Oct. 27, 2012
WORCESTER, Mass. -
Senior co-captain Ariana Mankus and junior outside hitter Margaux Jarka recorded 12 and 10 kills, respectively, to lead the Army volleyball team in a 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-15) win at Holy Cross in Patriot League action late Saturday afternoon at the Hart Center.
Sophomore middle Molly McDonald hit for a season-high .636 percentage with eight kills and just a single error in one of her most standout efforts of the year. Senior co-captain Francine Vasquez added seven kills from the right side. Sophomore setter Mary Vaccaro led all players with 26 assists and chipped in nine digs.
Along with holding a 75-51 advantage in kills, Army (17-7, 8-2 Patriot League) hit for a .271 percentage as a team, including .375 in the second set. The Black Knights held Holy Cross (2-24, 1-9) to a .084 mark. Junior libero D.J. Phee paced Army with 16 digs, while McDonald and rookie middle Zoe Kreitenberg added four blocks apiece.
Army opened a 10-4 lead in the opening set, as McDonald followed up a kill with a block as the back-to-back points gave the Black Knights a six-point edge. The ensuing four points belonged to Holy Cross, as it pulled within 10-8. Army proceeded to score eight of the next 10 points, including a pair of Vaccaro service aces, to take an 18-10 lead. The Black Knights staved off a late Crusader rally to take the first set, 25-22.
Army once again jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the early stages of the second set before Holy Cross inched within 14-12 nearing the midway point of the frame. The Black Knights took over from there, outscoring the Crusaders 11-2 down the stretch en route to a convincing 25-14 win. Phee put the exclamation point on the effort with back-to-back service aces for the 24th and 25th points, respectively.
The Black Knights came out of the break scoring eight of the first 12 points of the third set. Mankus opened the set with consecutive kills, while McDonald's single shot capped the 8-4 run. After Holy Cross pulled within 15-11 in the middle third of play, Army tacked on five unanswered points via Jarka (two kills), McDonald (kill) and Phee (two service aces) to surge ahead by a 20-11 margin. The Black Knights went on to sweep the match thanks to a 25-15 third-set victory.
The Black Knights will play for a Patriot League tournament berth next Friday, Nov. 2, at current league-leader Colgate. Army looks to avenge a 3-1 loss to the Raiders earlier this season in a match set to begin a 6 p.m. at Cotterell Court.
Game Notes: Army's last seven matches have all required only three sets ... Ariana Mankus recorded double-figure kills for the 17th time this season ... Army improved to 12-0 against Holy Cross in head coach Alma Kovaci's tenure ... freshman Nicole Perri earned time for the second match in a row, entering the match in the third set and finishing with a pair of kills.