Aug. 23, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy volleyball team will open its 2012 season this weekend when the Mids play host to the Kristen Dickmann Invitational in the Wesley A. Brown Field House. The round-robin tournament between the Mids, Hartford, Nebraska-Omaha and Norfolk State consists of a pair of matches on Friday and four matches on Saturday.
Friday's doubleheader features Nebraska-Omaha and Norfolk State facing each other at 4 p.m., with Navy and Hartford taking to the court at 7 p.m. Navy and Norfolk State will begin Saturday's foursome of matches with an 11 a.m. first serve slated for the teams. That match will be followed by Hartford taking on Nebraska-Omaha at 1 p.m., then Hartford will face Norfolk State at 4 p.m. Capping both the day and tournament will be a 6 p.m. match between Navy and Nebraska-Omaha.
Live statistics from each of the six matches will be available at NavySports.com, with a free live video stream of Saturday evening's Navy vs. Nebraska-Omaha match also available at the web site.
There is no admission charge for any Navy volleyball match throughout the 2012 season.
All fans without a Department of Defense sticker affixed to their vehicle will need to either park outside of the Naval Academy and walk through the security checkpoint or else ride the free shuttle bus to and from the matches. The shuttle bus will originate from and return to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (parking is $5. per vehicle) on both days. For directions, shuttle bus location and hours and answers to other game day related questions, please visit the following link:
Game Day Information.
Now in his second season on The Yard, Navy head coach Larry Bock has assembled a roster consisting of three seniors, three returning starters and 11 new players. Included among the newcomers are the lone three setters on the squad.
"Predictably, our fall training began with our serving ahead of our passing," said Bock. "As time has progressed, our ball handling in general and passing in particular has come along nicely.
"I'd like to see our freshmen setters become comfortable in running our offense this weekend. We want to be aggressive on the court, even to the point of us making attacking, blocking and defensive errors because of that aggressiveness."
Navy has faced Hartford in each of the last two seasons. Both matches have been extended into five sets, with Hartford winning in Annapolis in 2010 and Navy winning in Hartford in 2011. Last season's match saw the Mids win the first two sets before eventually edging the Hawks, 15-12, in the fifth set. Navy's Carolyn Ewert (Sr., Bakersfield, Calif.) paced all players in the match with 19 kills and a .349 attack percentage.
In all, Navy and Hartford have split the four previously contested matches in the series.
The Mids also have faced Norfolk State fairly recently. Navy defeated the Spartans twice during the 2009 campaign before Norfolk State recorded a win over the Mids in 2010.
Those three matches in a span of 13 months have been the lone previous meetings between the teams. Saturday's match will be the first time the two teams will have played a match against one another on Annapolis.
Navy enters the weekend without having faced Nebraska-Omaha before.
"Each one of our three opponents this weekend will provide us with different tests," said Bock. "They each play different styles, so I am excited to see how our young team adapts to the unique challenges each opponent will give us."
Navy has played host to a tournament annually for over two decades. The 2012 edition of the tournament will mark the third time it will be played as the Kristen Dickmann Invitational.
Dickmann was a defensive specialist on the Navy volleyball team during her freshman season in the fall of 2007. In the spring of 2008, she unexpectedly passed away in the USNA's dorm, Bancroft Hall.
"This tournament is one of the premier events of the entire year for the Navy volleyball program," said Bock, who coached Dickmann's sister, Cassie, at Juniata. "It provides us a special opportunity to remember someone who we would want all of our midshipmen to emulate. It is an honor for us to have this tournament associated with such a wonderful family in the Dickmann's and Kristen herself."