NEW HAVEN, CT. – The Army West Point volleyball team (8-4) split its Saturday doubleheader to finish 2-1 at the Bulldogs Invitational at Yale.
“Overall it was a good tournament for us,” Head coach Alma Kovaci Lee said. “We played well vs. Sacred Heart and Stony Brook. Credit to Yale, they were a very good and pyhsical team and we didn’t play our best in that match. However, I am proud of the team for coming back from a tough loss and putting on one of their best performances to date against Stony Brook.”
The day was highlighted by a dominant effort against Stony Brook in which the Cadets took the match in straight sets 25-8, 25-10 and 25-18.
Seniors Allie Strong and Sydney Morriss were superb in the match with both recording double-doubles. Strong posted 13 kills and 11 digs and Morriss added 10 kills and a season-high 10 digs.
Sophomore Emmy Barnhorst was also in double-digits on the kills list, posting 11 with a .533 hitting percentage. Senior Nikki Lum was the only Cadet to reach double-digits in assists with a match-high 24.
“Mentally, coming back from a loss to win like that is tough to do, but our Cadets do what they do best, they learn and move on,” Kovaci Lee said. “Sydney was solid all tournament and is someone we can rely on all the time. Peyton Schendt and Bella Benoit got some playing time and did very well. That adds depth to our team and its great to see players perform when you need them. Our bench showed that they are ready to perform well when they are needed. It will make us stronger when we face our conference opponents”
In the team’s first match, tournament-host Yale pulled through the first two highly competitive sets to take a lead that the Black Knights couldn’t overcome. In the second, Army held a five-point lead at 17-12 but Yale was able to fight back and earn the win.
Sydney Morriss added another double-digit kills match with 11. Junior Bella Benoit saw her first extended action of the season and posted 7 kills on 11 attempts for a solid .545 hitting percentage. Freshman Peyton Schendt added 6 kills and 8 digs.
Saturday’s matches marked the end of Army’s tournament season as they now head to conference play with their Patriot League opening Star Match against rival Navy at West Point on Friday night.
“We are ready to start the season,” Kovaci Lee said. “Preseason has prepared us to face tough conference competition. All of us are looking forward to opening up against Navy and American.”