NORFOLK, Va. — Less than 24 hours after falling in five close sets to Old Dominion, the Navy (2-6) volleyball team lost an equally close four-set decision to East Carolina (3-5), Friday evening at the ODU Volleyball Center in Norfolk, Va. The Mids lost to the Pirates, 25-23, 26-28, 25-20, 27-25, in a match that lasted over two hours.
Navy lost a 25-22, 24-26, 25-27, 25-16, 16-14 match to Old Dominion that took over two and one-half hours to play Thursday night. Of the nine sets Navy has played nine sets thus far during this tournament, eight have been decided by five or fewer points, with six decided by just two points. The score in the two matches has been tied a combined 77 times, and the lead has been exchanged 29 times.
“Kudos to East Carolina for making the plays down the stretch,” said Navy head coach Paco Labrador. “I thought we competed well against a very long and very athletic team. Although I am disappointed in the loss, the reality is we are one or two plays away from having won both of our matches. We look to turn the corner tomorrow.”
ECU took a 22-19 lead before Navy scored the next three points to tie the set for the 12th time at 22-22. Back-to-back kills by the Pirates took them to set point. Rilee Sherman (Jr., Cibolo, Texas) erased one chance for ECU to win the set with a kill (24-23), but another kill by the Pirates gave them a 1-0 lead.
Similar to set one, ECU took a 23-20 lead in the second set only to see Navy run off three-straight points to tie the frame at 23-23. A Navy service error gave the Pirates the chance to serve for the set, but a kill by Jamie Llewellyn (Jr., Port Deposit, Md.) tied the score at 24-24. Another chance for ESU to serve for the set after a kill was erased with a kill by Maggie Bodman (Jr., Northbrook, Ill.). A kill from Sherman followed a bad set by the Mids to knot the score for the 11th time, with this tie occurring at 26-26. Llewellyn notched a kill to give Navy its first opportunity to serve for the set. The Mids converted when Sherman and Bodman combined for a block.
Llewellyn accounted for seven of Navy’s 15 kills in the stanza.
Navy raced out to a 13-7 lead, but East Carolina tied the score at 16-16. The score would also be tied at 17-17 and 18-18, then three straight points by the Pirates gave them enough cushion to win the set.
The frame would be tied at 19-19, 20-20, 21-21, 22-22 and 23-23. Navy took a 24-23 lead on a kill by Bodman but gave the serve back to the Pirates after a service error. ECU posted a kill to have the chance to serve for the match, but another Bodman kill tied the score for the 10th time. Navy committed a ball-handling error to give the Pirates another opportunity to serve for the win. They converted on the chance, thanks to a block.
Sherman totaled 12 kills against the Pirates after she entered today, having posted seven kills this season and 10 in her career.
Llewellyn posted a double-double of 15 kills and 13 digs, while Bodman had 12 kills and shared the team lead with Anna Klemeyer (Jr., Sarasota, Fla.) and Ashley Warren (Jr., Pennington, N.J.) with four blocks. Setter Averi Miller (Jr., Phoenix, Ariz.) also registered a double-double of 48 assists and 12 digs.
Navy had 12 more kills (59-47) and 15 more digs (58-43), but also had six more attack errors (29-23). At the service line, the Navy had two aces and 13 service errors to 10 aces and seven for ECU.
The Mids close play at the Quest for the Crown tournament Saturday at noon when they face Notre Dame.