WEST POINT, N.Y. — Army held an advantage in hitting percentage over the Navy volleyball team in each of the three sets as the Black Knights (6-6, 2-0 Patriot league) posted a 25-19, 28-26, 25-19 victory over the Mids (4-7, 1-1), Saturday night at Gillis Field House in West Point, N.Y. The match was the Star Match for the sport, part of the Army-Navy Star Series presented by USAA.
“It was a tough loss,” said Navy head coach Paco Labrador, “but it doesn’t take away the positive strides we have made since the start of the season. Army played a great match and took some big swings when it mattered most.”
After the score was tied at 7-7 and Army took a slim 10-8 lead, the Black Knights could extend the margin to 16-10. Navy was able to close to within three points several times, with the last occurrence coming at 22-19. Back-to-back points for the Black Knights ended the set.
Army has 13 kills and five attack errors in the set while Navy had nine kills and nine hitting errors.
Army tried to build some separation from Navy as it took a lead of as many as five points at 15-10. The Mids rallied and tied the set at 18-18. The score would be tied at every point from there through 26-26. Navy did serve for the set at 24-23, but that opportunity was erased on a kill by the Black Knights. Army served for the set at both 25-24 and 26-25 only to see the Mids tie the set thanks to kills by Jamie Llewellyn (Jr., Port Deposit, Md.). The Black Knights had a third chance to win the set at 27-26; this time, they converted on a block.
The score was tied 17 times in the set.
It was another close set through the early going as the score was tied a number of times, including at 10-10. The Mids took an 11-10 lead on an Army attack error. Army scored the ensuing six points to take a 16-11 advantage. The Black Knights held a lead of at least four points over the remainder of the stanza.
Army led Navy in hitting percentage in the set, .306-.147.
Army held just a 45-38 advantage in kills, which comes to just a 2.3 average per set advantage over the course of the match. However, the Black Knights posted just 15 attack errors and forced the Mids into 26, in part due to Army holding a 12-4 edge in blocks. Combined with Army ending the match with a 44-32 cushion in digs, the Black Knights held a .280-.098 advantage in hitting percentage in the 92-minute match.
Navy posted four aces against six service errors and allowed just one ace. Army had four service errors.
“Our serve receivers had their best match of the season,” said Labrador. “It was great to see that component of our game be steady and strong.”
Jamie Llewellyn paced Navy with 13 kills and her twin sister, Jordan Llewellyn (Jr., Port Deposit, Md.) registered 10 kills. Defensively, Hannah Hoover (So., Katy, Texas) snared 14 digs and also accounted for half of Navy’s four service aces.
“I am glad we had this championship-level match this early in the season,” said Labrador. “This experience will certainly pay dividends in Patriot League play.”