@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.


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.



At Bender Arena, American University


   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


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


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 


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.