WEST POINT – Army West Point volleyball (16-7, 10-4) battled Navy (12-11,8-6) but dropped a 3-1 decision to the Midshipmen on Friday night at Gillis Field House.
The Black Knights had two players record double-digit kills, but Navy’s offense was consistent throughout the match.
Two Cadets finished with double-doubles. Diana Ethridge notched her ninth with 31 assists and 11 digs. Savannah Bray tallied 13 kills and 13 digs along with one service ace. Paige Fixemer helped on the attack for the Black Knights with 12 kills on a .44 hitting clip along with three blocks.
Saylor Butters led the defensive efforts with 22 digs while helping the offense with four assists.
The teams came ready to fight out of the gate, trading points until Army jumped to a 11-9 lead over Navy. The Midshipmen were able to stay on the Cadets heels due to the Black Knights’ attacking errors. Fixemer threw down the kill that pushed Army to a 21-20. Army was unable to stop Navy’s offense, dropping the set 25-23. Fixemer led the team with four kills, while Butters racked up seven digs for the Cadets’ defense.
Army came out hot with a 4-0 scoring run to force Navy into an early timeout. The Cadets hit a valley, making multiple errors that gave Navy a 7-4 lead. Emmy Barnhorst threw down two kills to help the Black Knights find their groove. Fixemer followed the momentum with a powerful kill to tie the match up, 11-11. The sophomore then denied Navy at the net with a solo block. Army ignited a 4-0 scoring run during Isabella Sullivan’s service to lead 20-16. Navy fought back to get within one, 24-23, before Fixemer ended the set with a kill. Army took the set 25-23. Four Cadets finished with four kills, while the team kept Navy to a .087 hitting percentage.
The Black Knights had the momentum at the start of the set, taking advantage of Navy’s errors to lead 7-4. Navy fought back, tying things up at 14-14, Kingsley Wallace quickly shut down the Midshipmen’s attack with a kill (15-14). Army let errors get the best of their offense, allowing Navy to tie the set at 21-21. Navy kept the momentum of the match to win 25-23 over the Black Knights.
The teams were evenly matched at the start of the set, trading points and errors to keep things tied up. Navy’s offense found its groove, and the Cadets were unable to find a solution to contain it. Army made attacking errors as well, giving Navy more advantage in its lead. The Black Knights dropped the set 25-14 to lose the match 3-1 to Navy.
Savannah Bray secured a double-double in the third set of the match.
Diana Ethridge recorded her ninth double-double of the season.
Paige Fixemer has finished 13 games with double-digit kills.
“Navy played extremely well today. We didn’t take care of the ball today, while Navy did. Paige [Fixemer] hit very well for us today. It wasn’t our best game but now we are moving on and focusing on a good Loyola team that we face tomorrow,” said Head Coach Alma Kovaci Lee