Aug 31, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Army hosted its season opener at Gillis Field House today at 10 a.m. against Seton Hall in the Black Knights Invitational. The teams fought it out through for five sets until Seton Hall came out on top 3-2 to take the match.
Sophomore outside hitter Nicole Perri had 17 kills in the match which topped out players on both team. Setter Mary Vaccaro also stood out between the teams with 46 assists in the match. Freshmen due Alexandra Bell and Olivia Fairfield contributed with major blocks and a kill in their first collegiate match. The team had the highest hitting percentage of the match in the first set with a .333 percentage. Sophomore Vanessa Edwards added a team best of .500 hitting percentage in the match.
"We played very well against a tough Seton Hall team. As a young team we came out extremely strong and confident. We took it all the way to the fifth set and fought our hardest and did not quit," said head coach Kovaci.
After going point for point against Seton Hall in the start of the first set, the Black Knights took advantage of a five point run. After a solid kill, Vaccaro served the next points of the game in which she had one service ace. Bell and seniors Kerry Horan and co-captain Margaux Jarka also contributed points, each with a kill. Seton Hall came back to close the gap to18-16 later in the set. From there Army took control of the game and finished with a service ace from senior co-captain D.J. Phee and back to back kills from sophomore Nicole Perri. Army went on to collect a 25-18 win.
Throughout the second set of the match Army and Seton Hall went head to head for points. Though Seton Hall took a slight lead after scoring its seventh point to Army's three, Phee pulled the reins and served for another four points. It wasn't until the 15th point of the set when Seton Hall's Shelbey Manthorpe took control of the session. Manthorpe, who had 8 kills and 18 digs in the match, kept it rolling for the Pirates with seven points and a 22-14 lead over the Black Knights. Manthorpe's twin sister, Stacey, finished out the match with 11 digs and a 25-16 win.
Seton Hall kept the momentum going in the third set of the match taking an early lead holding off Army four points to their 10. Each of the Pirates contributed points in the set, outside hitter Hailey Hetzer and libero Alyssa Warren both showed major contributions in obtaining the lead. Both Jarka and Perri attempted to get Army back on track, each with a set of kills. However, Pirates' libero Tessa Fournier came back to serve the final points of the set with another 25-16 win over the Black Knights.
Horan opened the fourth set with a kill to set the tone for the Black Knights. With the score tied 5-5 Perri helped Army take the lead with back to back service aces and forcing attack errors for another two points on the Pirates. Rookie Olivia Fairfield also contributed with two service aces in the match. With a score of 23-17, Bell brought the possession back to Army with a kill assisted by Vaccaro. The Black Knights tied the match 2-2 with a 25-21 win.
In the fifth and final set of the match, the Pirates once again took control with Fournier serving and kills by Amanda Hansen and Stacey Manthorpe. Edwards and Perri both having services aces in the set, but it was not enough as Army fell short in a 15-12 decision.
The Black Knights return to Gillis Field House at 7 p.m. to face Alabama. The match will be broadcasted on Knight Vision for the first time this season.