Hitting the Difference in Navy Volleyball Loss
Nov. 5, 2013
TOWSON, Md. -- Towson outhit the Navy volleyball team by .161 in a three-set win by the Tigers over the Mids, Tuesday night at SECU Arena in Towson. The Tigers (9-22) posted a 25-21, 25-18, 25-15 win over the Mids (12-13).
"We were unable to get much heat on the ball tonight," said Navy head coach Larry Bock. "We were playing a physical team, and they won the physical battle. It was real clear that if the ball was within a few feet of the net, it was an advantage for Towson."
Navy jumped out to an early 6-1 lead in the first set before Towson tied the score at 8-8. The Tigers soon edged their way out to several four-point leads, but Navy soon regained a 20-19 lead. Towson answered with a 4-0 run to take a 23-20 advantage. A Navy kill was quickly followed by a Towson kill and then the Tigers tallied a block to close out the first set.
The Tigers promptly raced out to an 8-1 lead at the start of the second set. Navy tallied back-to-back points to pull to within five points of the Tigers, but Towson sprinted away from the Mids with a 12-5 to take a 20-8 cushion. The Mids did battle back late in the set but the deficit was too much to overcome.
Towson opened the third set by scoring five of the first seven points. The Tigers would hold a slim lead out to taking a 13-10 cushion when they went on a 3-0 run to build a six-point advantage. Towson maintained a lead of between five and seven points over the ensuing points before closing the match on another 3-0 run.
"Our serving and passing were not what they needed to be," said Bock. "We also needed to dig balls down the line and cross court better than we did.
Towson held significant advantages over Navy in hitting percentage in each set -- .171-.034, .300-.188 and 444-.167, respectively -- and in the match, .293-.132. The Tigers had one more attempt than the Mids did, 92-91. and Navy only had two more attack errors than Towson recorded, 17-15. However, Towson held a 42-29 advantage over Navy in kills.
McKenzie Bailey (Fr., Dublin, Ohio) led Navy with nine kills in the match, with Katie Sylakowski (So., Escondido, Calif.) posting six kills and a .357 attack percentage. Navy's Erin Fortner (Sr., Villa Hills, Ky.) had a rare off night as she recorded just five kills and hit .100. Bailey and Fortner each grabbed five digs, Alli Graf (Fr., Annapolis, Md.) hauled in a team-high eight digs and both Sylakowski and Alex Cassel (Jr., Sandy, Utah) tallied a pair of blocks.
"McKenzie was a bright spot for us," said Bock. "And those who came off the bench tried to ignite things for us. We were successful when we got the ball to Katie, but we were unable to do so as much as we needed to."
Leading all players in the match offensively was Towson's Victoria Williams with 13 kills and a .524 attack percentage.
Navy will play just one Patriot League match this weekend. The Mids will travel to Hamilton, N.Y., to face first-place Colgate Friday at 7 p.m.