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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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AU volleyball returns home with victory over UMBC

Returning home to Bender Arena after an 11-game road trip, the AU Eagles (14-1, 0-0) prevailed in a five set match against the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retrievers (9-6, 0-0 AEC) Sept. 25 at Bender Arena 23-25, 25-17, 25-14, 19-25, 15-7.

Coming into the game the Eagles had just one loss after the road trip, dropping a contest to the University of California at Irvine Sept 20. In the match against UMBC, the Eagles had a home crowd behind them for the first time since Aug. 31.

The Eagles started the match off with a quick deficit 7-1 but cut the lead down to 21-19 before ultimately dropping 25-23 in first set.

“UMBC was playing pretty well and we had six or 10 errors,” junior setter Monica Smidova said. “The second game we stopped having so many errors and we picked up on hitting.”

After going down 5-1 to start the second set, AU mounted a comeback culminating with junior outside hitter Kristyna Lindovska recording a kill off a spike, putting the Eagles ahead 7-6 leading to a 25-23 second set win.

“Our outside hitters did a great job,” Smidova said.

AU continued its momentum through the third set winning it 25-14 thanks to excellent ball movement, but UMBC jumped out to an early lead in the fourth set and was able to maintain it, forcing a fifth set.

The fifth set’s momentum was set when sophomore outside hitter Allison Cappellino hit an UMBC player to the ground with a kill, which put up the Eagles 6-5. The Eagles followed up with an ace by sophomore outside hitter Allison Cappellino, which put the Eagles up 10-5.

In addition to her key play in the fifth, set Cappellino would lead the Eagles with a game high of 18 kills. Juliana Crum would turn in another strong performance with a team high 15 digs and 10 kills en route to the double-double. Lindovska would also record a double-double.

“I think we were taking advantage of everything that was there,” Cappellino said. “I think I stepped up personally and I think everyone else stepped up also.”

The Eagles are strong contenders in the Patriot League once conference games begin already owning the best overall record in the league even before partaking in a conference game.

“I think we’re capable of going undefeated,” Cappellino said.

With the win the Eagles are now on a four game win streak. All four victories have been close evidenced by all four matches going a full five sets. Prior to this current streak, AU had only participated in two-four match sets in its first 11 matches.

The Eagle’s next match will be the first Patriot League game of the year and will be held on Oct. 7 held at Lafayette University.

Section 202 host Gabrielle and friends go over some sports that aren’t in the sports media spotlight often, and review some sports based on their difficulty to play. 

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