Smidova Earns MVP as Eagles Sweep D.C. Volleyball Challenge

Smidova Earns MVP as Eagles Sweep D.C. Volleyball Challenge

Kristyna Lindovska had 10 kills and Monika Smidova finished with 24 assists and 10 digs as American University rolled to a 25-13, 25-8, 25-15 victory over host George Mason Saturday to go unbeaten in the D.C. Volleyball Challenge.

Smidova, who earlier in the day had 10 kills, no attack errors, 34 assists and 10 digs in a 3-1 win over Howard, was announced as the most valuable player in the tournament.
She joined Allison Cappellino (37 kills, 40 digs) and Kelly McCaddin (24 kills, 21 blocks) on the all-tournament team.
 
Against the host Patriots, the Eagles controlled the net defensively and attacked well. AU had just six attack errors in the three-set match and finished with 11.5 blocks.
 
"I'm happy we were able to get off to a good start," head coach Barry Goldberg said of the George Mason match. "We established a strong net presence against a good blocking team like Mason. We're pleased that our student-athletes were honored for their play in this tournament."
 
Earlier in the day, American lost the first match to Howard 25-19, but rallied to win the final three sets, 25-13, 25-20 and 25-21 to earn the victory.
 
"We battled through a tough match, as Howard continues to improve," said Goldberg. "We started the match with a few new players in different positions, but Howard played too strong on defense for our team to stay in a good rhythm.
 
"We started to find a better flow on attacking in the second set and our defensive effort picked up as well. The match ended being a good win for us, because I believe Howard is poised to have a nice season this year."
 
As she did against Georgetown in Friday's win, Cappellino led the Eagles offensively against the Bison with 11 kills and 14 digs. McCaddin had five blocks for AU against Howard.
 
American will play an exhibition match on Tuesday at Bender Arena against Metropolitan University of Puerto Rico, beginning at 7 p.m.
 
The Eagles play host to the American Volleyball Classic next weekend. AU faces Marquette on Friday at 7 p.m. and Florida State on Sunday at 11 a.m. Marquette and the Seminoles will play on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Bender Arena.