Volleyball Notches Road Sweep
EASTON, Pa. –– Ten different members of the Navy volleyball team recorded at least one kill as the Mids posted a 3-0 victory over Lafayette Saturday evening at the Kirby Sports Center in Easton, Pa. The Mids (21-6, 11-3 Patriot League) tallied a 25-14, 25-11, 25-16 victory over the Leopards (5-22, 2-14).
“It was a real surgical match for us,” said Navy head coach Larry Bock. “We took advantage of the opportunity to improve ourselves today and didn’t go backwards. I couldn’t be more pleased with how our players handled the match.
“Any time you come away with road wins on back-to-back nights (Navy defeated Bucknell, 3-1, Friday), it is a good weekend.”
Today’s win assured Navy of finishing no lower than in third place in the final Patriot League standings. The Mids most recently finished in third place in 2014, which marked the first time Navy placed that high since tying for second place in 2005.
Navy currently sits two games in back of first-place American, with the Mids holding the tiebreaker should the teams end the season with identical records. The Mids also are one-half game in front of Army West Point, which will play Sunday at Colgate. After Sunday’s matches, all teams will have two regular season matches left on their schedules. Only American and Navy have clinched playoff spots heading into tomorrow’s matches.
Additionally, Navy’s 21 wins this year are tied for the program’s second most in a single Division I season (since 1991) and leaves the Mids just two wins shy of tying the school record of 23 set in 1992. Navy previously won 21 matches in 1999, 2004, 2005 and 2007. Finally, Navy’s 11 league wins are tied with the 2014 squad for the most by the Mids in a league year in the five seasons the slate has included 16 league matches.
Navy built an 8-2 lead in the first set and never looked back. The Mids totaled 14 kills and a .333 attack percentage in the opening set and limited the Leopards to six kills and a hitting percentage of (-).061.
The second set was tied at 5-5 when a 5-0 run by Navy gave it a lead it would not relinquish. Hitting was again the different as the Mids outhit the Leopards, .435-.158.
The third set was tight for a good amount of time and featured nine ties and four lead changes. What would turn out to be the final tie came at 11-11, which was followed by a 3-0 Navy run. Lafayette winnowed the margin down to two points on three occasions, including at 17-15. Navy proceeded to place the next seven points on the scoreboard to reach match point.
“We were real efficient with our hitting,” said Bock. “We kept things clean from start to finish. And our defense was really good.
“We really played nearly as well as we could in every phase of the game.”
Navy ended the night doubling Lafayette’s kill total (43-21) and holding a .405-.037 advantage in hitting percentage. The Mids also held statistical leads of 40-27 in digs, 6-2 in blocks and 7-3 in aces.
Leading the Navy attack was outside hitter Maddi Sgattoni (Fr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) with 10 kills. Middle hitters Katie Patrick (Jr., Aurora, Colo.) and Sarena Seelbach (So., Chapel Hill, N.C.) also had very good nights as Patrick totaled seven kills on nine swings (.667) and Seelbach had six kills and zero errors on 12 attempts (.500).
Also for Navy, outside hitter Maggie Phillips (Sr., Leesburg, Pa.) produced five kills and three of Navy’s seven aces, libero Sydney Shearn (Jr., Louisville, Ky.) snared a team-high 10 digs and Seelbach accounted for two solo blocks and three blocks in all. Navy will conclude a stretch of three road matches in five days Tuesday when the Mids play at Lehigh, then will close the regular season November 12 at home against Army. The Patriot League Tournament will be played Nov. 18-19 at home of the No. 1 seed in the event.
Patriot League Standings (Remaining Matches)
1. *13-1 American (Nov. 10 vs. Colgate, Nov. 12 vs. Bucknell)
2. *11-3 Navy (Nov. 7 at Lehigh, Nov. 12 vs. Army)
3. 10-3 Army (Nov. 5 at Colgate, Nov. 10 vs. Lehigh, Nov. 12 at Navy)
4. 8-6 Lehigh (Nov. 7 vs. Navy, Nov. 10 at Army)
5. 7-6 Colgate (Nov. 5 at Army, Nov. 10 at American, Nov. 12 vs. Lafayette)
6. 7-7 Bucknell (Nov. 10 at Holy Cross, Nov. 12 at American)
7. 3-11 Loyola (Nov. 7 vs. Lafayette, Nov. 11 at Holy Cross)
8. 2-12 Lafayette (Nov. 7 at Loyola, Nov. 12 vs. Colgate)
9. 1-13 Holy Cross (Nov. 10 vs. Bucknell, Nov. 11 vs. Loyola)
*=Clinched berth in Patriot League Tournament