Sept. 14, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Army finished out the Service Academy Challenge with a 3-1 setback to Yale on Saturday, Sept. 14. After winning the first set, 25-23, the Black Knights fell behind to Bulldogs who took the final three sets, 25-14, 25-12 and 25-19.
Freshman outside hitter Olivia Fairfield led Army with 12 kills and a .333 average hitting percentage followed by seniors middle blocker Megan Wilton and right side hitter Kerry Horan who each produced eight kills and had hitting percentages of .350 and .240, respectively. Junior setter Mary Vaccaro returned to the court and came through with 37 of 42 assists throughout the match. Senior co-captains D.J Phee and Margaux Jarka contributed defensively for Army leading with 12 and seven kills, respectively.
“Yale has always been a very good and competitive team who consistently makes the NCAA’s,” said head coach Alma Kovaci. “We gained a lot of experience in this match and the tournament overall. We compete in challenging tournaments like this to ready and prepare ourselves to take on the Patriot League. It was great that Vanessa Edwards was able to get a ton experience setting in this tournament and she did a great job. This tournament will serve us well during our Patriot League journey.”
The first and most competitive set of the match, featuring 11 tie scores and three lead changes, included a seven point rally between the teams. With two kills from Jarka, back-to-back service aces from Fairfield and a kill from Wilton, the Black Knights were able to pull ahead 12-7. But the Bulldogs would not give up, picking up 10 points to tie the score, 17-17 mid-set. After rallying for nine consecutive points, Army was able to close out the set with a 25-23 victory over Yale.
Army fell behind early in the second set, 10-5, as the Bulldogs offense came out strong with nine kills at the net. As the set progressed, Yale took a comfortable, six point lead, which they were able to maintain for the remainder of play. With the score 20-14 late in the set, Yale was able to capture the last five points for a 25-14 triumph.
The Bulldogs once again pulled ahead, 8-4, early in the third session as Army dug itself into a hole that it could not get out of. Forced attack errors on the Black Knights allowed for the Bulldogs to build momentum and secure a 20-11 margin. Yale managed to allow Army only one more point for the remainder of the set, securing a 25-12 win.
The fourth set featured six tie scores and two lead changes with the final tie coming at 16-16. The Black Knights retaliated against the Bulldogs’ efforts and opened the set with a block and kill from Fairfield and kill from sophomore Nicole Perri. Throughout the set, Army was able to maintain momentum and keep up with the Bulldogs. To finish the set, Yale allowed for Army to score three points to its nine.
Army will begin the Patriot League portion this weekend with its first match against Lehigh at Gillis Field House, Friday, Sept. 20, at 7 p.m. Army will take on Bucknell on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 7:30 p.m. For those who cannot attend this weekend’s events, both matches will be available via GameTracker and Saturday’s match against Bucknell will be broadcast live on Knight Vision. Stats and a recap will be available on goARMYsports.com following each match.