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Saturday split gives Bryant 2-1 weekend at Army

Photo by DSPics.com
Photo by DSPics.com

WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Bryant University volleyball team split the final day of the Black Knights Invitational Saturday with a sweep of Binghamton and three-set loss to Army West Point to earn a 2-1 result for the second straight weekend.

Sophomore Maya Popernik (Chicago, Ill.) and junior Alisi Motu'apuaka (Virginia Beach, Va.) were named to the all-tournament team for the event. Popernik posted double-digit kill performances in both Bryant wins, while Motu'apuaka led the Bulldogs in assists on the weekend.

Match Information
Bryant 3, Binghamton 0 (25-12, 25-23, 26-24)
Army West Point 3, Bryant 0 (14-25, 23-25, 19-25)
Records: Bryant (5-6), Binghamton (0-9), Army West Point (7-3)
Location: Gillis Field House (West Point, N.Y.) 

Coach Garlacy's Comments
"Alisi and Maya made all-tournament to conclude a very productive weekend for our team. We learned to come from behind, win a five-set match, and to put away the game when we have to. We played scrappy and tough defense and worked on several of our team goals."

How It Happened vs. Binghamton

  • Set 1 – Bryant led throughout the set and closed it on an 11-3 run with two kills from Popernik and three other Bulldogs chipping in with one each. Motu'apuaka assisted on four of the final six Bryant points in the first.
  • Set 2 – The Bulldogs had a 17-14 advantage before surrendering five straight points and having to battle back. Kills by Popernik and freshman Riley James (Pocasset, Mass.) gave the Bulldogs the lead at 23-22 and a kill from James closed out a 25-23 win in the second.
  • Set 3 – Bryant earned set point at 24-21 but Binghamton would claw back to tie the set at 24. A kill from Motu'apuaka would get the Bulldogs to 25 and Bryant would close out the win on a Bearcat attack error.

How It Happened vs. Army West Point

  • Set 1 – A kill from Popernik would cut the Bryant deficit to 19-13, but the Black Knights tallied the next five points to pull away and notch a 25-14 victory in the first.
  • Set 2 – Bryant trailed 24-17 but would score the next six with sophomore Caroline Kennedy (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) recording four kills during the stretch. At 24-23, an Army kill would earn the 2-0 advantage for the Black Knights.
  • Set 3 – Bryant led 9-8 before four straight Army points put the Black Knights ahead the rest of the set. The Bulldogs would pull back within two on a pair of occasions but Army scored eight of the final 12 points of the set to seal its three-set decision.

Stats/Notes

  • Popernik hit .348 with 11 kills in the win over Binghamton.
  • Kennedy added eight kills to only two errors for a .333 hitting percentage against the Bearcats. The sophomore added kills against Army.
  • Motu'apuaka recorded 20 assists in the win over Binghamton.
  • Freshman Mia Cergol (East Northport, N.Y.) collected her first career double-double in the Army match with 11 assists and 12 digs.
  • James added six kills and nine digs against Binghamton.
  • Bryant improves to 6-1 all-time against Binghamton and 3-0 since the two programs moved to Division I.
  • The Bulldogs drop to 0-4 all-time against Army.
  • Bryant has played 37 sets through its first 11 matches of 2019, only going beyond three sets against Akron, Providence and Kent State. The Bulldogs played 43 sets to this point last year.

Up Next
Bryant returns home for an in-state battle with Brown Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Chace Athletic Center. Tickets are available HERE.

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