ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Ashley Warren (Jr., Pennington, N.J.) posted a career-high for kills for the second time in less than 24 hours, with her 13 kills Saturday afternoon — 11 in the last two sets — leading the Navy volleyball team (2-4) to a four-set win over UAlbany (0-6) at the Wesley A. Brown Field House in Annapolis. The 26-24, 13-25, 25-20, 25-23 win by the Mids closed play at the 11th edition of the Kristen Dickmann Invitational.
“We ran up against another incredibly balanced team today,” said Navy head coach Paco Labrador. “Once we settled into some blocking defensive schemes, I thought we did much better.”
The score was close throughout the frame as it was tied 14 times and the lead was exchanged eight times. UAlbany took the largest lead for either team to that point in the set when it took a 19-16 lead. Navy closed to within one point at 20-19 only to fall behind again, 23-19. Doris Nelson (So., Long Beach, Calif.) posted a kill, Jordan Llewellyn (Jr., Port Deposit, Md.) notched a kill and then Chris Stephenson (Jr., Leesburg, Va.) dropped in a service ace to make the score 23-22. Nelson seemingly posted a set-tying kill, but UAlbany challenged the call and it was reversed, which took the Great Danes to set point with a 24-22 lead.
Maggie Bodman (Jr., Northbrook, Ill.) kept Navy alive with a kill, then Nelson quickly registered back-to-back aces to take the Mids to set point with a 25-24 lead. She served to start the next point, with Bodman ending it with a kill.
Any momentum the Mids may have carried over from the first set quickly dissipated as the Great Danes scored the first five points of the second set. UAlbany kept Navy unbalanced throughout the remainder of the frame as the Great Danes posted seven aces and limited the Mids to just three kills.
Navy was the team to have a strong start to the third set as it jumped in front by scores of 3-0, 7-3 and 11-5. UAlbany was only able to draw to within as few as three points at 12-9 and 13-10 before the Mids stretched the margin out to 19-12.
Warren entered the third set with two kills on eight swings in the match, but recorded five kills on 11 attempts in the third set.
The score was tied at 7-7 when Navy tried to separate with a 6-1 run that gave it a 14-8 lead. UAlbany rallied to within three points at 15-12, only to see the Mids build a 20-12 cushion. The Navy lead soon was 23-18 when a 5-0 run by the Great Danes tied the score at 23-23.
Stephenson received the serve and she passed the ball close to the net which limited the options for setter Averi Miller (Jr., Phoenix, Ariz.) down to just trying to massage the ball over the net instead of setting it or taking an emphatic swing. The effort was uncovered by the Great Danes and the ball fell to the floor, which gave Navy the chance to serve for the match. Miller triggered the point with the serve, which UAlbany received and was able to produce a solid attack off of it. Hannah Hoover (So., Katy, Texas) snared the dig, passed the ball to Miller who fed Warren on the backset. Warren pounded down her sixth kill of the frame to end the match that lasted well over two hours (2:19).
Navy led UAlbany in kills, 49-44, but the Mids also tallied 26 attack errors and forced the Great Danes into 18 hitting errors. That allowed UAlbany to hold a .218-.174 advantage in hitting percentage.
Warren didn’t play during the 2020-21 COVID-shortened spring season and recorded 34 kills in the 33 sets she played in the fall of 2021. She tallied 28 kills in 12 sets during the three-match Kristen Dickmann Invitational. Warren additionally hit .259 and registered four blocks today against the Great Danes.
“Ashley really took over today,” said Labrador, “especially in the fourth set when out backs were against the wall. I can’t say enough about her contributions both today and last night (career-high at the time of nine kills against Michigan State).”
Also on the day, Bodman totaled 11 kills, a .350 attack percentage and six blocks, Hoover snared a career-best 17 digs and Miller recorded 39 assists and five kills.
“Today’s match was a huge moment for us to demonstrate the depth of our team,” said Labrador. “We had some huge step-up moments from a lot of players this afternoon.”
Navy heads to Norfolk, Va., this week where it will play in the Quest for the Crown hosted by Old Dominion. The Mids will play the host Monarchs Thursday, East Carolina Friday and have their inaugural match against Notre Dame on Saturday.
Tournament Schedule Results
- VCU def. Navy, 3-1 (25-20, 32-30, 17-25, 25-18)
- Michigan State def. UAlbany, 3-0 (25-18, 26-24, 25-10)
- VCU def. UAlbany, 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-21)
- Michigan State def. Navy, 3-1 (25-10, 25-17, 18-25, 25-14)
- Michigan State def. VCU, 3-2 (25-14, 25-12, 23-25, 22-25, 15-10
- Navy def. UAlbany, 3-1 (26-24, 13-25, 25-20, 25-23)
- — Michigan State wins the tournament
- Rebecka Poljan – MSU (MVP)
- Evie Doezema – MSU
- Maradith O’Gorman – MSU
- Qairo Bentley – VCU
- Parker Hartzell – VCU
- Ashley Warren – Navy
- Shynelle Woroniuk – UAlbany