Army Sweeps Quinnipiac To Open 2012

(L to R) Megan Wilton and Mary Vaccaro

(L to R) Megan Wilton and Mary Vaccaro

Aug. 24, 2012

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WEST POINT, N.Y. - Senior outside hitter Ariana Mankus and junior middle Megan Wilton led Army with 11 kills apiece as the Black Knights rolled to a 3-0 (25-16, 25-11, 25-15) win over visiting Quinnipiac in the opening match of the Black Knights Invitational late Friday morning at Gillis Field House.

Mankus hit .421 and added six digs, while Wilton led all players with a .474 mark and three blocks. Reigning Patriot League Setter of the Year Mary Vaccaro led all players with 31 assists and completed the only double-double of the match with 16 digs. Junior libero D.J. Phee added 13 digs and four service aces.

The teams traded points early in the opening set before senior co-captain Francine Vasquez served for five unanswered points. She tallied two services aces as Army took an 8-3 lead and never looked back. The Black Knights continued to push throughout the remainder of the set, scoring five of the final seven points to take a 25-16 decision.

Sophomore middle blocker Molly McDonald, making her sixth career start, opened the set with a kill. The Black Knights went on to score eight of the first 10 points, a run capped by Phee's service ace to prompt a Quinnipiac timeout. Later in the set, Phee's serving helped the Black Knights stretch its lead to 19-9, which all but closed out the Bobcats. Army tallied six of the final eight points to seal the 25-11 victory.

The most competitive of the three sets, Quinnipiac hung with the home team for the opening half, leveling the score at 11-11 on an Army error. The Black Knights responded with a 5-0 run, including kills from Wilton and junior Margaux Jarka, and extended the lead to 16-11. While Army hung on for the sweep, freshman Nicole Perri notched her first career kill for match point.

Army returns to tournament action this evening, taking on Indiana at 7:30 p.m. at Gillis Field House. The match will be webcast live on Knight Vision.

Game Notes: Senior co-captains Ariana Mankus and Francine Vasquez will take part in the long-time West Point Ring Weekend tradition at Trophy Point prior to the Indiana match ... the Hoosiers downed Stony Brook, 3-1, in Friday's second match ... Army has opened the season with a victory in each of the last eight seasons.

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