AU destroys two PL foes

V-Ball defeats Bucknell, Colgate

Bucknell Volleyball played most of its match at AU Friday night like a team looking to unseat a champion.

The meeting of the Patriot League's two unbeaten teams was as competitive as it was billed. That is, until the Eagles turned it into business as usual.

AU (9-8, 6-0) used a momentum-shifting win in game two to put the Bison (9-9, 5-1) in their place by winning 3-0 (30-20, 32-30, 30-22). AU senior Karla Kucerkova led the match with 18 kills. Sophomore Cuttrina Biddulph dominated in front of the net, finding two block solos and two block assists.

AU also topped Colgate (5-15, 2-4) 3-0 (30-15, 33-31, 30-11) on Saturday despite losing Kucerkova to a shoulder injury after the first game. Kucerkova was replaced by freshman Elizabeth Maloney, who was key with nine kills and two block assists.

The Bison threw all they had on the floor in game two, swatting 20 kills, but had 13 errors, to lead most of the match. However, those errors haunted them in the end as the Eagles stormed back to tie the score 30-30 before winning the game on two poor returns by Bucknell.

Despite strong play by the Eagles, Bucknell led by as many as four points in game two, using fast, precise hitting and a feisty defense to get the edge.

Kucerkova pulled AU ahead late, 29-28, with four kills and a block assist. The Bison countered with a pair of points and served with a chance for the win, but the Eagles scored three straight for the win.

"When we beat them in the end of the game and they blew it, it kind of took the air out of them," AU Head Coach Barry Goldberg said. "They were playing well and couldn't get us."

Goldberg added that the victory in game two was the match-breaker.

"We didn't play that well and we still beat them. Now let's go out there and play well and beat them in game three," he said. "And we did."

Junior Jessica Tuthill was glad to see her team handle the challenge put up by the tough Bucknell squad.

"It was definitely rewarding when they come out hitting like that and we make digs behind it," said Tuthill, who had 13 digs, "And then we've got Karla moving up and banging balls. There's not much more you can do besides that."

The Eagles played Colgate in a similar fashion, breaking the Raiders' confidence with a comeback in the second game to propel themselves to victory.

Colgate took advantage of AU's sloppy play in game two, capturing a 4-2 lead it didn't relent until the very end.

AU came out of a timeout trailing 28-20 and roared back for an 8-1 run led by junior Erin Allgaier's three kills. The Eagles then held off two game points before freshman Elizabeth Maloney's kill and a long return by Colgate ended the game with AU on top, 33-31.

With the Raiders worn after the nail biter, the Eagles smoked Colgate in game three, using an 18-1 start to spur a 30-11 victory for the match.

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