@AU_Volleyball Opens PL Play at Home on Friday

Olivia Wassner and Cheyenne Orsi form a block

WASHINGTON – American University opens defense of its Patriot League volleyball championship on Friday at 7 p.m. when it plays host to Loyola Maryland in the conference opener for both teams at Bender Arena.

The Eagles have won the last four league titles and own 14 championships in the 16 seasons American has been a member of the Patriot League. AU is off to a 7-6 start in non-league competition this season, including a pair of losses to teams from power conferences in Iowa (Big Ten) and Washington State (Pac-12).

Junior outside Aleksandra Kazala is living up to her billing as one of the best players in the conference thus far. The choice for preseason Patriot League Player of the Year, Kazala leads the league and is 10th nationally with a 4.81 kills-per-set average.

Sophomore Kristen Largay has posted a 4.30 digs average, while freshman Helena Elbaek and senior Erin Swartz lead the Eagles' blocking stats.

The Greyhounds are 6-7 thus far and finished 1-2 last weekend at the George Mason Classic. Loyola Maryland tied for seventh in the PL standings a year ago.

Sophomore outside Ann Ernst averages 3.58 kills per set to lead Loyola offensively, while sophomore libero Elena Scarano has a 2.96 digs-per-set average.

Tickets to all AU home volleyball matches are available at the Bender Arena Box Office. General admission seats are $8 for adults and $5 for children. AU students are admitted free with a valid student ID.