Battle at Bender Friday Features Hottest PL Teams

AU celebrates a victory

WASHINGTON - The two hottest volleyball teams in the Patriot League collide at Bender Arena on Friday when American University hosts Colgate at 7 p.m.

The Eagles, now 22-7 overall, have won 14 straight matches and have clinched the regular-season title with a 13-1 mark. As the top seed, American will host the Patriot League Tournament on Nov. 18 and 19.

The Raiders, now 17-9 and 8-6, come to Bender on Friday having won six straight matches and climbing back into the race for a spot in the four-team playoffs.

Colgate is a half-game behind Lehigh for fourth place, after the Mountain Hawks moved to 9-6 on Tuesday with a win over second-place Navy. Lehigh finishes its regular season at Army West Point on Friday night.

Bucknell currently sits in sixth at 7-7 and would need some help to make the playoffs. The Bison come to American on Sunday at 2 p.m. after playing at Holy Cross Friday.

AU setter Kennedy Etheridge was selected the PL Player of the Week last Monday. Etheridge, a junior from Overland Park, Kan., last weekend became the ninth Eagle in history to reach 2,000 assists in her career.

The match also features the top two hitters in the Patriot League, with AU junior Aleksandra Kazala leading the league with a 4.63 kills-per-set average and Colgate freshman Alli Lowe second at 3.83.

AU has three of the top nine in the league in terms of hitting percentage, led by sophomore middle Vela McBride (.401), junior middle Cheyenne Orsi (4th, .348) and Kazala (9th, .304).

Sophomore libero Kristen Largay needs just 83 digs to hit the 1,000-mark for her career.

Colgate, which has won eight of its last nine, is led by senior setter Lauren Sanderson, who averages a league-best 10.87 assists per set.

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.

Ticket information for next week's Patriot League Tournament at Bender Arena will be available early next week.