American Downs Army in Straight Sets on Senior Day

American Downs Army in Straight Sets on Senior Day

WASHINGTON – Avenging its only Patriot League loss of the 2013 season, the American University volleyball team defeated Army, 25-20, 25-20, 25-14, on Saturday.

With the victory, the Eagles moved to 23-5 overall and 14-0 in the Patriot League, while the Black Knights fell to 13-14 overall and 8-6 in the league. It marked American's first home win over Army since 2011.

Senior Kelly McCaddin and junior Sarah Katz each posted eight kills to lead the Eagles, while senior libero Megan Rosburg registered 10 digs and a career-high-tying six service aces.

The score was close throughout the opening set, with Army holding the lead early on. However, the Eagles put together a 10-4 run to pull ahead, before closing out the five-point win. AU hit just .171 in the first set, but held the Black Knights to a negative attack percentage. McCaddin was outstanding for the Eagles, scoring five kills on eight attempts in the set.

The second set was another close battle, featuring seven ties. However, the Eagles never trailed en route to the 25-20 win. Junior Allison Cappellino led AU with five kills in the set, while McCaddin scored three assisted blocks.

American took control early in the third set with Rosburg at the service line, as she scored four aces to give the Eagles a 9-1 advantage. AU, which registered seven aces in the set and hit .333, pushed its advantage to double digits and closed out the match with three straight kills by Katz.

"It feels great to win and beat Army, but the way we did it is more important," said McCaddin. "We really controlled the tempo, from serving to passing, to setting to hitting. Across the board, we took control in the beginning and rode it throughout the match."

American concludes the regular season next weekend when it hits the road to face Colgate and Lehigh. The Eagles will face the Raiders on Friday evening, while taking on the second-place Mountain Hawks on Saturday.

AU and Lehigh, which carries a 15-2 league record, have already clinched the top two seeds in the Patriot League Tournament. However, the regular-season champion—and the host of this year's tournament—is still to be determined. American can clinch the top spot with one more win, while a pair of losses would set up a tiebreaker scenario between the Eagles and Mountain Hawks.

"We're starting to pick up steam again, starting to get in our groove and play well together as a team," said senior Valeria Giberti. "That's all I hope for [down the stretch], that we play together as a team, because when we do, we're unstoppable."