Oct. 27, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The Navy volleyball team will take to the road Friday for its final away match of the season when the Midshipmen travel to Washington, D.C., to face American in a 7 p.m. match at Bender Arena.
American will be providing a live video stream of the match for $7.95. A link to the stream can be found at NavySports.com.
Navy saw its Patriot League record fall to 1-8 on the season with a pair of close losses last weekend at Bucknell (four sets) and at Colgate (three sets). The Mids have played 11 sets over their last three matches, with eight of those sets being decided by five points or less. Navy has posted just a 2-6 record in those close sets, a span that includes losing three sets to the Bison and one to the Raiders by a combined total of nine points.
"The team is actually competing extraordinarily well and giving us a chance to win much of the time," said Navy head coach Larry Bock. "This is in spite of our having been significantly `out-statted' by opponents in the critical areas of attack percentage and kills per set. We also give away more points than our opponents do by making aggressive errors, so we effectively have had those gradually diminishing handicaps to overcome as well.
"It is a simple equation; if we can continue our improving ball-control while ramping up those hitting numbers, the wins will follow. There is nothing mental here; this is an extremely tough team. It's now all about execution and we can figure that out. The team, (assistant coach) Kait (Kozak) and I just wish this season were longer!"
Erin Fortner (So., Villa Hills, Ky.) put together the best hitting weekend of her career on Navy's recent road trip. She knocked down a career-high 20 kills and hit .318 in Navy's loss to Bucknell before recording 12 kills (which ties a personal best for a three-set match) against Colgate. In addition to averaging 4.57 kills per set over the course of the two matches, she also hauled in an average of 2.86 digs per set on the trip.
Navy suffered a 25-17, 25-21, 25-19 loss to American when the two teams met earlier this season on The Yard. The Eagles, who enter Friday's match tied with Army atop the Patriot League standings with an 8-1 record in league play, hit .329 as a team against Navy in the first match and held the Mids to an attack percentage of .080. Juliana Crum and Rebecca Heath both knocked down 11 kills while combining for just two attack errors and a .465 hitting percentage in the match. Navy's offense was led by Carolyn Ewert
(Jr., Bakersfield, Calif.), who recorded 10 kills on the night.
Following the American match, Navy will return home to close out the season with matches in the Wesley A. Brown Field House over the next two weekends. The season-ending homestand begins Nov. 4 when the Mids play host to Army.