Nov. 3, 2011
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- After playing just one home match in the entire month of October, the Navy volleyball team will close out its season with four matches at home over the next two weekends. That span begins Friday night when the Midshipmen play host to Army (7 p.m.) and Saturday when Navy faces Holy Cross (Noon) to the Wesley A. Brown Field House.
Live statistics from both matches will be available at NavySports.com. Additionally, a video stream of Friday's match will be available to Navy All-Access subscribers. Subscription prices for Navy All-Access packages are $9.95 for one month and $79.95 for a full year.
Standard USNA security procedures are in place for both matches this weekend. All fans without a Department of Defense sticker affixed to their vehicle 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. Friday's shuttle bus will originate from and return to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (parking is $5. per vehicle).
However, due to the Navy football game taking place, Saturday's shuttle bus pick-up and drop-off point will be the Truman Road Park and Ride located at the intersection of Harry S. Truman Parkway and Riva Road near the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration in Annapolis. Fans on Saturday are reminded to make sure they board the shuttle bus to the USNA and not Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Additionally this weekend, Navy will be taking part in the "Dig Pink" initiative of the American Volleyball Coaches Association in helping to raise the awareness of breast cancer.
Navy's (6-19, 1-9 Patriot League) lone match last week saw the Mids drop a 25-11, 25-18, 25-15 decision to American. The Eagles, who enter the weekend tied with Army for first place in the Patriot League, posted 36 kills and hit .280 in the match while limiting the Mids to 15 kills and a -.051 attack percentage.
"After our team's October odyssey we are all ready to be at home again," said Navy head coach Larry Bock. "(Assistant coach) Kait (Kozak) and I have been so pleased with the resiliency, strength and leadership apparent within our team everyday. This jolt of home energy will be a well-deserved reward."
Army (19-6, 9-1) tallied a 25-13, 25-18, 25-20 victory over Navy when the two teams met earlier this year in West Point. The Black Knights totaled 38 kills and hit .250 in the Star Match between the teams, with the Mids ending the night with 25 kills and a .068 hitting percentage. Army also held advantages over Navy in both service aces (5-2) and digs (52-40).
Individually, Army's Rachel Willis knocked down 16 kills on 19 swings in the match and finished with a hitting percentage of .684. Defensively for the Black Knights, Fabiola Castro hauled in 19 digs and Megan Wilton was credited with four blocks. On the other side of the net, four different Mids recorded four kills, with Holly Berger (Sr., Claremont, Calif.) grabbing 12 digs and Maida Kalic' (Sr., Vernon, N.Y.) matching Wilton's effort with four blocks.
Holy Cross (7-20, 3-7), which will play Friday night at American, and Navy have already met twice this season. The Mids won the first meeting with the Crusaders this year, a 25-20, 27-29, 25-16, 25-23 contest that was part of the Harvard Invitational. Navy outhit Holy Cross .253-.146 in the two-hour match and also held advantages over the Crusaders in both kills (60-41) and digs (65-58). Carolyn Ewert (Jr., Bakersfield, Calif.) and Katie Bray (Jr., Cary, N.C.) combined for 31 kills in the match and each grabbed 12 digs on the afternoon. The Crusaders were paced offensively by Kathleen Colpoys with 14 kills and defensively by Elizabeth Watters with 16 digs.
The first league match of the year between the teams saw a different result as the Crusaders hung on for a 25-22, 25-22, 25-23 win over the Mids in Worcester, Mass. Navy totaled four more attacks (115-111) than Holy Cross did, but the Mids finished the match with 10 fewer kills (40-30) and eight more attack errors (26-18). Those numbers added up to Navy hitting .035 on the night and Holy Cross producing a .198 attack percentage. Megan Lynch had a strong all-around match for the Crusaders as she tallied a statistical line of 16 kills, 13 digs and 3 service aces. Just as in the first match of the year, Ewert led the Navy offense with eight kills. Defensively, Berger hauled in 16 digs and Kalic' tallied four blocks.
Recent history has shown nothing but close sets when the Mids and the Crusaders face each other. The two teams have played 15 sets over their last four meetings. All but three of those sets have been decided by five points or less, with 10 of the sets decided by no more than three points.
"Army is good and we are the underdogs, and Holy Cross beat us 3-0 in Worcester," said Bock. "But we also know how proficient our team has been in small doses over these past few weeks and it's high time we pull together a larger package of quality execution."
Following this weekend's matches, the Mids will close out their 2011 campaign with contests Nov. 11 against Lafayette and Nov. 12 against Lehigh.
"These next two weekends represent our Final Four and we're so excited to see how this terrific group will respond in putting an exclamation point on its 2011 season," said Bock.