so prepared for us. We have to make the right aggressive adjustments."
American held a slim lead for the majority of the opening set. The Eagles built their largest cushion in the early part of the frame at 11-6, only to see the Mids chip away at the deficit and tie the score at 14-14. The score would again be tied at 17-17 when a 3-0 by American gave it a 20-17 lead. Navy notched a point on a kill by Erin Fortner (Jr., Villa Hills, Ky.), but that was followed by back-to-back American kills that gave the Eagles a 22-18 advantage. There would be a three-point difference between the teams at both 22-19 and 23-20 before a kill by American's Kristyna Lindovska and a block by her teammate Morgan Hendrix ended the first set.
The Eagles jumped out to an 8-3 lead early in the second set and quickly expanded it out to 18-7. American outhit Navy .480-.111 in the second set.
Navy was the team to have the hot start to the third set. The Mids scored five of the first-six points of the frame only to see American tie the score at 9-9. The score would also be tied at 11-11 and 13-13 when a 3-1 run gave the Eagles a 16-14 lead. Katie Sylakowski (Fr., Escondido, Calif.) recorded kills on the ensuing two plays to tie the score, then a kill by Carolyn Ewert (Sr., Bakersfield, Calif.) gave Navy an 17-16 lead. The Eagles responded with a 3-0 run of their own to take a 19-17 lead and force Bock to call timeout.
Ewert posted a kill on the first play out of the break, then Alex Cassel
(So., Sandy, Utah) tallied a block to tie the set at 19-19. The score would also be tied at 20-20 and 21-21. Navy took a 22-21 lead on an American service error, then another block by Cassel allowed the Mids to double their advantage. An American ball-handling error and an attack error by the Eagles ended the ensuing two plays and gave the Mids the third set.
The score was tied a total of 11 times in the opening three sets, with there also being four lead changes during that time as well. The score would be tied 12 times and the lead would change hands on four occasions alone in the fourth set.
After a tight opening to the set, a 3-0 Navy run gave the Mids a 16-12 advantage in the middle part of the frame. That cushion didn't last long as the Eagles scored the next four points to knot the score at 16-16. The scoreboard would also show a tie score at 17-17, 18-18, 19-19, 20-20 and 21-21. American's Sara Rishell broke the tie on a kill, then an attack error by Fortner gave the Eagles a 23-21 lead. A Hendrix kill took American to match point. The Eagles converted on the opportunity when Lindovska posted another kill.
American finished the match with just five more kills than Navy did, 52-47, but the Eagles added only 16 attack errors while Navy tallied 28. Those numbers gave American an overall hitting percentage of .290 and Navy a mark of .142. While American finished the night with 15 blocks, Navy notched just 5 blocks of its own. Both teams would snare 48 digs, with American holding an 8-2 advantage in service aces.
Fortner led Navy in kills with 16 and Ewert recorded 10 kills of her own. Ewert also added 11 digs to post her fourth double-double of the season. Leading all players in the match in passing was Christy Rapp (Sr., Royal Oak, Mich.) with 14 digs.
Rishell matched Fortner's effort with 16 kills, Hendrix totaled 10 blocks in the match and Allison Cappellino grabbed 12 digs to pace the American passers.
The loss by the Mids coupled with a victory by Lehigh over Lafayette tonight moves the Mountain Hawks into sole possession of fourth place in the Patriot League standings and drops Navy into fifth place. Lehigh, 6-4 in league matches, will play host to Navy on Saturday, Nov. 3. The Mids defeated the Mountain Hawks in five sets in the first meeting between the teams.
Prior to facing Lehigh on Nov. 3, Navy will play Nov. 2 at Lafayette. The Mids also defeated the Leopards in five sets earlier this year.
There are only four matches remaining in the season, with only the top-four teams in the final standings advancing into the Patriot League Tournament.
"We have to shift into thinking about Lafayette real fast," said Bock. "We are going to lose hard for a short while, then move into preparing for Lafayette. We have to win each match. Our playoffs start now."