WEST POINT – The Army West Point volleyball team (7-6, 4-0 PL) defeated the American University Eagles (7-6, 1-1 PL) 3-1 in a four-set thriller. The Black Knights are now undefeated in Patriot League play, improving to a 4-0 record.
Sophomore Mackenzie Lynch led the Black Knights with 15 kills and had a dig. Allanah Cutler also had 13 kills and a dig.
In the first set, American took an early 3-0 lead with a pair of attack errors by the Black Knights. Army got on the board with a kill by Savannah Bray, making it a 3-1 match. The Eagles took a 5-1 lead with a kill by Zeynep Uzen and a block by Uzen and Carlie Fikse.
The Black Knights trailed American 6-1 when they began their comeback. Mackenzie Lynch had a huge kill making it a 6-2 match. Army got within three points, making it a 6-3 match with an attack error by Uzen. The Black Knights cut their deficit to two points with a kill by Cutler, making it a 6-4 match. Both teams were battling for the lead when American took a 10-6 lead, forcing an Army timeout. The Eagles made it an 11-6 match with a blocking error by Cutler. The Black Knights responded with a monster kill by Paige Fixemer, making it an 11-6 match.
Army continued to battle, cutting the Eagles deficit to two points, making it a 12-10 match. The Black Knights made it a one-point match with a block by Fixemer, making it a 12-11 match. Both teams were fighting for the lead when American took a 17-14 lead with a kill by Sofia Osterdahl and an attack error by Army.
The Black Knights attempted its comeback in the final stretch of the set. Army tied everything up 23-23 with a kill by Cutler. The Eagles held onto their lead, never looking back, taking the first set with a score of 25-23.
In the second set, the Black Knights came out firing on all cylinders. Army got on the board first with an attack error by Carly Sciborski, giving the Black Knights a 1-0 lead. American responded, tying everything up 1-1 with a kill by Uzen. Army went on a 5-0 run with a pair of kills by Cutler and a kill by Lynch, and attack errors by Uzen and Sciborski, giving the Black Knights a commanding 6-1 lead. The Eagles cut Army’s run with a kill by Sciborski, making it a 6-2 match.
The Black Knights extended its lead, making it a 9-3 match with a kill by Fixemer. American made it a 9-5 match with kills by Osterdahl and Maya Mrus. Army went on a 3-0 run with a kill by Bray and attack errors by American’s Osterdahl and Esma Sipahi taking a 14-6 lead, and forcing an American timeout.
The Eagles got within eight points of Army with a kill by Sipahi, making it an 18-10 match. The Black Knights continued to dominate the court, going on a 4-0 run, with kills by Mackenzie Lynch, Fixemer, and Diana Ethridge, as well as a bad set by Uzen. Army secured the second set, winning with a final score of 25-14. Assisted by Savannah Bray, Allanah Cutler closed things out with a set-clinching kill.
The Black Knights carried their momentum from the second set into the third set. Army took a 1-0 lead with a kill by Bray. The Eagles tied things up at 1-1 with a kill by Holly Hopkins. Both teams battled for the lead when the Black Knights went on an 8-0 run with a pair of kills by Lynch and five attack errors by American. The Eagles made it a 12-4 match with a kill by Carlie Fiske.
In the second half of the set, the Eagles had cut into Army’s lead, making it a 19-13 match with a pair of kills by Holly Hopkins and a service ace by Maya Mrus. Lynch responded with a kill, further extending the Black Knights lead making it a 20-13 lead.
Army continued to dominate the court, making it a 23-22 match with kills by Bray and Lynch. The Eagles continued to chip away at the Black Knights’ lead, going on a 2-0 run with a kill by Zeynep Uzen and an attack error by Fixemer.
Army secured the third set with a score of 25-20 with junior Diana Ethridge setting up Mackenize Karnig with the set-clinching kill.
It would take a comeback for the Black Knights to win the fourth set. American raced to an early 4-0 lead, forcing an Army timeout. The Black Knights responded, with a key kill by Allanah Cutler, making it a 4-1 match. Army made it a 4-3 match with a service ace by Norah Shattan and a kill by Lynch.
The Black Knights tied everything up at 5-5 with a service ace by Libero Riley Parchment. Both teams were battling for the lead when American took a 13-10 lead with a kill by Zeynep Uzen, a service ace by Uzen, and an attack error by Ethridge. Army responded, tying everything up at 13-13 after going on a 3-0 run with attack errors by Sciborski and Hopkins, and a service ace by Shattan.
The Eagles took a two-point lead with a kill by Hopkins, giving American an 18-16 lead. The Black Knights fought back, going on a 4-0 run with a pair of service aces by Fixemer, a service error by Maiden McLoughlin, and a service error by Hopkins, giving Army a 22-19 lead.
The Eagles attempted a comeback late in the fourth set, getting within two points with a kill by Uzen. Senior Alyssa Lukasik responded with a monster kill making it a 23-20 lead. Allanah Cutler had a monster kill, giving Army a 24-21 lead. Assisted by Savannah Bray, Mackenzie Lynch secured the match point with a kill, defeating American with a final score of 25-22, securing the win for the