Army Set To Play In Service Academy Challenge At The Pentagon

Team vs. Seton Hall

Team vs. Seton Hall

Sept. 12, 2013

WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army volleyball team will take part in one of the most unique tournaments around the country for the second year in a row as the Black Knights travel to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Service Academy Challenge being held at the Pentagon this weekend. Army joins Air Force, No. 8 Stanford and Yale in the four-team event hosted by the Pentagon.

The military hub of the nation’s capital will host six matches from Thursday until Saturday in its subterranean level athletic center. Due to technological restrictions, real time updates will not be available for the matches. Results will be posted post-match including statistics and a full match recap after each contest on www.goARMYsports.com.

Army goes into the tournament with a 2-5 record, after its last victory versus Rhode Island in last weekend’s Valpo Popcorn Classic. The Black Knights open the tournament against Air Force (12 p.m.) on Friday. Seeing as the teams do not play in the Patriot League regular season, this will be the only meeting in 2013 for the academy rivals. Air Force has a 9-5 record all time over Army. The Black Knights will take on nationally ranked Stanford (5 p.m.) on Friday and Yale (12 p.m.) on Saturday.

“This is another challenging tournament,” said head coach Alma Kovaci. “We are looking forward to grow as this is our last tournament prior to the Patriot League regular season play. Our team will play hard and with a lot of passion. We will focus on each individual match and enter every match with a winning mentality. The opportunity to play in the Service Academy Challenge is more than a tournament to us. This is an extraordinary experience that gives us a chance to remember our fallen soldiers and what they have done for our country,” she continued.

Senior co-captain Margaux Jarka comes into the tournament as a member of the Valpo Popcorn Classic All-Tournament Team. The outside hitter averaged 3.33 kills and 4.07 digs per set during Army’s 2-2 week. Freshman Olivia Fairfield leads the team with 84 kills and an average hitting percentage of .339.

In last year’s meeting at the Pentagon, the Black Knights finished with a 2-1 mark, registering wins over Citadel and Air Force with their lone loss coming from a 3-0 sweep to Denver.

In a brief series that dates back to 1997, Army looks to tie a 2-1 record with Yale. The Black Knights won the last meeting against the Bulldogs in 2011 under Kovaci. Yale opened the season with a 2-1 record in its home tournament.

The Black Knights will face Stanford for the first time in program history in Friday’s match.The Cardinal, which fell from second to eighth in this week’s AVCA rankings, is currently 2-2 overall.

Notes: Army visited with Gen. Ray Odierno ’76 current U.S. Army Chief of Staff, where he asked questions about the tournament, shared stories of his West Point Experience and answered questions from the team.

Thursday, Sept. 12
4:00 p.m.: Air Force vs. #8 Stanford

Friday, Sept. 13
10:00 a.m.: #8 Stanford vs. Yale
12:00 p.m.: Air Force vs. Army
5:00 p.m.: Army vs. #8 Stanford
7:00 p.m.: Yale vs. Air Force

Saturday, Sept. 4
12:00 p.m.: Yale vs. Army

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