Army Suffers Five Set Loss To Lehigh

Sophomore Nicole Perri Had 23 Kills Against Lehigh

Sophomore Nicole Perri Had 23 Kills Against Lehigh

Oct. 26, 2013

Final Stats

BETHLEHEM, Pa.  - The Army volleyball team ended its seven-match win streak after falling to Lehigh (17-6, 8-3 Patriot League) in five sets on Saturday. After the Mountain Hawks claimed the first set (25-20), the Black Knights (12-9, 9-2) came back to win the second (26-24) before falling to Lehigh in the third (25-23). Army, able to capture the fourth set, 25-23, forced the Mountain Hawks into a fifth set draw, where they fell 15-13.

Sophomore outside hitter Nicole Perri showed an impressive performance in the Black Knight's loss on Saturday night as she led all players with 23 kills and an average hitting percentage of .367. Senior co-captain outside hitter Margaux Jarka added 15 kills while senior right side hitter Kerry Horan and freshman middle blocker Olivia Fairfield each added 8.

Army's defense topped Lehigh with 10 blocks as Perri and Horan lead the pack with three and two blocks, respectively. Senior co-captain libero D.J. Phee contributed 21 digs as the Black Knight stepped into the number two spot of all-time digs Patriot League history. Jarka and sophomore setter Vanessa Edwards also contributed digs on Saturday with 18 and 19, respectively. Edwards put forth 48 assists in the five match performance.

"Lehigh did a great job and we didn't match up to its intensity from the start," said Army head coach Alma Kovaci. "Our offense struggled and they are our bread in butter to winning matches. I am still proud of the girls on this team for fighting hard until the end of the fifth set. It is hard to win on the road and we still have a lot of the season ahead of us. We plan on refocusing on Monday and getting ready for the tough matches coming up at home. This coaching staff truly believe in this team."

The first set opened as teams went point-for-point with an early 4-4 tie score. With two attack errors on Army and a kill from Lehigh's Jade Vanstreepen, the Mountain Hawks rallied for three-points to make the score 7-4. As the set progressed, two kills and a block from Perri tied it all up, 13-13, before Lehigh would again rally for four straight points. The Mountain Hawks, able to maintain their lead, would go on to close the set with a 25-20 victory.

Coming off a first set win, Lehigh opened the second by rallying for four-points with kills from Amanda Clark and Amy Matula. Teams continued to battle for points while Mountain Hawks maintained their lead, until kills from Perri and Horan made the score 22-22 late in the set. After two attack errors, a service error and a kill from the Mountain Hawks, the score stayed tied, 24-24, before two attack errors would give the Black Knights a 26-24 win.

The Mountain Hawks took another early lead to start the third set, as they jumped ahead, 5-1. The Black Knights began to chip away at the deficit as Lehigh continued to rally for points with kills from Jarka and a service ace from Phee mid-set. At its 20th point, Army pulled head before teams would battle it out to make the score 23-23. Lehigh would go on to collect the final two points and win the set, 25-23.

Army stepped out to take an early 6-2 lead with kills from Perri, Jarka and Horan to open the fourth set. Coming back from its deficit, Lehigh tied the set, 11-11 with a kill from Courtney McChutan. After the Mountain Hawks rallied for three-points, the Black Knights fought their way back with two kills from Perri and a forced attacking error and tied the score, 15-15. Army then rallied for five to capture the lead before it went on to finish the set 25-23.

Teams kept a close score in the final set which featured seven tied scores and multiple lead changes. Teams battled until the 11th point before Lehigh went on to close the set with a 15-13 victory.

Army returns to Gillis Field House on Saturday, Nov. 2, to host Colgate at 4 p.m. The match will be broadcasted live on Knight Vision (subscription fees apply) and live stats will be available via GameTracker. Fans are encouraged to follow @Army_Volleyball for real time updates.

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