On the first day of action at the Rutgers Invitational, the American University volleyball team earned a pair of four-set victories, defeating Princeton and the host Scarlet Knights. With the wins, the Eagles moved to 7-4 on the season.
In the Eagles' first match of the day, four players registered double-digit kill totals to lead AU to a 20-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-15 victory over Princeton. Junior Sarah Katz paced the team with a career-high 18 kills, while classmate Allison Cappellino added 15 kills and 13 digs.
Senior Kristyna Lindovska registered a season-high 12 kills and a team-leading five blocks against the Tigers, while senior Kelly McCaddin finished with 11 kills and a .474 hitting percentage. In addition, seniors Monika Smidova and Megan Rosburg posted season-high totals in assists (49) and digs (16), respectively.
In the opening set, AU led by as many as five points, but Princeton outscored the Eagles 18-8 down the stretch to take the win. The tables were turned in the second set, as American came back from an early deficit to pick up the 25-20 victory.
The Eagles carried their momentum into the third and fourth sets, winning 25-19 and 25-15, respectively. In the third set, AU hit .606 as a team, led by McCaddin, who recorded six kills on seven attempts.
"This match proved to be a good team-building match for us," said American head coach Barry Goldberg. "Four players had double-digit kills and Monika [Smidova] distributed a good offensive attack.
"Although we had difficulty adjusting to a slower-paced, but aggressive, Princeton style of play, I was pleased we were able to keep our composure through the rough start to finish strong."
The Eagles closed out Friday's action against the host Scarlet Knights, earning a 25-9, 25-21, 22-25, 25-11 victory over Rutgers. McCaddin led the way with 10 kills and seven blocks, while junior Megi Dervishi had a career-best seven kills and a .778 attack percentage. In addition, Cappellino finished the match with a career-high 20 digs.
AU was dominant early in its match against Rutgers, limiting the Scarlet Knights to a -.057 attack percentage in the first set, while hitting .387 as a team. The Eagles took an 11-3 lead to start the opening set and never looked back en route to the 16-point win.
American also started out strong in the second set, getting out to an 18-10 advantage before Rutgers put together a 10-5 run to close within three points. However, AU was able to hold on for the victory, capping off the set with a kill by Cappellino.
Rutgers battled back in the evenly matched third set, which featured 12 ties and five lead changes. Late in the set, the Eagles came back from a three-point deficit to tie the score at 21-21, but the Scarlet Knights scored four of the next five points to earn the set victory.
After dropping the third set, AU came charging out in the fourth set, taking an early 7-1 advantage. American quickly extended its lead and Rutgers never got closer than five points as the Eagles cruised to the 12-point set victory.
American closes out competition at the Rutgers Invitational tomorrow with a 3:00 p.m. contest versus Akron.