Eagles Defeat Crusaders in Straight Sets

Julita Kurdziuk
Julita Kurdziuk

WASHINGTON – Senior Kelly McCaddin recorded a match-high 11 kills and four blocks to lead the American University volleyball team to a straight-set victory over Holy Cross, 25-12, 25-9, 25-23, on Friday evening.

With the win, the Eagles improved to 22-5 overall and 13-0 in the Patriot League, while the Crusaders fell to 6-18 and 5-8 in the league.

The Eagles served their way to victory in the opening set, recording six aces, including four by junior Allison Cappellino during an early 6-0 run. Strong hitting by McCaddin, who finished with six kills in the set, pushed AU's lead to double-digits as the Eagles earned a 13-point victory.

In set two, American's attack was nearly unstoppable, registering 11 kills on 19 attempts with no errors. Meanwhile, Holy Cross was held to a negative attack percentage, as the Eagles rolled to a 25-9 victory.

American changed its lineup for the third set, enabling a different group of players to contribute. The Eagles started out strong, getting out to a 10-3 lead, but the Crusaders slowly began to battle back. Late in the set, Holy Cross got within one point several times, eventually cutting the margin to 24-23. However, junior Megi Dervishi put down a kill to secure AU's victory.

For the match, American hit .370 as eight different players registered as least three kills, including Dervishi, who finished with six kills on the evening. The Eagles also scored 10 service aces, led by five from Cappellino.

 "We talk about it in practice, the fact that everyone needs to step up and play a role," said senior Valeria Giberti. "Tonight everyone did play a role. It was good to see Julita [Kurdziuk] and Megi get good kills and play well overall."

The Eagles wrap up their regular-season home slate tomorrow, Nov. 8, when they host Army at 4 p.m. Prior to the match, American will celebrate Senior Day by honoring the members of the class of 2015.

"[This weekend is about] thanking everyone for contributing to our success here at American," said senior Megan Rosburg. "It's not really about us, it's more about playing for our freshmen. We want them to see what we've been able to do over the years. It's also about thanking our family and fans and coaches for helping us the past four years."