Navy Outhits Holy Cross in Volleyball Win
ANNAPOLIS, Md. –– One of the Navy volleyball team’s better hitting nights of the league season propelled the Mids to a three-set sweep of Holy Cross Friday night at the Wesley A. Brown Field House in Annapolis. Navy (19-5, 9-2 Patriot League) posted a 25-11, 25-20, 25-15 victory over Holy Cross (4-20, 1-10).
Navy held a .376-.052 advantage in hitting percentage.
The victory coupled with American defeating Army West Point in four sets gave the Mids sole possession of second place in the Patriot League standings. The Eagles lead the league with a 10-1 record (Navy handed them their lone loss), the Mids are in second with a 9-2 record and the Black Knights are in third place with an 8-3 mark.
Navy never trailed in the first set, scoring the opening three points of the match and jumping out to leads of 6-3, 11-4 and 15-5 to win the frame comfortably. The Mids outhit the Crusaders .440-.000 and allowed Holy Cross to score points on just one of its 12 serves in the set.
“We served the ball real hard in the first set,” said Navy head coach Larry Bock. “Holy Cross is a good in-system team, but we were successful at keeping them from getting into any kind of organized offense.”
Holy Cross slowly took a 6-3 lead in the second set when a kill by Maddi Sgattoni (Fr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) gave the serve back to Navy. Maggie Phillips (Sr., Leesburg, Va.) dropped back to the service line and her final offering was with the Mids in front by the score of 8-6. The score remained close with several ties and a few lead changes until the score was tied for the 11th time in the set at 18-18. Sgattoni posted a kill to break the tie, then Katie Patrick (Jr., Aurora, Colo.) recorded a block to double the Navy lead. The margin became 21-18 on a kill by Dorothy Murray (Sr., Harbor City, Colo.), then a kill by Patrick made the score 22-18 in favor of the Mids. Patricia Mattingly (Jr., New Albany, Ind.) stretched the Navy run to five in a row with an ace. The teams exchanged the next four points to give the Mids a 2-0 lead in sets.
“The second set was really the play of Holy Cross that made the difference,” said Bock. “They started to play as they have of late, which is a glimpse into the future for a team that has 12 freshmen on its roster.”
Holy Cross was the team to start the third set strong as it very quickly scored the opening four points of the set. A servicer error by the Crusaders accounted for the first point recorded by the Mids in the set, which sent Sgattoni back to serve. A kill by Maggie Phillips (Sr., Leesburg, Va.) made the score 4-2, then Navy recorded blocks on the ensuing three points –– two combo blocks by Patrick and Murray and a solo by Murray –– to give Navy its first lead of the frame at 5-4.
The Crusaders responded and slowly took a 10-7 lead. Sarena Seelbach (So., Chapel Hill, N.C.) notched to kill to make the score 10-8 and start a 5-0 run for the Mids that gave them a 13-10 lead. A Holy Cross kill (13-11) was followed by another 3-0 by Navy that gave the home team a 16-11 lead. The Mids then closed the 80-minute contest on a 9-2 run.
Similar to the first set, Navy held a .400-.000 advantage in hitting percentage in set number three.
“I think we came out of the break a little overconfident at challenging the Holy Cross block,” said Bock. “After we started to change the direction of the ball a little and found some edges, things settled down. We also did a better job at getting Dorothy the ball. As she went, so went the team.”
Navy more than doubled the Holy Cross kill total as the Mids notched 46 kills and allowed the Crusaders just 22 kills. Navy also held advantages over Holy Cross in aces (8-5), digs (47-27) and blocks (7-5).
Sgattoni led the Navy offense with 12 kills while also dropping in three aces and nearing posting a double-double with nine digs. Joining her with double figure kills was Murray with 10. Murray also hit .368 on the night. Also having a productive night was Phillips with eight kills and two aces.
“Maddi and Maggie both did a nice job with the volume of hitting and serving,” said Bock. “We did a drill in practice this week where we felt if we could get three or four points in a row we would be in pretty decent shape. Maggie and Maddi proved that theory this evening. They just served the heck out of the ball. Their passing also was big. That made our middle hitters real efficient.”
Middle hitters Patrick and Seelbach ended the night with six kills each and just one error between them on a total of 21 attempts by the duo. Patrick hit .550 –– to go along with five blocks –– and Seelbach posted a .500 attack percentage.
The Mids will be back in the Wesley A. Brown Field House Saturday at 4 p.m. for a match against Colgate. The Raiders, who did not play a match Friday, have won four of their last five matches with the lone loss in that span being a five-set setback to first-place American.
“Colgate is playing as well as any team in the league right now,” said Bock. “We had opportunities to score a lot of easy points tonight. Those chances will be few and far between tomorrow. Every point will be hard work. We need to bring our lunch pails and hard hats with us to the gym.
“We hit .376 tonight. If we can still be in the neighborhood of that mark while cleaning up some of our hitting errors and be prepared for a lot of in plays tomorrow, that’s a good formula for us.”
Patriot League Standings (Remaining Matches this Weekend)
1 – 10-1 – American (Saturday vs. Holy Cross)
2 – 9-2 – Navy (Saturday vs. Colgate)
3 – 8-3 – Army West Point (Saturday at Loyola)
4 – 6-5 – Lehigh (Saturday at Lafayette)
5 – 5-6 – Bucknell (Sunday vs. Lafayette)
6 – 4-6 – Colgate (Saturday at Navy, Sunday at Loyola)
7 – 3-7 – Loyola (Saturday vs. Army, Sunday vs. Colgate)
8 – 2-8 – Lafayette (Saturday vs. Lehigh, Sunday vs. Bucknell)
9 – 1-10 – Holy Cross (Saturday at American)