Win Streak Reaches Five Matches With Sweep Of Bucknell

Zoe Kreitenberg

Zoe Kreitenberg

Sept. 28, 2012

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WEST POINT, N.Y. - Freshman middle Zoe Kreitenberg recorded career-high numbers in kills (13) and hitting percentage (.650) to pace a balanced Army attack in a 3-0 win over Bucknell in Patriot League volleyball action on Friday night at Gillis Field House.

Kreitenberg's errorless effort (13 kills, 0 errors, 20 attempts) highlighted a trio of Black Knights reaching double-digit kills, as senior outside hitter Ariana Mankus and junior outside hitter Margaux Jarka totaled 14 and 12 kills, respectively. Both players also hit better than .350 on the match. As a team, Army hit for a season-high .306 percentage against the Bison.

Friday night's victory marked the Black Knights' fifth win in a row and improved the team to 11-5 overall and 3-0 to start Patriot League play. Bucknell dropped to 6-10 on the season and 0-3 in conference play.

"Our goal is to get better every time we step on the court, and we showed that tonight," said sixth-year head coach Alma Kovaci. "Our passing game was very good, and I thought our setters did a very good job distributing the ball on offense. I'm very proud of the team and the system we're running right now."

Those setters for Kovaci's club were sophomore Mary Vaccaro (29 assists) and freshman Vanessa Edwards (15).

Junior libero D.J. Phee continued to anchor the Black Knights' defense, leading all players with 19 digs. Jarka and Mankus both completed a double-double with 13 and 10 digs, respectively.

While Army took a bit to heat up in the opening set, once the Black Knights found their rhythm, a 25-18 win followed. The teams played through seven tie scores and three lead changes throughout the set. Army broke a 7-7 tie with back-to-back kills from Jarka and senior co-captain Francine Vasquez. Bucknell chipped away at the deficit and pulled within 18-15 heading down the home stretch. Army out-scored the Bison 8-3 from there, and two-straight Vasquez kills ended the run.

Easily the most competitive set of the match, the second session entertained eight tie scores and four lead changes. Neither team led by more than four points the entire way. After a Molly McDonald kill gave Army a 13-9 lead, Bucknell fired back with a 7-3 run and knotted the score at 16-16 as Kovaci called timeout. Five additional ties were in store with the final coming at 23-all late in the action. From there, the set belonged to Kreitenberg as she ended the Bison threat with consecutive kills to deliver a 25-23 Army victory.

The Black Knights never trailed in a 25-18 win in the third set. Army scored the opening four points, but Bucknell inched within 7-6 not long after. Army proceeded to enjoy a decisive 13-6 run, which built a commanding 20-12 lead. The Black Knights led by at least six points from there.

Kebah Edoho topped Bucknell's hitters with nine kills, while Jessica Serrato contributed eight kills.

Army puts its five-match win streak to the test when the team hosts rival Colgate on Saturday night at Gillis Field House. First serve is set for 7 p.m., and the match will be webcast via Knight Vision.

Game Notes: Army has never lost to Bucknell under current head coach Alma Kovaci's watch, winning 11 matches in a row ... both teams recorded three total blocks ... the Army volleyball team will be in Black Knights Alley on Saturday morning prior to Army football taking on Stony Brook.

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