Aug. 27, 2010
NORFOLK, Va. -- The Navy volleyball team suffered a pair of losses Friday at the Spartan Classic being held on the campus of Norfolk State in Norfolk, Va. After dropped a 25-21, 25-22, 25-16 decision to UNC Greensboro, the Mids lost a 25-19, 26-24, 25-22 contest to the tournament-host Spartans.
The opening match of the day against UNC Greensboro saw the Mids unable to hold on to leads in the middle part of the first and second sets. Navy held a lead of as many as four points in the opening set against the Spartans, with its last such advantage coming at 13-9. Greensboro proceeded to tally the next six points to take a 15-13 lead. The score would be tied at 16-16, 17-17 and 18-18 before the Spartans put the next three points on the board. The teams then played sideout volleyball for the next several points, but after the Mids winnowed the deficit down to 23-21 a kill by the Spartans and an attack error by the Mids closed out the set.
Navy used a 5-1 run early in the second set to build a 14-8 lead over Greensboro. That cushion quickly evaporated as the Spartans notched the next six points to tie the set at 14-14. The score would again be tied at 21-21 when Billi Baker recorded a kill for UNCG. Following an attack error by the Mids and a kill from Olivia Humphries, the Spartans reached set point with a 24-21 lead. Humphries recorded an attack error of her own to extend the set, but Baker notched another kill to give UNCG a 2-0 lead in sets.
Set number three was tied at 6-6 when UNCG slowly built up a 17-8 lead over the Mids before going on to close out the match.
UNCG's defense limited the Navy offense in the match. The Spartans totaled 52 digs and 9.0 team blocks to hold the Mids to an attack percentage of just .052. Conversely, Navy recorded 31 digs and 4.0 blocks to allow Greensboro to finish the day with an attack percentage of .273.
Baker led all players in the match with 13 kills and a .571 hitting percentage, while Lauren Carpenter (Jr., Murphy, Texas) paced Navy with seven kills. Defensively for UNCG, Caley Redden and Kellie Orewiler finished the match with 17 and 15 kills, respectively, while Kayren Finney totaled five blocks. For the Mids, Holly Berger (Jr., Claremont, Calif.) hauled in a team-high eight digs with Christy Rapp (So., Royal Oak, Mich.) adding seven.
"We were able to build some good leads in the first two sets but were unable to finish them out," said Navy head coach Mike Schwob
. "Defensively we blocked well, but our offense really sputtered."
Surrendering a lead was again a problem for the Mids in the first set of their match against Norfolk State, who earlier in the day had recorded a four-set win over Providence. Navy quickly jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the opening set, but the Spartans roared back with a 13-1 run to take a 17-12 advantage on its way to winning the first set.
Norfolk State continued its momentum into the start of the second set as the Spartans quickly took leads of 6-3 and 14-9. Navy would also trail by five points at 18-13 before the Mids chipped away at the margin to eventually tie the score at 20-20 on a kill from Carpenter. Back-to-back points by Norfolk State on a kill by Jasmine Frazier and an attack error by Navy's Ndidi Ibe (North Richland Hills, Texas) gave the Spartans a 22-20 lead, but that was short lived as Navy ran off the next three points to take a 23-22 advantage. A block by the tandem of Ibe and Erin Fortner (Fr., Villa Hills, Ky.) started the run, then Carpenter notched another kill to even the score. An ensuing service ace from Fortner gave the Mids the one-point lead. Fortner gave that point away with a service error the next time she dropped back behind the line, but she promptly fed Kaitlin Roseti (Jr., Williamsville, N.Y.) for a kill to give Navy a 24-23 lead and the chance to serve for the set. Norfolk State erased the set point with a kill by Charlotte Armstead, then its defense would force Caroline Jacobs (Fr., Arnold, Md.) into back-to-back attack errors to allow the Spartans to pull out the narrow win.
The third set was very close until a run of three points gave Norfolk State a slim 18-14 advantage. Just as in the second set, Navy would fight back and soon pulled to within one point at 20-19. After the teams traded points to make the score 21-20, Paige Gary-Canty recorded a kill and Armstead notched an ace to give the Spartans a 23-20 lead. From there, the teams traded points as Norfolk State finish out the set and the match.
Navy's offense again still struggled to find its rhythm in its second match of the day. The Mids hit just .105 against Norfolk State, but were able to hold the Spartans to an attack percentage of only .165. The Spartans led Navy in digs, 45-41, but the Mids tallied 8.0 team blocks to just 4.0 for Norfolk State.
Individually for Navy, Maida Kalic' (Jr., Vernon, N.Y.) paced the Navy attack with nine kills and a .353 attack percentage, Carpenter knocked down eight kills, Ibe recorded four kills and six blocks and Fortner finished with four kills, 14 assists, eight digs and two blocks. Additionally, Berger grabbed 15 digs to lead all players on the night.
Gary-Canty and Armstead accounted for 10 kills apiece and nearly half of Norfolk State's 42 kills in the match.
"There were a lot of lead swings in our match against Norfolk State," said Schwob. "We had a great rally in the second set that put us in position to win, but just as in our match against Greensboro we couldn't close it out. Our middle blockers had a good night, but it was not a complete match from both of our outside hitter positions. We needed more from that spot.
"We have to learn to take advantage of the hard work that put us in good spots in both plays and on the scoreboard and capitalize on those opportunities. When we put things together we played well, but that needs to be on a more consistent basis. We are in no way happy or satisfied with today's results. But we did learn a lot and saw improvement from the first match to the second. With as many different faces as we have in the lineup, we are still figuring things out on our side of the net, let alone what is taking place on the other side. We're anxious to get in the win column."
Navy will continue play at the Spartan Classic Saturday with matches against Kent State (10 a.m.) and Providence (2 p.m.).