Nov. 14, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Looking to secure another Patriot League Tournament berth, the Army volleyball team will head to the road for a two-match face-off against conference rivals Navy (12-15, 8-6 Patriot League) and conference competitors Lafayette (10-15, 2-10) on Friday and Saturday, respectively. In their final two matches of the regular season, the Black Knights (12-12, 9-5) look to join American, Colgate and Lehigh for their 15th tournament appearance on Nov. 23-24.
Army is coming off a two match setback as it was swept by American on Friday, Nov. 8, and 3-2 fell to conference newcomers Loyola on Saturday, Nov. 9.
Senior co-captain outside hitter Margaux Jarka and freshman middle blocker Olivia Fairfield lead the team with 269 kills each. Fairfield also leads the team with 57 total blocks, while Jarka adds 273 digs on defense. Senior co-captain libero D.J. Phee adds a major contribution on defense leading the conference with 440 digs. Phee also tops the charts for Army on the digs board with a second place standing for all-time digs in conference history with 1780 career digs.
Army opens the weekend at Navy, in which that Black Knight have won 23 of the last 27 contests, including 14 of the last 15 meetings. With its recent success, the Black Knights now hold a commanding 42-10 record over thier Navy adversaries. Among the varsity sports that both schools compete in, the Army volleyball team has compiled one of the highest winning percentages against the Midshipmen.
The Mishipmen are coming off a 3-0 match loss to conference leader American when the team traveled to the nation’s capital on Wednesday, Nov. 13. Senior Erin Fortner leads Navy’s offense with 324 kills, while defensively, Alli Graf has contributed 395 digs and Alex Cassel has added 75 total blocks.
Army recently swept the Mids in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The Black Knights have never lost more than two straight matches to Navy and are currently riding a six-match win streak against their rival, including a 3-0 decision in this year's "Star Match" win on Oct. 12, at Gillis Field House.
The Black Knights will compete in its second match on Saturday at Lafayette, a team they have enjoyed much success against in recent history. In 46 meetings between Army and Lafayette since 1979, the Leopards have won just four matches. Lafayette's last win over Army came at the 1995 Patriot League Tournament. Since then the Black Knights have won 31-straight matches.
Lafayette is coming off a 3-1 loss versus Bucknell last Saturday and will go up against Holy Cross this Friday before hosting Army. Leopards’ Karisso Ciliento and Brianna Giangiobbe lead the offense with 242 and 203 kills, respectively, while Lauren Pisauro mans the defense with 386 digs.
Both matches will be featured on GameTracker, the link can be found on the Black Knights’ schedule page on goArmysports.com. A video feed for Friday night’s match versus Navy will be provided by the Patriot League network and can be found on both the Black Knights and Midshipmen volleyball schedule pages. Fans are encouraged to follow @Army_Volleyball twitter handle for updates while stats and a full game recap will follow the match.