Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Sunday, December 17, 2017

Women’s Volleyball sweeps crucial Patriot League matches

Aleksandra Kazala becomes 13th Eagle player to surpass 1,000 kills in her career

Women’s Volleyball sweeps crucial Patriot League matches

Junior outside hitter Aleksandra Kazala (1) recorded her 1000th kill over the weekend against Lafayette to become 13th player in program history to reach the milestone

The Eagles dominated the offensive side of the net over the weekend to beat both Lehigh (14-6, 5-1 PL) and Lafayette (3-15, 1-5 PL) in three sets. The team averaged a 0.383 kill percentage over the weekend, helping the Eagles rise to second place in the Patriot League standings trailing Navy (16-3, 6-0 PL).

Lehigh came into the much anticipated match at 4-0 in the Patriot League, setting themselves up for a dynamic conference matchup between the volleyball powerhouses. The Eagles (13-7, 5-1 PL) opened strong, trailing for only the first point in the first set. The momentum continued as the Eagles won the first set 25-15.

The Eagles faced more challenges the second set, trailing by five points late in the set. Strong determination and focus by freshman outside hitter Shannon Webb and junior outside hitter Aleksandra Kazala helped bring the Eagles back, eventually winning the second set 25-23 in a nail-biting set.

“During practice we have been playing these games where one team has to come back to beat the other one,” said head coach Barry Goldberg. “If you look at our record, we lost very close ones late in the game [this season]. We have been practicing and it was great feeling for our players to go into the locker room coming back in a game to take a 2-0 lead in the game.”

The Eagles transitioned the confidence into the third set jumping out to a commanding 12-6 lead before scoring five consecutive points to end the final set with a score of 25-16.

Webb was one of the standout performers for the Eagles, finishing the match with 12 kills, three blocks, and only one attack error.

“We knew we wanted to hold this home court advantage,” Goldberg said. “We did a great job attacking and it was a very strong match and I thought it was a great Patriot Leauge match to watch.”

The Eagles continued the offensive storm on Saturday against Lafayette with a team average of 0.406 in kill percentage. In the match, Kazala became the 13th Eagle ever to obtain over 1,000 career kills.

The Leopards provided little resistance against the Eagles’ strong attacking prowess. AU trailed for only two points throughout the entire match, finishing in three sets with scores of 25-15, 25-20 and 25-13 respectively.

The two wins at home for the Eagles keep them on track for contention of first place in the Patriot League. The Eagles face cross-town rival George Washington Wednesday in Bender Arena and then hit the road Friday for a conference matchup against Bucknell.

bdarin@theeagleonline.com


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