Oct. 29, 2010
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- American recorded its 17th consecutive victory and remained undefeated in the Patriot League (10-0) with a 25-9, 25-20, 25-12 victory over the Navy volleyball team Friday night at the Wesley A. Brown Field House in Annapolis.
The Eagles, 23-2 on the season, have posted a record of 51-3 in sets during their winning streak, as well as a 30-2 record in sets in their 10 league matches.
Only 11 of American's 32 sets in league play have been decided by five points or less, with the Mids accounting for four of those 11 close sets. Navy lost to the Eagles in three sets by five points, two points and two points in the first meeting of the season between the teams.
"American has had many good teams over its 10 years in the Patriot League," said Navy head coach Mike Schwob. "This year's team is on the short list of its top teams during this span, and tonight was the best I have seen this year's team play all season. They just keep coming at you in all facets of the game. No matter what their opponents may do right, they have an answer for it and return the pressure back to you. We kept battling the whole night and through that effort we were able to do some good things in the second set and the start of the third set. It was good to see the effort we kept displaying on every point right to the end of the match."
American scored the first seven points of the first set to quickly distance itself from Navy (7-19, 1-9) and take a 1-0 lead in sets. The Eagles then opened the second set by scoring four of the initial five points, but Navy chipped away at the deficit and soon took a 12-11 advantage. The lead changed hands several times over the ensuing points before Navy tied the score for the eighth time at 19-19 on a kill from Katie Bray (So., Cary, N.C.).
Cassandra Ricketts then knocked down back-to-back kills for the Eagles to give American a 21-19 lead. Navy sliced the deficit in half when Jenny Rudewicz
(Sr., Winter Garden, Fla.), the lone senior on the team, fed Erin Fortner
(Fr., Villa Hills, Ky.) for a kill. Ricketts posted another kill to return the margin to two points, then it became a three-point gap on an attack error by Navy's Veronica Ffrench
(Fr., Milton, Fla.). A kill by Angela Waterman gave American a 24-20 lead, then Ricketts and Bianca Richardson teamed up for a block on Ffrench to close out the set.
Navy was within striking distance of American midway through the third set as the Mids trailed by just three points at 14-11. The Eagles would score the ensuing four points before a kill by Navy's Maida Kalic' (Jr., Vernon, N.Y.). American answered by tallying the next seven points to complete the sweep.
The Eagles hit over .500 in both the first and third sets and ended the match with an overall attack percentage of .462. American also tallied 49 kills, five aces, 38 digs and 11.0 blocks in the match. Conversely, the Mids hit .133 on the night while accruing 29 kills, zero aces, 26 digs and 3.0 team blocks.
The first match of the season saw Navy outblock American, 12.5-6.0, while the Eagles held slight advantages in hitting percentage (.186-.175) and kills, (49-40). Both teams also hauled in 60 digs in that first meeting of the year.
Offensively for American, Ricketts tallied 14 kills and just one attack error on 18 swings for an attack percentage of .722, Magdalena Tekiel finished with 13 kills and one error on 23 attempts for a mark of .522, and Waterman totaled 13 kills and an attack percentage of .345. Defensively, Bianca Richardson tallied seven blocks, Ricketts finished with five blocks, and Waterman posted five blocks and 12 digs.
Ffrench led Navy with seven kills, while Rudewicz closed out the home portion of her career with 13 assists and 11 digs.
Navy will open a season-ending stretch of four matches on the road with contests Nov. 5 at Army and Nov. 6 at Holy Cross.