American Earns 3-1 Victory over Bucknell

Allison Cappellino
Allison Cappellino

LEWISBURG, Pa. – Senior setter Monika Smidova registered her second triple-double of the season to lead the American University volleyball team to a 25-18, 22-25, 26-24, 25-13 victory over Bucknell on Saturday evening.

With the win, the Eagles improved to 20-5 on the season and 11-0 in the Patriot League, while the Bison fell to 4-17 overall and 3-10 in the league.

Smidova finished with a career-high 11 kills, along with 41 assists and 15 digs, to tally her second double-double of the year. She also moved into fourth place on the Eagles' career assist list with 2,669 career helpers. Junior Allison Cappellino pitched in a team-high 18 kills, while her 13 digs moved her into fifth place at AU's career dig list.

Also finishing with double-digit kills for the Eagles was senior Kelly McCaddin, who registered 11 kills and six total blocks.  Meanwhile, senior Megan Rosburg and freshman Hoakalei Dawson each contributed 13 digs and freshman Erin Swartz added a career-high seven blocks.

AU started out strong in the opening set, stretching its lead to 18-10 before a Bucknell run cut the Eagles' advantage to 19-18. However, American scored six straight points to close out the set. Smidova led AU in the set with four kills, as the Eagles hit .359.

Bucknell turned the tables in the second set, holding AU to a .122 attack percentage and leading by as many as six points. While the Eagles came back to take a 22-21 lead, the Bison scored four straight points, including three blocks, to take the set victory. Cappellino finished with eight kills in the set as one of just two Eagles to post a positive attack percentage.

American led throughout the third set, but Bucknell was able to stay close by outhitting the Eagles. The Bison rallied to tie the score at 23-23 and 24-24, but AU took the 26-24 win, capped off by a service ace from Rosburg.

In the fourth set, American regained its momentum offensively, posting a .350 hitting percentage. The Eagles took control with an 11-4 run, closing out the set with a service ace from Smidova. Cappellino and senior Kristyna Lindovska were the leading hitters with four kills each, while McCaddin added three kills.

 "Bucknell is certainly one of the more physical teams in our league," said American assistant coach Ahen Kim. "They were able to hold our hitting down with digging and blocking, so for us to respond with digs and blocks of our own showed a lot of competitiveness. It was enough to stay in the fight until our hitters got hot again. Kelly McCaddin in particular got better as the match went on, and Hoakalei Dawson was able to contribute off the bench in a big way.

"Being on the road is always an added challenge, so as coaches, we're pleased to come away competing hard for a pair of wins. We have bigger matches coming soon, and experiencing these kinds of challenges should prepare us for a strong finish."

The Eagles return to action on Wednesday, Nov. 5, when they visit Navy in a 7 p.m. contest.