Nov. 7, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Army volleyball team will compete in its final regular season home matches at Gillis Field House as the Black Knights (12-10, 9-3 Patriot League) host American (24-2, 10-1) and Loyola (5-19, 2-10) for their 13th and 14th Patriot League matches, respectively. Army will go up against American on Friday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m., and will face Loyola on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m.
Army is coming off a, 3-0, loss versus Patriot League defending champion Colgate last Saturday when the Raiders swept (25-21, 25-18 and 25-17) the Black Knights at Gillis Field House.
Senior co-captain outside hitter Margaux Jarka leads the attack with 252 kills with freshman middle blocker Olivia Fairfield follows up with 243 kills and an average hitting percentage of .349. Sophomore setter Vanessa Edwards has contributed 536 assists this season.
Defensively, senior co-captain D.J. Phee has set the tone for the Black Knights with 385 digs this season. Phee leads the all-time Army record holders for most digs in a single season and most career digs with 1725 digs and counting. The senior libero also holds the number two spot in the Patriot League for most digs in a career. Fairfield has also strong at the net with a total of 70 blocks in her first season followed by senior right side hitter Kerry Horan who has added 51 blocks for the Black Knights.
“We are excited to be home and play in front of our crowd this weekend,” said Army head coach Alma Kovaci. “American and Loyola are good teams but our entire focus will be on what we do on our side of the court, which is playing together with a lot of energy as a unit. I am really proud of our seniors and they will most definitely be missed when they graduate. Their leadership, hard work and determination have been extraordinary over the past four years and it has been a privilege to watch them develop on and off the court. They have each had a tremendous career representing Army volleyball and I know they will continue to excel as they become officers in the Army.”
The 2011 champion American is second in the league behind Colgate heading into the weekend’s events, while it leads the statistical boards in five out of seven categories including, hitting percentage, opponent hitting percentage, assists, blocks and kills. The Eagles are coming off a 3-0 sweep over Lafayette on Saturday, Nov. 2. American holds a 27-7 lead over Army in the all-time series.
Junior outside hitter Kristyna Lindovska leads American and the conference with 300 kills and an average hitting percentage of 3.66 kills per game this season. Lindovska is followed by teammate senior outside hitter Juliana Crum who has contributed 255 kills in addition to 268 digs on defense.
The Black Knights came out with a 3-2 victory over Loyola at Reitz Arena in Baltimore, Md., in the first conference match between teams earlier this season. Saturday’s match versus Loyola marks the second meeting between the teams, as the Greyhounds became established in the Patriot League on July 1, 2013. The Greyhounds are coming off a seven-match losing streak in which they recently fell to Lafayette and Lehigh last weekend.
Loyola’s senior middle blocker Jac Bullock and senior outside hitter Faye Lukas lead the Greyhounds with 218 and 215 kills, respectively. Defensively, junior setter Lauren Anderson has contributed 167 digs, while junior middle blocker Mindy Maloney has had 66 total blocks this season.
Prior to Saturday’s first serve, Army will take a moment to recognize five seniors who will be commissioned during May’s graduation exercises. Among those being honored, along with their families, will be co-captains Phee and Jarka as well as Horan, Megan Wilton and Christiana Fairfield.
Both matches will be available via Knight Vision (subscription fees apply) as well as GameTracker which can be found on the Army volleyball schedule page. Fans are also encouraged to follow the @Army_Volleyball twitter handle for real time updates of this weekend’s matches.