CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- Half of the eight Patriot League teams earned splits during the opening weekend of League play, while Army and Colgate, who were both on the road last weekend, sit atop the standings at 2-0.
The Black Knights matched up with American Friday night in a rematch of last season's League championship bout. The Eagles won that contest in four sets, and had a 2-0 lead in Friday's showdown. Army rallied to tie the match at 2-2 before winning the fifth and deciding frame 15-7 to escape the nation's capital with a five-set triumph. The two will meet again Saturday, Oct. 20 at West Point.
Last weekend provided a fresh start for Colgate, and the Raiders impressed with a pair of sweeps in the Lehigh Valley. They'll be in action Friday night at Holy Cross while the Black Knights entertain Bucknell. If Army and Colgate are both victorious Friday night, they will be 3-0 entering their clash Saturday evening at West Point with first place at stake.
American, Lafayette, Lehigh and Navy are jammed in the middle of the standings at 1-1, and the teams will pair off this weekend. The Leopards and Mountain Hawks will take the trip south, with Lafayette visiting American and Lehigh heading to Navy Friday. The matchups will switch on Saturday.
Before League play resumes Friday, there are two non-League tilts scheduled for Tuesday. Colgate looks to keep the positive momentum going at Cornell, while Holy Cross visits Harvard. Both matches are slated for 7 p.m.
Patriot League Notebook
• Navy's Alex Cassel's 10 blocks vs. Army were the most by a Mid in a four-set match during the rally scoring era, and ranks fourth at Navy regardless of set length under rally scoring.
• American's Morgan Hendrix tied the school record with 11 block assists in Friday's 3-2 loss to visiting Army. She finished the week with 26 total blocks (2.36 blocks per set).
• Army's Ariana Mankus moved into second place on the academy's all-time kills list (1,368). She's 83 shy of cracking the League's all-time top 10.
• Bucknell senior middle hitter Kebah Edoho hit .302 with 2.25 kills and 1.25 blocks per set over the weekend for the Bison.
• Caitlin Cremin led Colgate's defensive effort in the two League victories, posting 13 digs against Lehigh and 16 versus Lafayette. She averaged 4.83 per set.
• Navy's Case Trimble set a career high for kills with 8 vs. Holy Cross, then knocked down 11 kills (with one error on 21 swings) the next day against Army.
• Army plays its next eight matches at home, with seven of those against League foes. The Black Knights don't play away from West Point again until Oct. 27 at Holy Cross.
• Lehigh head coach Bob Bertucci is 10 wins shy of 700 for his career.
Patriot League Weekly Awards
MOLTEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK ARIANA MANKUS, ARMYSr., OH, Lisle, Ill. Mankus averaged 3.56 kills and 4.44 digs per set while hitting .250 to help the Black Knights to a 2-0 start to Patriot League play, including a thrilling come-from-behind five-set win at defending champion American Friday night. She led all players with 20 kills, including three with no errors in the decisive fifth set, which Army won 15-7. The Black Knights rallied from two sets down in the contest. Mankus kept delivering Saturday with 12 kills on 31 swings with just one error as the Black Knights collected their 11th straight "Star" against Navy, 3-1. She now sits second in Army history with 1,368 kills.
MOLTEN ROOKIE OF THE WEEK JACKIE MACY, COLGATEFr., S, Walnut, Calif. Macy continued her strong play of late for the Raiders, who surged into a first-place tie with Army after the first weekend of League play after back-to-back sweeps of Lehigh and Lafayette on the road. Macy averaged 7.16 kills per set, logging 26 in Friday's win over the Mountain Hawks and 17 more Saturday against the Leopards. She added two service aces and five digs Friday versus Lehigh before recording six digs against Lafayette.
HONORABLE MENTIONS MORGAN HENDRIX, AMERICANJr., Opp/MB, Austin, Texas Hendrix averaged 2.36 kills and 2.36 blocks per set while hitting .490 over American's 2-1 week. She tied the school record with 11 block assists in Saturday's five-set loss to Army in a rematch of last year's Patriot League championship match.
KAREN CAMPBELL, BUCKNELLFr., MH, Chesapeake, Va. Campbell hit .295 and averaged 2.38 kills and 1.38 blocks per set in Bucknell's two matches over the weekend against Lafayette and Lehigh.
CAITLIN CREMIN, COLGATEJr., L, Naperville, Ill. Cremin averaged 4.83 digs per set as she led the Raider defense in a pair of 3-0 League wins over the weekend at Lehigh Friday and Lafayette Saturday.
KARISSA CILIENTO, LAFAYETTEJr., OH, Mahwah, N.J. Ciliento went off with a season-high 20 kills and 23 digs as Lafayette defeated Bucknell 3-1 on Saturday. She hit .459 in the match, with just three errors on 37 swings. She hit .224 for the week averaging 3.8 kills and 3.7 digs per set.
AMANDA CLARK, LEHIGHJr., MB, Irvine, Calif. Clark averaged 2.92 kills per set and tallied eight blocks during Lehigh's 2-1 week, which included victories over Princeton and League foe Bucknell.