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SAN DIEGO, CA – Army West Point Volleyball (0-3) battled #25 San Diego State (1-1) claiming the second set, but fell to the Aztecs, 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-16, 25-19) on Saturday afternoon.
Kai Nickerson led the Black Knights’ offense with 10 kills and added on two blocks. Alyssa Lukasik racked up a team-high eight blocks for Army and contributed two kills and a service ace. Army finished the match with six service aces and 10 blocks.
The first set was a back-and-forth battle early on with 11 ties and three lead changes.
Army was able to produce multiple scoring runs that helped stay on SDSU’s heels. Late in the set, Army’s offense had a few errors that allowed the Aztecs to jump in front, 20-18.
Mackenzie Karnig helped keep Army in the set with a kill to shift the momentum in the Cadets’ favor (21-23 SDSU). The momentum was not enough to produce a comeback for the Black Knights as the Aztecs claimed the first set, 25-22. Nickerson had a stellar first set as she recorded six kills on a .857 hitting clip.
Army started had control of the second set from the start leading 5-1 at the first timeout. SDSU did not fall easily as the Aztecs stayed on the Black Knights’ heels tying the match at 11. Allanah Cutler and Lukasik teamed up for a block to regain service for Army. Three points later, Savannah Bray threw down a kill that rallied a 5-0 scoring run for Army (18-12). SDSU got within one of Army (23-21) but Mackenzie Lynch produced two kills and a block assist that pushed Army to the 25-22 victory.
Errors were an issue for Army in the third set with four of the first five points for SDSU coming from Army’s mistakes. The early momentum helped the Aztecs keep the Black Knights at bay, taking a 20-12 lead. Lukasik fired off a kill and a block assist to help keep Army in the set, 16-21, but the Cadets ultimately fell 16-25 to the Aztecs.
Army’s attacking errors continued to give it trouble and allowed SDSU to lead 10-4 at the first timeout. The Cadets fought back with help from Cutler who threw down two kills, 19-10. Kingsley Wallace’s kill ignited an 8-0 scoring run for the Black Knights to get within two of the Aztecs, 20-18. SDSU escaped with the fourth set, 25-19, to win the match 3-1 over Army.
Army recorded 13 kills in the second set compared to SDSU’s eight.
Army had five blocks in the second set.
This was the first meeting between Army and SDSU.
Army returns to Gillis Field House on Sept. 2-3 to host the Black Knight Invitational. The Cadets will take on UConn, Temple, St. Francis College and Kansas.