Sept. 29, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Three Army players reached double-digit kill numbers, but the Black Knights ran into a stingy Colgate defense as the Raiders left Gillis Field House with a 3-1 Patriot League win on Saturday night. Army suffered its first conference loss of the season, while Colgate remained in first place with a 4-0 mark.
Colgate (6-12, 4-0 Patriot League) won the opening set, 25-18, but the Black Knights battled back to tie the match at 1-1 following a 26-24 set two triumph. The Raiders closed the match with 25-22 and 25-18 wins, respectively.
Army (11-6, 3-1) junior outside hitter Margaux Jarka equaled a pair of Colgate players with a match-high 16 kills. She completed her second-straight double-double with 10 digs. Senior outside hitter Ariana Mankus and freshman middle blocker Zoe Kreitenberg chipped in with 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Mankus also registered a double-double with 15 digs.
Sophomore setter Mary Vaccaro accounted for 37 of Army's 48 assists. Junior libero D.J. Phee's 23 digs matched Coglate libero Caitlin Cremin for the match-high.
"Give credit to Colgate, because they played really well tonight," said sixth-year head coach Alma Kovaci. "We need to control our serve and pass game, along with our mental game, which we lacked today. It's a long Patriot League season ahead, so we just need to refocus at Monday's practice and get ready for Holy Cross next weekend."
The four-set match lasted just over two hours and featured 23 tie scores and 13 lead changes throughout. Colgate took hold of the opening set early en route to the 25-13 win. Coming out of a timeout, a Kreitenberg kill pulled the Black Knights within 13-11 midway through the action. The Raiders retaliated with a decisive 5-1 run and built an 18-12 lead, which they would not relinquish.
The second set entertained 13 ties and 10 lead changes on its own, as neither team led by more than three points the entire way. Colgate leveled the score at 23-23, prompting Kovaci to burn her final timeout. Momentum swung in favor of the Raiders coming out of the break with a Diane Seely block. A Colgate service error put Phee on the service line for Army, which took advantage of back-to-back Raider attack errors to secure the 26-24 victory.
Once again, the teams played back-and-forth to open the third set. A Colgate miscue allowed Army to inch within 15-14 midway through, but the Raiders enjoyed at least a two-point cushion the rest of the way. After a Kreitenberg kill pulled Army within 20-18, Colgate scored three unanswered points and hung on for the victory 25-22 victory.
Army took control of the fourth set early, scoring the first five points of the frame. Senior right side hitter Francine Vasquez totaled two kills during the stretch, while Phee also recorded her lone service ace of the match. Colgate slowly chipped away at the deficit, eventually leveling the score at 13-13 following three-straight Army errors. The teams would play through three additional tie scores with the final coming at 16-all. Colgate proceeded to close the match riding a 9-2 run and record a 25-18 win.
Seely and Lindsay Young led Colgate with 16 kills apiece. Four different Raider players reached double-digit digs.
Army remains at Gillis Field House for its next six matches. The Black Knights welcome Holy Cross to town next Saturday, Oct. 6, at 7:30 p.m.
Game Notes: Junior middle blockers Megan Forbes and Kerry Horan each earned significant time Saturday ... Forbes finished with three kills and three total blocks ... Lehigh defeated American, 3-2, Saturday night, leaving Colgate alone in first place in the Patriot League standings ... several Army volleyball alumni were in attendance, including 1987 graduates Shelly Dye and Sayna Mason, along with Wilma Larsen '86 ... recent graduate Abigail (Stamphler) Vincent '05 was also in attendance.