Eagles Split Matches on Day One of the American Volleyball Classic

Eagles Split Matches on Day One of the American Volleyball Classic
WASHINGTON - Two five-set matches with two different outcomes made for a long but exciting day for American University volleyball on the first day of the American Volleyball Classic. The Eagles (3-2) came from behind and topped Winthrop early in the day, but fell in five sets to Ohio in the late match. AU will close out the tournament against undefeated Temple (5-0) at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
• It was largely an evenly matched performance between the AU Eagles and the Winthrop Eagles, but AU won the second and fourth sets in more decisive fashion, 25-16 and 25-19.
• After three ties late in the third set, two AU errors gave Winthrop a 28-26 win and a 2-1 lead in the match.
• Senior Aleksandra Sochacka posted six kills with zero errors in the fourth set to help AU come back and force a fifth set.
• The fifth set was another back-and-forth affair with ties at 13-13 and 14-14 before a Sochacka kill gave AU match point, and a block by junior Olivia Wassner and freshman Onuchi Ndee gave AU the win.
• Junior Helena Elbaek, last week's DC Challenge Tournament MVP, led AU yet again with 17 kills and 15 digs along with four service aces.
• Sochacka finished with 14 kills while Ndee added 12.
• Senior libero Kristen Largay tied for match-high honors with 18 digs and Wassner led all players with 51 assists.
• As a team, AU served up 14 aces to Winthrop's five, but struggled with errors and finished with 17 to Winthrop's 10.
• AU cruised to a 25-19 win in the first set thanks to a 7-2 closing run and out-hitting the Bobcats .263 to .100.
• Despite a strong performance from Elbaek who posted eight kills to just a pair of errors in the second set, the Eagles let one slip away after gaining a 24-20 advantage.
• The Eagles again let Ohio make a comeback late in the third set, but this time held on for the win. Freshman Asli Celikkol knocked down the set-winning kill to make it 25-23 and put AU up 2-1 for the match.
• AU had its best hitting set of the day with 18 kills and only three errors (.471) in the third frame.
• In the fourth set, a Celikkol kill completed a three-point comeback to tie the score at 22-22, but Ohio scored three of the next four points to even up the match at two sets apiece.
• Freshman Onuchi Ndee had a fantastic match that included three kills on four attacks in the fifth and final set, but AU found itself in another hole and was able to get within no fewer than two after the midway point of the set.
• Ndee hit a match-best .538 overall with 16 kills on 26 attacks, and posted four blocks.
• Elbaek led AU with 20 kills and Sochacka added 14, with Largay tallying a match-best 36 digs.
• Finishing with a strong stat line was Wassner who notched a double-double with 18 digs to go with 56 assists and match-high six blocks as well as a match-high four service aces.
• The Eagles will look to finish strong for the weekend, taking on Temple at 2 p.m. in the final match of the tournament. First up at 11:30 a.m. is the final match for Winthrop and Ohio.