Sep 7, 2013
VALPARAISO, Ind. - Army let a 1-0 lead slip away as Eastern Michigan collected a 3-1 victory in the Black Knights’ second match of the Valpo Popcorn Classic in Valparaiso, Ind., Saturday morning. Senior co-captain outside hitter Margaux Jarka and freshman Olivia Fairfield bolstered the team with 15 and 13 kills, respectively.
While the Black Knights produced 52 kills throughout the match, attacking errors cost Army as it hit .150 for the match. Senior outside hitter Kerry Horan was an offensive force with 12 kills and an average hitting percentage of .310. Junior setter Mary Vaccaro had 41 assists for the Black Knights, while senior co-captain D.J. Phee had 25 digs.
The teams traded the first 13 points of the set, but Army took a 16-13 lead as the set progressed. Jarka, who totaled eight kills in addition to senior Megan Wilton’s three kills, sparked Army as the Black Knights pulled ahead, 23-19. Eastern Michigan continued to hang tough and tie the set, 24-24, but back-to-back blocks from Wilton and Horan gave Army a 26-24 victory in the first set.
Set number two mimicked the first as teams rallied for ten points in the beginning of the set. The two squads traded points until Eastern Michigan broke the streak and took a three-point lead with kills serviced by senior outside hitter Erin Short. As the Eagles began to stretch their lead to six, back-to-back kills from Fairfield and three kills from Horan allowed Army to chip away at the deficit, and draw within 19-17. The combination of two forced errors and kills by sophomore outside hitter Stacey Perinar gave the Eagles a 25-19 triumph.
In what seemed to be the most intense set of the match, the Black Knights began the third set with a nine point rally before Eastern Michigan proceeded pulled ahead. As the Eagles began to force errors on the Black Knights, they pulled ahead, 16-11. Though Army attempted to chip away at the deficit, the Eagles stayed on top for the remainder of the set. Eastern Michigan took a 2-1 lead in the match as Army fell 25-20 in the third set.
Army took a 6-2 lead early in the fourth set before Eastern Michigan rallied with five unanswered points to tie the score 8-8. As the Eagles continued to hold the lead, the Black Knights refused to back down. With a combination of kills by both Horan and Fairfield, Army tied the set 19-19 before handing it back over to Eastern Michigan. With a four-point lead, the Eagles won the final set, 21-15.
Army fell to 1-4 on the season and will play again tonight against Rhode Island at 4:30 CT in their last match of the invitational. The match will be available on GameTracker.