Box Score: Sacred Heart 3, Army 0
FAIRFIELD, Conn. - The Army volleyball team saw its five-match win streak come to an end as the Black Knights fell to a red hot Sacred Heart team, 3-0, in non-conference action on Friday night at the Pitt Center. The Pioneers won their 17th-straight contests and improved to 22-4 overall, while Army closed out the non-league portion of its schedule.
Army, which dropped a 25-21, 25-17, 25-9 decision, will resume Patriot League play at Holy Cross on Saturday at 5 p.m. Freshman MB Megan Wilton led the Army offense with five kills, while sophomore OH Ariana Mankus added four. The Black Knights struggled hitting all night long, registering a -.074 hitting percentage.
The Army defense registered five blocks, including two from Wilton, and 37 digs on the night. Senior L Brittany Jensen led the way with 10 digs. Senior S Karyn Powell added seven digs to go with 17 assists.
Sacred Heart's Elise Sage, the reigning Northeast Conference Player of the Week, led all players with 13 kills. Johanna Ovsenek added 10 kills.
Sacred Heart jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first set when Army head coach Alma Kovaci called for a timeout. What resulted was the most competitive match of the night during which the Black Knights battled back. Army used a 9-3 run to tie the score at 9-9 on a Pioneer error. Army took advantage of an abundance of Sacred Heart errors, while freshman RS Margaux Jarka and sophomore RS Francine Vasquez also added kills from the opposite side. Sacred Heart proceeded to score six of the next seven points to take a 15-10 lead and never look back. Army would get no closer than four (24-20) the rest of the way.
The teams battle back-and-forth at in the very early going of set two. Sacred Heart held a slim 4-3 lead when it out-scored Army 8-4 to take a 12-7 lead midway through the action. With Powell on the service line, the Black Knights pulled to within three (19-16) on a Sacred Heart miscue. Army would get no closer.
The Pioneers dominated the third and final set by a 25-9 score. An error-riddled third set, Army fell behind by a 15-5 score and never recovered.
The Black Knights will look to bounce back in a hurry when they face Holy Cross on Saturday at 5 p.m. in Worcester, Mass. Army swept the Crusaders in the first meeting of 2010. The Black Knights are looking to continue a six-match Patriot League win streak and earn its ninth third regular-season sweep of a conference opponent.
Match Notes: Sacred Heart swept Army for a second year in a row ... the Pioneers' 17-match win streak is a program record ... Vasquez and senior MB Amanda Rowell registered three kills apiece ... Sacred Heart totaled 42 kills to Army's 18 ... Army was held to single-digit scoring (25-9 in set three) for the first time this season.