November 22, 2009: Volleyball game action at the Patriot League Volleyball Campionship Finals at Gillis Field House in West Point, NY. The Army Black Knights defeated the defending champion American University Eagles 3-0, securing the program’s first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Alex Cena / Southcreek Global
21 November 2009: Volleyball action at the Patriot League Volleyball Championship Semi-Finals at Gillis Field House in West Point, NY. The Army Black Knights defeated Lehigh 3-0, while the American University Eagles defeated the Colgate Raiders3-0.
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12 November 2009: Ridge at Westfield High School Girls Soccer.
14 November 2009: Football action in the game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and Indiana Hoosiers being played at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. The Nittany Lions defeated the Hoosiers 31-20.
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From Army Press Release on October 31, 2009:
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Freshman OH Ariana Mankus led all players with 15 kills, while junior MB Amanda Rowell and freshman RS Francine Vasquez also landed double-figure kill numbers, as the Army volleyball team extended its win streak to 14 matches with a 3-0 sweep of Holy Cross on Halloween at Gillis Field House.
Truly tested in the second of a three-set affair, the Black Knights won by 25-12, 25-22, 25-16 scores and improved to 22-3 overall and 10-0 in the Patriot League. Vasquez finished with a double-double (10 kills, 11 digs) for a third match in a row, while Rowell led all players with a .526 hitting percentage. Mankus hit .364 and Vasquez managed a .318 mark to compliment a team-high two solo blocks. Senior SMalissa Gallini and junior S Karyn Powell finished with 22 and 18 assists, respectively.
“I was really proud of the way this team came out and played tonight,” said third-year head coach Alma Kovaci. “They played with a great sense of urgency in the second set against a very much improved Holy Cross team, so give them credit.
“We’re still a little banged up, but I was extremely proud of the way that Malissa (Gallini) and Karyn (Powell) stepped it up tonight. They did a great job of mixing up the offense when we needed to.
Army scored 10 of the first 14 points of the match, as three-straight Holy Cross errors put the Black Knights ahead by a 10-4 score at a Crusader timeout. The Black Knights continued to roll, enjoying at least a seven-point cushion. Back-to-back kills from Holy Cross’ Megan Lynch made it 18-11, but the Black Knights proceeded to put the set away with a 7-1 run.
The second set seesawed throughout, featuring 14 ties and eight lead changes in what was easily the most competitive frame of the night. Neither team was able to enjoy more than a three-point lead and found themselves tied at 22-all on a Mankus kill. Her stinger started a run of three-straight kills for the Black Knights, including one from Dunn and another courtesy of Mankus, to give Gallini a chance to serve for set point. A Crusader error ended the set, 25-22.
Mankus carried her momentum over from the end of the second set to produce eight (zero errors) of her 15 kills in a decisive third set. A Holy Cross kill pulled the Crusaders to within two (9-7) before consecutive kills for Mankus and Vasquez started a mini 5-2 run that put Army ahead 14-9. The Crusaders trimmed the deficit to three (18-15) heading down the home stretch, but Army managed to put the match away with an 8-1 run that included four Mankus kills and a pair from Vasquez.
Army, which hit for a .320 percentage on the night, improved its mark each set. The match culminated in a stellar .514 percentage in a third set that saw 21 kills and just two errors in 37 Black Knight attempts.
Freshman OH Megan Lynch led Holy Cross with 12 kills, while junior S Chelsey O’Donnell finished with 20 assists. Army’s defense held the Crusaders to a .066 hitting percentage, helped by junior L Brittany Jensen and sophomore DS Liberty McEnteewith 10 digs apiece.
“No matter what the record says, we’re still improving and need a lot of work,” Kovaci added. “We’ll get back in the gym this week and get ready for a very tough weekend at Navy (Friday) and American (Saturday).”
The Black Knights visit Annapolis, Md., first for a 7 p.m. match at service-academy rival Navy on Friday. Army then travels to the nation’s capitol for a 4 p.m. match against defending Patriot League champion American on Saturday.
Match Notes: The match lasted 1:17 in its entirety … several children in attendance dressed in Halloween attire for the event … Army remains the only undefeated team in the Patriot League (9-0) and sits firmly alone atop the league standings … in other conference action this weekend, Colgate (8-2) became the second team to clinch a Patriot League Tournament berth with a sweep of Bucknell (4-6) on Friday night … Lehigh (5-5) edged rival Lafayette (3-7) and American (7-3) swept Navy (1-9) … Army has a chance to clinch home court advantage for the 2009 Patriot League Tournament with two wins next weekend.