Oct. 4, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- After opening its Patriot League season with four consecutive home matches, the Navy volleyball team will take to the road for each of its next five and seven of its next eight league matches. This road stretch begins Friday when the Midshipmen play at American in a 7 p.m. match.
A link to the video stream of the match American is providing is available at NavySports.com. There is a $7.95 charge to obtain the stream.
Navy made the most of its early season home slate by winning three of the four matches it played in the Wesley A. Brown Field House. Most recently, the Mids rallied to defeat both Lehigh and Lafayette after having dropped the first two sets in each of the respective matches. Navy posted a 21-25, 17-25, 25-23, 25-16, 17-15 victory over Lehigh and a 12-25, 22-25, 25-17, 25-22, 15-6 win over Lafayette.
"We never talk about our won-loss record with the team until the last match of the year," said Navy head coach Larry Bock. "It is important for us to concern ourselves only with the present tense, and that means focusing solely on the next match at hand. We entered practice Monday as if we had lost both of our matches last week, which we very easily could have. It seems there are more learning opportunities that come out of losses than victories. Winning those two matches did help to make last weekend a good one in many ways, but the weekend also clearly demonstrated that we have a long ways to go."
The three leagues wins is one more than Navy had compiled over the last two Patriot League seasons combined and matches its victory total from the 2009 campaign. The Mids have tallied an overall record of 7-9 this fall.
"I think there is some awareness on the team of the potential it has to play at a higher level," said Bock. "I think the players are saying, `Hey, this is fun; we can be pretty good.' But there also is an awareness of the fine line between us being a very good Navy volleyball team and a very average Navy volleyball team."
Navy will head to our nation's capital to face an American team that has posted a 2-2 record over the first fortnight of the Patriot League season and has compiled a 9-7 record for the full 2012 season. Both Navy and American have lost to Army and defeated Holy Cross this season, while the Eagles recorded a win over Lafayette and dropped their match against Lehigh. Two of Navy's league wins have been five-set matches, while both of American's league losses have come in five sets.
American has won all 24 matches it has played against Navy since the Eagles joined the Patriot League for the 2001 season. Included in those two dozen matches are a pair of Patriot League Tournament contests and 13 matches that have been played on the American campus.
The Eagles posted three-set victories over the Mids in each of the 2011 meetings between the teams. American first won a 25-17, 25-21, 25-19 decision in Annapolis before posting a 25-11, 25-18, 25-15 victory in Washington, D.C.
"It is a mistake to put a label on any team," said Bock, whose Juniata teams won all three of the matches it played against American during his 34 seasons at the school. "You have to avoid playing the name on the back of the uniform as opposed to the individual wearing it. American has clearly been the class of the Patriot League since it joined the league. What a neat challenge we have with the opportunity to compete against a program like American at least twice a season."