KELSEY DICKEY/THE EAGLE
After starting the season 0-5, the AU Lady Eagles volleyball team was able to notch their first victory of the season at Portland on Saturday. A strong presence in the center helped AU beat University of Portland 3-2 in a hard fought game where momentum shifted throughout the match.
Things were looking ugly for the Eagles at the start of the match as Portland took a dominating lead. Portland would finish the first set strong behind attacks from Jessica Clemens, who would finish the match with a game leading 17 kills. After losing the first set 14-25, AU needed a spark to come back in set number two.
The Eagles trailed early in the second set 4-1, but was helped by a string of Portland errors that gave the Eagles a 7-4 lead. AU would not trail for the rest of the set as junior Magdalena Tekiel, who finished with a team-high 15 kills, helped finish off Portland 25-14.
In the third set, American capitalized on the many Portland errors. Portland was setting them up for a third set victory as they took an early 13-8 lead, but sloppy play paired with strong kills from Portland junior right side hitter Angelina Waterman led to a collapse. It was the last major error of the match, as the lady Eagles went on a seven-point run that gave them a lead they would not relinquish. The third set ended appropriately with two subsequent Portland errors to give AU the 25-19 win.
If the Eagles were nervous heading into the last set, it didn’t show. AU shot out of the gate taking an early 5-0 lead. Much of their success in the last set was due to the strong defense provided by junior Cassandra Ricketts and senior Claire Recht.
The victory against Portland was number 499 for Barry Goldberg, putting only one away from AU career win 500. Goldberg can clinch number 500 at home against Yale on Friday, Sept. 11.