Santa Clara Outlasts @AU_Volleyball in Five Sets

Photo of AU volleyball huddle

WASHINGTONAleksandra Kazala finished with 17 kills and 16 digs, but Santa Clara emerged with a five-set victory over American University in the opening round of the D.C. Volleyball Challenge, played at Bender Arena.

The Broncos won the first set 25-22, but the Eagles rallied for wins of 26-24 and 25-15. SCU extended the match with a 25-23 win in the fourth set, and needed four match points to win the final set 18-16. The fifth set was tied 12 times.

Aleksandra Sochacka also had a double-double for the Eagles, finishing with 11 kills and 12 digs. Hoakalei Dawson had eight kills and 17 digs after seeing her first action since sitting out the entire 2016 season.

Sophomore libero Kristen Largay had 31 digs, while Kennedy Etheridge had 45 assists and 12 digs.

Michelle Gajdka had a match-high 19 kills to lead Santa Clara, also getting a double-double by finishing with 14 digs. Chloe Loreen and Jensen Cunningham had 11 kills apiece for the Broncos.

Georgetown survived an opening-set loss to earn a four-set win over Howard in Friday's opening match.

The four teams head to Howard University on Saturday to continue the round-robin event. American plays the host Bison at 10 a.m. and will face the Hoyas at 5 p.m.

American will host its annual Bender Blue Out game on Sunday at 4 p.m. when it faces Washington State of the Pac-12 Conference.

Tickets will be available at the Bender Arena Box Office on Sunday and are $8 for adults and $5 for students. AU students are free with a valid student ID.