Oct. 4, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy volleyball team will be back in the Wesley A. Brown Field House for its lone home match in a span of four weeks Saturday when the Midshipmen play host to Colgate in a 4 p.m. match.
All fans without a Department of Defense identification card 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. Due to the Navy-Air Force football game taking place Saturday at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, the free shuttle bus for the volleyball match will originate from and return to the Truman Park and Ride, which is located at the corner of Riva Road and Truman Parkway near the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration building in Annapolis. Shuttle bus service will begin at 3 p.m. For maps, directions and answers to other game day related questions, please visit the following link:
Game Day Information.
Live statistics from the match will be available at NavySports.com.
Navy split its two matches last weekend, defeating Bucknell in three sets and losing to Lehigh in four sets. Erin Fortner (Sr., Villa Hills, Ky.) and Olivia Yeager (So., Lutz, Fla.) paced the Navy offense against Bucknell with 10 kills apiece, while Alex Cassel (Jr., Sandy, Utah) and Katie Sylakowski (So., Escondido, Calif.) each hit in the upper .300's and combined for a total of eight blocks. The Mids as a team outhit the Bison, .253-.077.
Consistent hitting was a struggle for the Mids the following day against the Mountain Hawks. Navy was limited to a mark of .194 while allowing Lehigh to hit at a .280 clip. Fortner's 15 kills led the Navy offense, with Sylakowski posting 10 kills, hitting .412 and recording four blocks. Additionally for the Navy defense, Alli Graf (Fr., Annapolis, Md.) snared 21 digs on the afternoon.
Last week's decisions left the Mids with a 2-1 record against Patriot League opponents and a 6-8 mark overall this year. Navy is hitting .244 in its three league matches thus far, while holding foes to a percentage of .181. Navy also holds narrow advantages over its opponents during league play in kills (13.90-11.80 kps), aces (1.90-1.60 aps), digs (15.90-13.70 dps) and blocks (2.00-1.80 bps).
Individually, Fortner leads the Navy team in kills with an average of 4.40 per set and ranks second on the team in hitting percentage with her mark of .372. Meanwhile, Sylakowski has posted a team-high hitting percentage of .375 while ranking second in both kills (2.60 kps) and blocks (0.90 bps). Graf is hauling in a team-high 5.20 digs per set and with a 0.60 service aces-per-set average.
"I like how we have been serving lately," said Navy head coach Larry Bock, "and our outside hitters have had a terrific week in the practice gym."
Colgate, winners of the 2012 Patriot League Tournament, enters a Friday night match at Lehigh having won both of its league matches to date and with a 9-5 record on the full season. The Raiders began the league campaign by defeating Army in four sets and Holy Cross in three sets. The combined statistics from those two matches shows Colgate with significant advantages across the box score, including kills (13.71-9.29 kps), hitting percentage (.229-.091), aces (1.71-1.00 aps) and digs (20.57-16.14 dps).
Kathleen Harris and Diane Seely are leading Colgate in kills during its brief league season with identical averages of 2.86 per set, while both Caitlin Cremin and Allie Dyer are averaging a team-high average of 3.86 digs per set.
Colgate won both of the meetings with Navy last season, winning in three sets at home and in four sets in Annapolis. Each of the three sets of the match played in Hamilton and half of the four sets played on The Yard were decided by five or fewer points. This includes one set at each venue that was determined by the score of 26-24.
Defense dictated play in both matches last season. Each offense was held to a .114 hitting percentage in the first match, with the Raiders outhitting the Mids .197-.114 in the second go round between the teams.
"We are excited to have the chance to play a great team on a weekend in which we thought we may not even be playing," said Bock. "We have played very well in short stretches against Colgate in the past. It is a simple equation in that we have to play better for longer periods of time. We are capable of that."