Oct. 15, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Army volleyball team will continue its three-match homestand on Tuesday as the Black Knights (9-8, 6-1 Patriot League) host conference opponent, Holy Cross (2-5, 7-12) on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. at Gillis Field House.
Coming off two league wins last Friday and Saturday, with 3-0 sweeps over Lafayette and Navy, Army stands alone in first-place in the latest conference standings. The Black Knights are on pace to secure their record 15th-straight Patriot League Tournament berth.
Freshman middle blocker Olivia Fairfield is coming off an impressive weekend, earning her third Molten Patriot League Rookie of the Week Honors. The campaign marks the second consecutive week in which Fairfield has been recognized for her efforts. The rookie middle blocker recorded 17 kills and a season high hitting percentage on .708 versus Navy. Fairfield ranks second in hitting percentage and fifth in kills in the league’s weekly individual leaders chart.
Senior middle blocker Megan Wilton earned honorable mention in the weekly nominations as she led the team with 14 kills and a .524 hitting percentage against Lafayette. Wilton has also made her way on the individual leaders list, coming in fifth for hitting percentage (.324) in the conference.
Defensively, senior co-captain libero D.J. Phee led the team with 25 digs in six sets, followed by sophomore setter Vanessa Edwards who had 20 digs in two matches. Edwards contributed 40 and 39 digs versus Lafayette and Navy, respectively.
Army has enjoyed great success against Holy Cross under the direction of head coach Alma Kovaci, owning a perfect 12-0 record against the Crusaders during her seven-year tenure. The Black Knights hold a 44-5 advantage in an all-time series that dates back to 1982. Holy Cross' last win (3-2) over Army came in 2005 in Worcester, Mass.
Holy Cross is coming off a 1-1 weekend, falling to Navy on Friday and sweeping Lafayette on Saturday. Freshman right side hitter Natalie Welsh leads the team in 187 kills and has a .257 hitting percentage. Freshman setter Katie McKernan has contributed 482 sets this season, ranking seventh in the league’s individual statistics.
Welsh and junior middle hitter Kamele Shizuru lead the team with 34 and 41 blocks, respectively, while freshman libero Emily Popp has recorded 298 digs for the Crusaders on defense throughout her first collegiate season.
Tuesday’s match marks the first of two matches to be played by the teams with their second competition on Saturday, Oct. 19, at Holy Cross.
Fans can follow all of Tuesday night's via live statistics on GameTracker of the match. The link can be found by visiting the volleyball schedule page of www.goARMYsports.com. Periodic Twitter updates will also be available through @Army_Volleyball.