@AU_Volleyball Wins Five-Set Match; Reaches Sunday Final

Ola Kazala and Patriot League Commissioner Jennifer Heppel

WASHINGTONHelena Elbaek had 17 kills to lead three Eagles in double figures as top-seeded American survived a five-set battle with Colgate Saturday in a Patriot League Volleyball Tournament semifinal at Bender Arena.

American won the first set 25-11, but dropped the next two, 25-23 and 25-14. The Eagles rallied to win the final two sets, 25-17 and 15-9.

American snapped a three-match losing streak and improved to 20-12 overall. The win gave the Eagles a 20-win season for the ninth straight time.

The Eagles will host second-seeded Navy in Sunday's championship match at 2 p.m. The Midshipmen, now 22-8, beat Loyola Maryland, 18-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-23 in the second semifinal.

Fourth-seeded Colgate ended its season at 14-15.

MATCH NOTES

Aleksandra Kazala, who prior to the match was presented with her PL Player of the Year trophy, finished with 16 kills and Vela McBride added 11.

• Kazala finished with her 12th double-double of the season with 16 kills and 19 digs. Setter Kennedy Etheridge also had a double-double, finishing with 53 assists and 10 digs to post her team-leading 13th.

Loren McKenzie had eight kills and a team-best eight blocks for the Eagles, who finished with a dozen team blocks.

Kristen Largay had a team-best 20 digs for American, which held a .350 to .186 edge in hitting percentage.

• Middle blocker Cheyenne Orsi, who was cleared to play just this week after sitting the entire season with a knee injury, played the final four points for the Eagles and earned a block assist.

• Alli Lowe had 19 kills to lead the Raiders, with Alex Stein adding 18.

• Kazala and Elbaek had five kills apiece in the first set as AU opened with 15 kills and only one error, hitting .583 in the set. The Eagles used a 10-point run to take a 16-5 lead midway through.

• Trailing 2-1 in sets and 11-10 in the fourth, AU took control with a run that earned a 17-12 lead. The edge was never less than four over the rest of the set. McBride had five of her kills in that set.

• Colgate led 7-6 midway through the final set, but AU gained the edge when a pair of kills from Kazala put the hosts up 10-8.  The Raiders pulled within one, but AU scored the final five points of the set to win the match.

 

2018 PATRIOT LEAGUE VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT

At Bender Arena, American University

SATURDAY'S SEMIFINALS

   No. 1 AMERICAN def. No. 4 Colgate, 25-11, 23-25, 14-25, 25-17, 15-9

   No. 2 Navy def. No. 3 Loyola Maryland, 18-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-23

SUNDAY'S CHAMPIONSHIP

   No. 2 Navy (22-8) at No. 1 AMERICAN (20-12), 2:00

PATRIOT LEAGUE TOURNAMENT TICKETS

Tickets for the Patriot League Tournament are available at the Bender Arena Box Office or online at the link below.

  • Patriot League Semifinals – Day Pass      
    • Adult – General Admission: $8.00
    • Youth (17 & below) / Senior (65+) – General Admission: $5.00
  • Patriot League Championship      
    • Adult – General Admission: $8.00
    • Youth (17 & below) / Senior (65+) – General Admission: $5.00
  • Group of 10+ (Save 40% off your purchase)      
    • $3 per person
  • AU Students (undergraduates, graduates, & Washington College of Law)      
    • Free admission with valid AU ID 

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS

For inquiries e-mail clawed@american.edu or call 202.885.TIXX (8499).

 

For the latest on American University Volleyball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_Volleyball.