Oct. 4, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army volleyball team went up against Patriot League newcomer Loyola (4-12, 1-3 Patriot League) on Friday night in a hard fought 3-2 victory. The Black Knights (6-8, 3-1) trailed 1-0 and could not seem to find any sort if rhythm until they came through to win the second and third sets, 25-22 and 25-15, respectively. The Greyhounds came back to take the fourth set, forcing a decisive fifth set, in which the Black Knights pulled through to win 15-8.
Senior co-captain outside hitter Margaux Jarka and freshman outside hitter Olivia Fairfield led the team each with 15 kills on the night. Fairfield carried out an average hitting percentage of .429, while Jarka followed behind with a hitting percentage of .361. Junior Mary Vaccaro resumed her role as setter with 40 assists. Senior co-captain libero D.J.Phee and junior defensive specialist Deanna Dalton had 17 and 12 digs, respectively.
"Give credit to Loyola, they gave us a good fight tonight," said head coach Alma Kovaci. "We are proud of the team for being mentally tough, it was a long five sets and we are proud that they pulled through. It was great to see Mary back and run the entire offense. Again, we are learning and growing as a young team. Our next step is to focus and work on our consistency."
The Black Knights took an early 3-0 lead in the first set as Loyola. While kills from Jarka, Vaccaro and senior outside hitter Kerry Horan kept the score tight, the Greyounds' defense capped the surge and tied the score, 10-10. Teams fought point-for-point until Loyola took a 19-16 lead over the Black Knights. The Greyounds would hold the lead to finish the match and take a 25-19 victory.
Using the momentum from their first set win, Loyola took an early 5-1 lead over Army in the second set. In an effort to fight back, the Black Knights went hard at work with kills at the net from Wilton, Jarka and sophomore outside hitter Nicole Perri. With the score tied 14-14, Army continued to build momentum and stay ahead. A four point rally allowed for the Black Knights to capture a 25-19 victory.
Coming out of the gate, Army continued to be an offensive force as they took a 7-1 lead in the third set. The Black Knights continued to score points and force errors on the defense to hold the lead throughout the set, as Loyola was unable to close the gap. Army came away with a 25-15 triumph over the Greyhounds.
After falling behind, Loyola put forth a strong effort to open the fourth set with the score 9-4. With forced errors, Loyola was able to pull ahead 10 points to take the largest lead of the set. Kills from Loyola's Simone Reid and Jac Bullock helped seal the deal for the Greyhounds as they only allowed Army to score 12 additional points in the set. A final kill from Reid sealed the 25-16 win.
Forced into a fifth set, Army was able to come out strong and take another early lead. Kills from multiple Black Knights allowed for a 7-3 lead before a Loyola timeout. Rallying for four straight points, Army again forced Loyola to stop the clock. Three kills from Fairfield and forced errors allowed for the Black Knights to close the set, 15-8.
Army will travel to Washington, D.C., to continue Patriot League competition on Saturday, Oct. 5, against American. The match will begin at 4 p.m. Live stats and video feed will be available on aueagles.tv. Fans are encouraged to log onto goARMYsports.com for a recap and game stats following the match.