Volleyball to Play Two Road Matches
ANNAPOLIS, Md. –– The second half of the Patriot League season for the Navy volleyball team begins this week when the Mids play matches Friday at American (7 p.m.) and Saturday at Loyola (4 p.m.). Navy (17-4, 7-1 Patriot League) stands in second place in the league standings one-half game in back of first-place American (17-7, 8-1) and Loyola is in sixth place (9-13, 3-6).
NavySports.com will have links to live video via the Patriot League Network and live statistics from both matches.
The only blemish on Navy’s league ledger this season was a five-set loss at Army West Point Saturday night.
Navy posted a four-set victory over American when the teams met September 26 in the Wesley A. Brown Field House. The score was tied 45 times and the lead changed hands on 19 occasions in the 29-27, 27-25, 23-25, 25-20 victory by the Mids. The teams combined for 124 kills (63 by American), 225 attempts (213 by American, which are the most by a team in the NCAA this season in a four-set match) and 220 digs (114 by American, which also are the most in the NCAA this season in a four-set match). The lone statistic in which either team held any kind of noticeable advantage over the other was in blocks where the Mids held a 14-6 cushion.
Maggie Phillips (Sr., Leesburg, Va.) totaled 19 kills, Maddi Sgattoni (Fr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) posted 10 kills and 17 digs, Katie Patrick (Jr., Auroro, Colo.) finished with 10 kills and nine blocks, Sydney Shearn (Jr., Louisville, Ky.) grabbed 32 digs and Patricia Mattingly (Jr., New Albany, Ind.) tallied 51 assists and 18 digs for the Mids in that first meeting. For American, Aleksandra Kazala accrued 24 kills on 81 attempts and 22 digs, Kennedy Etheridge amassed 50 assists and 20 digs and Kristen Largay grabbed 40 digs.
The Eagles have not lost since first facing the Mids –– seven league matches, nine matches overall –– and have lost only three sets (all in league play) during this stretch.
“American has the wonderful ability to produce good results with a multitude of different looks,” said Bock. “They have made at least three changes with their system and personnel since we last played them, and those changes are really paying off for them.
“It was clear that our ball control was really good the first time we played American, and that allowed us to terminate the ball from the pins. American will be ready to neutralize those areas, so we likely will need to be a bit more tactical with our offense and our read defense positioning.”
Navy notched a 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-21) victory over Loyola in the first meeting of the season, which took place September 23 in Annapolis. Navy outhit Loyola, .317-.088, thanks to the Mids holding advantages of 41-29 in kills and 10-1 in blocks over the Greyhounds.
Tara Dotzauer (Sr., Raleigh, N.C.) paced the Navy offense with 12 kills and a .417 attack percentage and Shearn snared a match-high 20 digs. Loyola’s offense was led by Ann Ernst and Haley Puddy as each recorded eight kills, while Elena Scarano hauled in a team-best 18 digs.
The Greyhounds have posted a 3-4 record since they last met the Mids. Included in this stretch was a four-set victory at Army.
“Loyola is clearly a different and better team when compared to our first match,” said Bock. “That is evident by the weekend when they produced back-to-back wins at Army and Colgate. Those wins put them into an altogether different gear. This will be a really challenging match for us, especially with their being able to sit at home Friday night watching us play at American.
“Loyola made a lot of errors in our first match that they haven’t been making since. We can’t go into this match expecting that to happen again. We were very efficient with our passing and defense the first time we played them, two areas we will again need to do well in Saturday in our effort to spread and overload their block.”
Patriot League Standings (through matches of Oct. 18; top-four teams after 16 matches make the playoffs)
1. 8-1 American (Friday vs. Navy)
2. 7-1 Navy (Friday at American, Saturday at Loyola)
3. 6-2 Army (Friday vs. Lafayette, Saturday vs. Bucknell)
4. 5-3 Lehigh (Friday at Holy Cross, Saturday at Colgate)
5. 4-4 Bucknell (Friday at Colgate, Saturday at Army)
6. 3-6 Loyola (Saturday vs. Navy)
T7. 2-6 Colgate (Friday vs. Bucknell, Saturday vs. Lehigh)
T7. 2-6 Lafayette (Friday at Army, Saturday at Holy Cross)
8. 0-8 Holy Cross (Friday vs. Lehigh, Saturday vs. Lafayette)