Aug. 29, 2009
WEST POINT, NY - Sophomore Brittany Best (Norco, CA) finished the Army Invitational in style, recording 14 kills while making just two attack errors and serving up three aces as the Sacred Heart women's volleyball team defeated the host Black Knights 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 27-25) in the finale of the Army Invitational Saturday afternoon.
The Pioneers finished the Invitational with a 2-1 record, defeating Eastern Michigan on Friday and losing the Fairfield 3-0 (14-25, 20-25, 25-27) in the opening game Saturday. Best and junior Courtney Kidd-Kadlubek (Santa Barbara, CA) were named to the all-tournament team.
Army, 2-1, jumped out to a quick 8-4 lead in the opening set and held onto it until a Best service ace knotted the score at 21-21. Best ripped off three more points on her serve ro give the Pioneers a 24-21 lead. Army got a couple back to close within one, but sophomore Maile Hetherington (Thousand Oaks, CA) put the set away with a kill.
After Army took a brief 2-1 lead in the second set, the Pioneers took control and opened up a 15-10 bulge after a Best kill. They would never trail the rest of the way to take a 2-0 lead.
Set three was nip and tuck the entire way, neither team ever opening more than a three-point lead. Sacred Heart had a chance to end the match in regulation with a 23-20 lead and the serve. After a timeout, the Black Knights got a kill from Fabiola Castro to make it 23-21 but she turned around and gave the Pioneers a match point with a service error to make it 24-21.
Ariana Markus cut the SHU lead to 24-22 with a kill off an Ashlyn Trimble (Temecula, CA) serve. Back-to-back attack errors by the Pioneers tied the score at 24-24. An Army service error gave the Pioneers a second match point but Francine Vasquez kept the Black Knights alive with a kill on Best's serve.
Hetherington returned the favor on Vasquez's serve, giving the Pioneers their third match point. Freshman Elise Sage (Aurora, CO) finally put Army away, 27-25, with a kill after a Jessica Colberg (Long Beach, CA) serve.
Kidd-Kadlubek continued her incredible playmaking early in the season, finishing the match with 39 more assists. She finished the weekend with 117 helpers.
In their first match of the day, the Pioneers had trouble finding their stride against the Fairfield Stags. 17 attack errors, combined with 11 service errors, gave Fairfield the straight-set win.