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Volleyball Falls at First-Place American

Oct. 17, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Navy volleyball team dropped a 25-22, 25-16, 25-12 loss to first-place American Friday night at Bender Arena in Washington, D.C. The Eagles improved their Patriot League match record to 8-0 and their set record against league foes to 24-2 with the win, while the Mids fell to 4-3 in league play with the loss.

“American served the ball really well tonight,” said Navy head coach Larry Bock. “We never really got into a good passing rhythm, other than for short streaks.”

The teams traded points throughout the early part of the first set. The score was tied nine times after the first 20 points, including at 10-10, with three of American’s points coming from Navy service errors. The Eagles proceeded to rattle off the next six points to build a 16-10 lead, then were able to extend the margin out to 19-11 and 21-13.

Navy answered by scoring six of the next seven points to climb back into the frame, 22-19. The teams exchanged the next four points to give the Eagles a 24-21 lead and the chance to serve for the set, but a Maggie Phillips kill gave the serve back to the Mids. Phillips and Alex Cassel promptly teamed up for a block to winnow the deficit down to 24-22, but an American kill closed out the first set.

Navy held a .120-.022 advantage in hitting percentage in the set, but four Navy service errors and four American aces (vs. one error) helped swing the first set to the Eagles.

The Eagles would hold a slim lead of up to three points during the first part of the second set before going on a 3-0 run to open up a 16-11 cushion. Back-to-back points by Navy pulled the Mids to within 16-13, but that was followed by four-straight points by the Eagles which gave them a 20-13 lead.

American posted a healthy .343 attack percentage in the second set while limiting Navy to a mark of .083.

The Eagles used an 8-1 run to build a 9-3 lead at the start of the third set. Navy kept the deficit manageable until a 4-0 run gave American an 18-9 cushion.

American held statistical advantages over Navy in kills (38-29), hitting percentage (.212-.043), aces (5-2), digs (55-54) and blocks (9-4).

Phillips and Rachel Fortner each posted seven kills to lead the Navy offense, with Gaby Smith adding six kills. Defensively, Alli Graf snared a match-high 20 digs for the Mids, while Alex contributed four blocks.

Allison Cappellino’s 10 kills gave her the offensive honors for the Eagles.

“There is no doubt we laid a bit of an egg,” said Bock, “but a lot of that was American’s doing. It wasn’t from lack of effort or trying; it just wasn’t happening tonight. Our job now is to recover quickly and do a good job tomorrow.”

Navy will be back in Annapolis Saturday for a 4 p.m. match against Loyola at the Wesley A. Brown Field House.

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