Oct. 9, 2015
WORCESTER, Mass. –– After rallying to force a fifth set, Holy Cross scored the last seven points of the final frame to defeat the Navy volleyball team, 16-25, 25-18, 14-25, 25-22, 15-10, Friday evening in Worcester, Mass. The match was the fourth in Navy’s last six to go five sets and the team’s fifth match on the year to be extended the distance.
“This was an excruciating loss,” said Navy head coach Larry Bock. “It is one we can’t allow to debilitate us.
“We have been working really hard to get off to a good start, which we did in the first set and again in set number three. All of us together now have to figure out the finishing part of the match.”
The score in the final set was tied five times until the Mids (2-16, 0-5) received a kill and an ace to take a 10-8 lead. The Crusaders (4-13, 1-4) would tally back-to-back kills, an ace, a kill, consecutive blocks and another kill to rally for the victory.
Navy’s defense couldn’t slow down outside hitter Mandy Sifferlan, who totaled 22 kills (the rest of her teammates recorded 27 kills) and a .348 attack percentage, while the Mids struggled on offense against the Holy Cross block throughout the match. The Crusaders had accrued 19 blocks through four league matches this year, but notched 14 blocks this afternoon. Conversely, Navy recorded just four blocks in the five sets.
“Holy Cross blocked well,” said Bock, “and we also helped them to block well. We didn’t handle the imperfect sets very well. We made aggressive errors, which are preferable to cautious ones, but they are adding up to some gaudy blocking numbers for our opponents. Worse, we can’t match the blocking effort we are seeing against us.”
Navy setter Patricia Mattingly (Fr., New Albany, Ind.) posted the first triple-double of her career as she finished with 10 kills, 35 assists and 12 digs, while Olivia Kluger (So., Carmel, Ind.) recorded a double-double of 13 kills and 17 digs. Additionally for the Mids, Maggie Phillips (So., Leesburg, Va.) had 12 kills, Sydney Shearn (Fr., Louisville, Ky.) had 19 digs and Rachel Fortner (So., Villa Hills, Ky.) snared 10 digs.
“If we dig and pass somewhere near to where our setter can deliver something decent, we are okay,” said Bock. “But as soon as that doesn’t happen we are not doing a good job of hitting ourselves out of trouble.”
The Mids will remain on the road for a Saturday match at Army West Point. First serve for the Star Match is slated for 7 p.m.