Oct. 13, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- A stretch of five consecutive road matches for the Navy volleyball team begins this weekend when the Midshipmen make their annual trip to Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. Navy will open the weekend by playing Friday night at Lehigh (7 p.m.) and conclude it with a Saturday contest at Lafayette (2 p.m.).
Links to live statistics from both matches can be found at NavySports.com(.) Additionally, links to live video streams from Lehigh ($6.95) and Lafayette ($9.95) also are available at Navy's web site.
Navy enters the trip with a Patriot League record of 1-4 and an overall mark of 6-14 on the season. Six of the 14 sets Navy has lost during the league season have been by five points or less. Most recently, the Mids dropped a three-set decision (25-17, 25-21, 25-19) to first-place American last week in the Wesley A. Brown Field House.
"We really are right on track as a team and program right now," said Navy head coach Larry Bock. "As we approach the final weekend of the first cycle in the league season, we know that we will be hard to beat in a close match. Everyone on this team is simply shooting to just get into those end-game scenarios more often. And that will happen if we keep working in the practice gym and playing so hard on the weekends."
The cumulative team statistics between Navy and its foes have been fairly close throughout the Patriot League season, except for the hitting numbers. The Mids are averaging 10.5 kills per set and are hitting .125 through five league matches, while allowing their opponents to knock down 12.6 kills per set and hit .251. This trend continued last week against American as Navy hit .080 and the Eagles totaled a .329 attack percentage.
Individually for Navy, Holly Berger (Sr., Claremont, Calif.) is leading the Mids with a 3.67 digs-per-set average during the Patriot League season. She recently moved into second place on Navy's career digs list (compiled since 1995) and is just seven digs shy of reaching 1,300 for her career.
Lehigh has posted a 3-2 record in league play and an 11-7 record for the entire campaign. The Mountain Hawks have won three of their last four league matches since dropping their opening match to Army. This recent span of success includes a 3-2 win over Lafayette last week. Lehigh also has recorded wins this year over Holy Cross and Bucknell and has suffered a three-set loss to Colgate.
The Mountain Hawks defeated Navy twice during the 2010 season, with both matches lasting four sets.
Lafayette enters a Friday night match at home against American with a 0-5 record in league play and an overall record of 7-10 this season. In addition to its recent loss to Lehigh, Lafayette also has suffered setbacks to Holy Cross, Army, Bucknell and Colgate. Of the 15 sets the Leopards have lost during the Patriot League campaign, eight of them have been decided by five points or less.
Navy and Lafayette played a pair of five-set matches during the 2010 campaign, with the home team winning both matches. Seven of the 10 sets played between the two teams a year ago were determined by no more than five points.