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Navy Outlasts Army in Five Games

Nov. 4, 2005

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Beth McArthur (Jr., Roseville, Minn.) totaled five kills on six attempts and one block in game five to help the Navy volleyball team record a five-game victory over Army, Friday night in Macdonough Hall. The Midshipmen (18-7, 9-4 Patriot League) defeated the Black Knights (19-4, 10-2 Patriot League) 32-30, 24-30, 30-28, 16-30, 15-9 in front of an overflow crowd in Macdonough Hall.

"It was a typical Army-Navy match," said Navy head coach Mike Schwob. "There were lots of momentum shifts throughout the match and players from both teams left everything they had on the floor."

The Mids quickly scored a pair of points to start the fifth game, but Army answered back with two-straight points of its own to tie the game. Navy took a 6-4 lead on a kill from Megan Boyd (Jr., Richmond, Va.), but Army scored three-straight points to take a 7-6 lead. The teams played sideout volleyball for several points and Army soon held a 9-8 lead following a kill from Briana Stremick.

After a service error by Army's Abby Casciato, McArthur recorded back-to-back kills to give the Mids an 11-9 advantage. McArthur and Rachel Dougherty (So., Derwood, Md.) teamed for a block to give Navy a three point lead, then McArthur again put down back-to-back kills to take Navy to match point. Jessie Sims (Fr., Etowah, N.C.) would immediately end the match with an ace on her next serve.



"I thought the key to our success in game five was how we played towards end of game four," said Schwob. " We were down throughout the game, but we seemed to gather our rhythm again towards the end of it. That gave us a little boost and some confidence as we prepared for game five."

Navy started the match on a tear, jumping out to a 12-3 lead in game one, but Army slowly climbed back into the game and tied the score for the first time at 25-25. Following a Navy point, Army scored three-straight points to take a 28-26 advantage. Navy's responded with a pair of points of its own to tie the game again at 28-28, then took a 29-28 lead on a hitting error from Stremick. Stremick atoned for her error with a kill to tie the game, then Army reached game point on a hitting error from McArthur. Ashley Musser (Sr., Industry, Pa.) tallied a kill for Navy to tie the game, then miscommunication on an Army set gave Navy a 31-30 lead. The Mids ended the game when McArthur and Dougherty combined for a block.

Game two was close, but Army held a slim lead throughout the game and held it until scoring the final four points to record a 30-24 victory and even the match at one game apiece.

Navy tried to pull away early in game three, taking a 12-6 advantage, but saw Army climb right back into the contest with a 5-0 run to pull to within 12-11. Navy then held a 21-18 lead until Army scored six of the next seven points to pull in front, 24-22. The Black Knights would go on to hold a 28-27 lead, but the Mids closed the game with three-straight points on an Army overpass going out of bounds, an Army miscue on a set and McArthur winning a joust at the net on game point.

Game four was all Army as Navy struggled offensively throughout the game. The Black Knights took a 7-2 lead at the start of the game and eventually pulled in front by an 18-8 advantage, setting the stage for a fifth game.

Army outhit Navy .223-.128 in the match, but the Mids recorded a .400 attack percentage (11 kills, three errors, 20 attempts) in game five while holding the Black Knights to a .176 hitting percentage (5 kills, 2 errors, 17 attempts).

McArthur led all players with 17 kills and added 13 digs for her ninth double-double of the year, while also tallying a match-high eight blocks. Sims also notched a double-double on the evening, her eighth of the year, with 10 kills and a Navy-high 20 digs.

Army was led offensively by Eileen Cassidy with 16 kills and on the defensive end with 22 digs from both Cassidy and Mandy Kimbrell.

"As the people at Army made our match earlier this season at West Point a great college sports environment, so too did everyone who came out to support both teams tonight in Macdonough Hall," said Schwob. "The fans, the band and the cheerleaders played an awesome role in making this a tremendous volleyball atmosphere for the players from both teams to compete in."

Navy will close its home season Saturday night when the Midshipmen play host to Holy Cross in a 7 p.m. match. Prior to the start of the match, Navy will hold senior day ceremonies for Musser, Megan Vehovic (Sr., Clymer, Pa.) and Andrea Wernecke (Sr., Gaithersburg, Md.).

Army will remain in the area for a Saturday match at American.

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