WEST POINT – Army West Point volleyball (1-2) picked up its first win of the season on Saturday afternoon with a three-set victory over Central Connecticut State (0-2) at Gillis Field House. The Black Knights edged the Blue Devils 25-22 in the first set before posting back-to-back 25-14 victories en route to the victory. Savannah Bray posted nine kills and seven digs in the contest and was later named to the Army Inivitational All-Tournament Team after leading Army with 31 kills throughout the tournament.
It would take a comeback for the Black Knights in the first set as the Blue Devils got out on the front foot with a 4-1 advantage following a service ace from Weronika Poczynek. The teams traded points throughout, with Paige Fixemer and Allanah Cutler leading the way with a combined seven kills in the opening frame. Army was able to take its first lead of the set at 18-17 after a monster block from Alyssa Lukasik up front. It was an eventual 5-0 run for the Black Knights to make it 19-17 after Savannah Bray tabbed her second kill of the set. Army took the first set by a score of 25-22 with Diana Ethridge setting up Cutler for a set-clinching kill.
Army was able to take momentum into the second set, getting out to a 3-0 and eventual 7-2 lead in which it would never look back. A Mackenzie Karnig service ace capped a 5-0 Army run which made it 13-4 Black Knights as Army was strong on Karnig services throughout. Later in the set, it was Savannah Bray who went on a service run as back-to-back kills from Cutler made it a 7-0 Army spurt and 23-10 advantage for the Cadets. The set was clinched soon after on a Blue Devils service error with the scoreline reading 25-14.
Army continued to strengthen as the game went on, dominating the third set on its way to another 25-14 victory. Cutler and Lukasik continued to lead the Black Knights, tallying multiple kills early on while a kill from Fixemer made it another 7-0 Army run as the Cadets were comfortably ahead 14-4. Bray continued her fine service form, with an ace that got Army out to its biggest lead at 21-7. The Blue Devils were able to cut into the Army lead, but Bray had the final say with a kill that secured the first win of the season for the Black Knights.
Army will return this weekend to host the Black Knight Invitational at Gillis Field House, beginning with a matchup against Liberty on Friday night at 6:00 p.m.