Top Seed American Downs Army, 3-0, in Patriot League Semifinal

Kristyna Lindovska
Kristyna Lindovska

WASHINGTON – Junior Sarah Katz recorded a match-high 10 kills and 10 digs to lead the top-seeded American University volleyball team to a 25-19, 25-13, 25-14 victory over fourth-seed Army in the first semifinal of the 2014 Patriot League Tournament.

With the victory, the Eagles improved to 25-6 on the season and will advance to their 14th-straight Patriot League final. Meanwhile, the Black Knights end the year with a 14-16 overall mark.

Senior Kristyna Lindovska and junior Allison Cappellino added nine kills each for AU, while senior setter Monika Smidova pitched in 30 assists, six digs and five kills.

The Eagles used strong starts in each of the first two sets to take control of the match. While Army outhit AU in the opening set, the Eagles took advantage of their early 8-2 lead in the 25-19 victory. Meanwhile, American hit .444 in the second set, rolling to a 16-4 lead, before taking the 12-point win.

The score was close early in the third set, with the Eagles holding a narrow 8-7 lead. AU went on a 9-2 run, holding the Black Knights to a negative hitting percentage in the set, to pull away for an 11-point win.

"It was the defensive effort that really started picking up as the match went on, and it made a big difference for our offense," said head coach Barry Goldberg.

In the second semifinal of the day, second-seed Lehigh defeated third-seed Navy in straight sets. The Eagles and Mountain Hawks will now meet in tomorrow's championship match, which is slated to begin at 1 p.m. in Bender Arena.