In its final tune-up before heading to the nation's capital to take part in the inaugural Armed Forces Tournament at the Pentagon, the Army volleyball team swept Hudson Valley rival Marist on Wednesday night at the McCann Center. The Red Foxes had no answer for junior middle blocker Megan Wilton, who posted 18 kills and hit for a .406 percentage in a 25-22, 25-23, 25-17 Black Knight victory.
Sophomore middle blocker Molly McDonald added nine kills, which was good for second amongst Army's players. While senior co-captain Ariana Mankus experienced a tough offensive night (four kills, four errors), she compensated with 10 digs to help the defense. Junior libero D.J. Phee and sophomore setter Mary Vaccaroadded 16 and 11 digs, respectively. Vaccaro completed a double-double with a match-high 37 assists.
Marist (4-3) hung with Army (4-3) in the first two sets, losing by a combined five points. The Black Knights took over the match in the third and it resulted in a lopsided 25-17 victory.
Neither team led by more than three points throughout the first set. With the score tied, 22-22, and junior Margaux Jarkaheaded to the service line, a Marist error coupled with a Mankus kill clinched the set for the Black Knights.
Marist retaliated with a 5-0 run to start the second set, but Army quickly tied the score at 10-all on a Jarka kill. The teams continued to play back-and-forth for the majority of the frame, but a Marist error gave the Black Knights a 21-18 lead late in the action. The Red Foxes actually out-scored Army 5-4 down the stretch, but the damage was already done.
Army opened up a 9-5 lead to start the third set and cruised to the 25-17 victory. Marist faced a manageable 9-7 deficit, but the Black Knights finished the set on a 15-10 run to claim their fourth win of the season.
Army begins play at the Armed Forces Tournament on Friday, Sept. 7, against The Citadel at 7 p.m. The Black Knights face Denver (2:30 p.m.) and Air Force (5 p.m.) on Saturday, Sept. 8. All three matches will be played at the Pentagon. Due to Pentagon restrictions, there will be no real-time updates available via GameTracker or Twitter for this weekend's matches. Complete statistics and a recap will be posted on www.goARMYsports.com shortly after the conclusion of each match.