BALTIMORE – Aleksandra Kazala finished with 17 kills and a .419 hitting percentage to lift American University to a 25-13, 25-22, 25-16 sweep at Loyola Maryland in a Patriot League volleyball match on Tuesday.
The win was American's ninth straight and 11th in its last dozen matches, lifting the Eagles to 17-7 overall and 8-1 in the league. The win also lifted the Eagles into first place in the Patriot League, a half-game ahead of Navy, which was idle on Tuesday.
The victory sets up a 1 vs. 2 matchup between Patriot League leaders on Friday at Bender Arena, as Navy (17-4, 7-1) comes to American for a 7 p.m. battle.
"We hit the ball well tonight, and our serving and defense started us off strong," said AU head coach Barry Goldberg. "We lost some momentum in set 2, but found success at the end. Overall, it was a good performance for our team on the road, and we are looking forward to hopefully making improvements over the final weeks of league matches."
The Greyhounds fell to 9-13 and 3-6 in the league after losing its second match of the season to the Eagles.
Kazala also had two aces and three blocks for American on Tuesday. Vela McBride had nine kills and only one error in 13 attacks, adding three blocks.
Ann Ernst led Loyola with 12 kills and a pair of blocks.
American used an early 8-1 rally to take a 9-3 lead in the opening set. American's margin dropped to five points twice, but an 8-2 run helped the Eagles finish the set.
The last of six ties in the second set came at 12-12 and the Eagles gained a lead they would not give up. Ernst had seven kills in the second set for the Greyhounds, but the hosts could not cut AU's lead to less than two points down the stretch and a solo block by Kazala ended the set.
Loyola led 10-9 in the third when AU's offense got going. Kazala and McBride had a pair of kills in an 11-2 run that gave the Eagles a 20-12 lead.
Tickets for the Navy match on Friday and for 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.