Box Score: Iona 3, Army 1
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Iona used a late push in dealing the Army volleyball team its first loss of the 2010 season as the Gaels topped the Black Knights, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon at Gillis Field House. Senior MB Amanda Rowell (14 kills), sophomore OH Ariana Mankus (11) and junior OH Fabiola Castro (10) all finished with double-figure kills in the setback.
Army managed to out-hit the visiting Gaels by a .221 to .176 margin, but Iona's gritty play resulted in a 25-23, 11-25, 25-22, 25-21 victory. Iona's Theresa Harvey came on strong late and finished the afternoon with a match-high 16 kills to go with a .226 hitting percentage.
Senior S Karyn Powell amassed a career-high 43 assists in the effort, while four players finish in double-figure digs. Senior L Brittany Jensen led the way with 16, while freshman RS Margaux Jarka collected a career-high 12 digs. Powell and rookie OH D.J. Phee added 11 digs each. Freshman MB Megan Wilton came up with a career-high seven kills in a solid effort. She hit .350 and recorded zero errors.
Both teams' offenses started the afternoon well, hitting at least 60 percent during a competitive first set that featured 13 ties and three lead changes. The teams played back-and-forth over the first half of the session and found themselves tied at 19-19 late. Iona went on to score the next three points unanswered to take a 22-19 lead. Head coach Alma Kovaci called timeout and the Black Knights responded with three-straight point - two on single kills from Wilton and Castro - to level the score at 22-22. An Army error gave the serve back to the Gaels and they went on to take the set 25-23.
Army hammered Iona from the start of the second frame. The Black Knights went up 12-4 in the early going and was clicking on all cylinders. The Black Knights totaled 17 kills and hit .433 during the second set alone. The final 14-point margin (25-11) marked the largest of the set.
Looking to carry momentum into the third set, the Black Knights played toe-to-toe with Iona during the early going. Nine ties and six lead changes ensued with the final tie coming at 18-18. It was then that Iona made its push, reeling off four unanswered points and establishing a lead that it would not relinquish. The Gaels scored seven of the final 11 points to take the set, 25-22.
With a chance to sew up the match, Iona took an early 11-6 lead on a service ace from Laura Fojanesi. Following an Army timeout, the Black Knights got back into it with an 11-7 run that made it 18-17 late in the contest. Iona called timeout and head coach Alan Edwards' club responded with a decisive 7-4 run that finished the match.
Army (2-1) returns to action early this evening as the Black Knights take on St. John's (2-1) in the final match of the Army Invitational. First serve is set for 5:30 p.m. The contest will be available worldwide via an ITT Knight Vision webcast. Click here for more details.