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Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024
The Eagle

PL perfection for Volleyball

While many AU athletics teams have experienced Patriot League success since joining the league four years ago, none have matched the unprecedented dominance of AU's volleyball squad.

In sweeping Lehigh and Lafayette in Bender Arena on Friday and Saturday, the Women's Volleyball team capped off its fourth straight undefeated PL season and extended its league winning streak to 62 games.

Neither Lehigh nor Lafayette, which both came in at the bottom of the PL standings, stood much of a chance on paper against the Eagles. But that didn't stop Lehigh from putting up a formidable challenge on Friday night.

The Eagles had to work for every point against the 1-11 Mountain Hawks. Despite a shaky performance, the team managed to hold on for a 3-0 sweep. With the exception of Game 2, which the Eagles won, 30-17, Lehigh was competitive in every game. The visitors went back and forth with the Eagles in Game 1, but were dropped, 30-25. That was a similar story in Game 3, which the Eagles won, 30-26.

Junior Cuttrina Biddulph led the Eagles with 13 kills. Senior libero Sabrina Vasconcelos had a strong effort on the defensive end with 13 digs. Senior Courtney Mulford had a game-high 35 assists.

On Saturday, senior day for six Eagles netters, hitter Natacha Cornaz continued her strong play of late with a career-high 20 kills. The Eagles hit .600 on the afternoon, compared with the Leopards' .126, and that was about all that was needed for the victory.

The Eagles made a resounding statement to the rest of the PL that they are more than ready for the PL tournament, as they didn't allow Lafayette to score more than 19 points in any of the three games.

The Eagles took Game 1, 30-10, Game 2, 30-15, and Game 3, 30-19. Alongside Cornaz, Mulford, sophomore Liz Maloney, freshman Chelsa Brooks and senior Erin Algaier all put in strong offensive efforts, each tallying more than six kills.

Next weekend the Eagles are set to host the PL championship tournament in Bender Arena. The top four teams in the PL - AU, Army, Navy and Bucknell - will battle for the title and an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.

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