Oct. 7, 2011
Click here to watch Army at Holy Cross
WORCESTER, Mass. - The Army volleyball team resumed Patriot League action as the Black Knights travel to Holy Cross for a Saturday matinee. First serve is set for 2 p.m. The match can be seen live online through www.goholycross.com.
Army and Holy Cross both broke from conference play for a midweek match. Defending Northeast Conference champion Sacred Heart swept Army on Wednesday night, while Bryant edged Holy Cross by a 3-2 score the same evening.
Sporting identical 3-1 records, Army and Colgate sit in a tie for second place in the Patriot League standings. Defending champion American leads the way with a 4-0 mark, while Holy Cross is tied with Lehigh for fourth place with a 2-2 record.
Army split conference matches last weekend, dropping a five-set thriller to American on Friday night before defeating rival Navy (3-0) for the 11th time in the last 12 matches. Volleyball's win over the Mids marked the Academy's first win over Navy of the 2011-12 academic year and captured the Black Knights' 10th-straight "Star."
The Black Knights battled defending champion American to the end on Friday night before bowing by a 3-2 score. Junior outside hitter Ariana Mankus led all players in kills (23) and digs (20) for the match. Freshman setter Mary Vaccaroextended her double-doubles streak to eight matches with a match-high 56 assists and 12 digs.
Army recorded its fourth sweep of the season against Navy 24 hours later. Senior co-captain Rachel Willis led all players with 16 kills and three total blocks. She hit for a match-high .684 percentage with just three errors in 19 attempts. Mankus and sophomore middle blocker Megan Wiltonfinished with eight kills apiece.
Mankus was the only Army player to reach double-figure kills on Wednesday against Sacred Heart, totaling 11 kills. The Black Knights lost for just the third time at home this season.
According to Monday's NCAA statistical report, Army ranked eighth in the nation averaging 12.93 digs per set. Freshman setter Mary Vaccaro's11.58 assists per set ranked 11th nationally. Army leads the Patriot League in kills (13.60 per set), assists (12.89) and digs (18.14).
Army owns a 40-5 lead in its all-time series against Holy Cross. The Crusaders have lost 10-straight matches to the Black Knights, but did push Army to five sets in one of last season's meetings. Holy Cross' last victory came in 2005.
Under the direction of first-year head coach Erin Walker, the Crusaders boast a 6-13 overall record with two of those wins coming against Patriot League foes Lafayette (3-0) and Navy (3-0). Junior outside hitter Megan Lynch has been a huge part of Holy Cross' success this season. A second team All-Patriot League performer, Lynch leads the Patriot League in kills (4.01 per set) and entered the season ranked fifth in program history with 813 career kills. While Lynch is the focal point of Holy Cross' attack, junior libero Elizabeth Watters and senior middle hitter Kathleen Colpoys anchor the defense. Watters lands fourth in the league averaging 4.03 digs per set, while Colpoys ranks third in blocks (0.92 per set).