Eagles defeat Leopards in Saturday matchup
AU holds their position among top teams in Patriot League
With this win over the Leopards, the Eagles avenged a sweep from earlier in the season.
AU opened the first set by falling behind by three points to Lafayette. The Eagles trailed for large parts of the first set, and this became a trend throughout the whole game, with late-set surges pushing them over the top.
Despite the constant trailing, the Eagles never let the first set get out of control. They kept the Leopards within striking distance, eventually sealing the set in their favor with two late kills by sophomore Katie Putney. The Eagles took the first set 25-22.
The second set saw a repeat situation, with AU going down early to Lafayette. The Leopards fended off the Eagles easier this time, keeping their lead at a steady four or more points for a majority of the time. AU failed to go on a run, only scoring more than one point consecutively once during the entire set. The Eagles dropped the second set to Lafayette, 18-25.
AU continued to struggle in the scoring department to open the third set. The Leopards took a four point lead early on, continuing their scoring momentum, but the Eagles never rolled over and they slowly chipped away at the score. AU went on a four point run to take the lead 13-12. The lead was short lived, but this stifled the momentum the Leopards had built and put the Eagles back in the match.
The score remained close throughout the set, which came down to the wire when AU was down two to Lafayette’s match point at 22-24. With their backs against the wall, the Eagles went on a four point run and closed out the set when senior Carlie Fikse got one final kill to seal the set, 26-24.
Following a nail-biting third set, AU looked to close the match out in the fourth. The set remained tight the whole way through, with neither team scoring more than twice consecutively by the time it was tied at 13-13.
The Leopards managed to stifle any kind of run the Eagles tried to go on for the majority of the set until the Eagles scored five consecutive points to seal the set and match 25-21 after an AU timeout.
The match was highlighted by yet another impressive performance by junior Zeynep Uzen, who was just named Patriot League player of the week for the third straight week. This was her fourth match with 20 or more kills. Uzen is currently ranked third in the Patriot League for kills per game.
The Eagles have three Patriot League matches left before the postseason. With their win over Bucknell on Oct. 29, AU punched their ticket to the Patriot League tournament.
The Eagles returned to Bender Arena on Tuesday night to face the no. 3 ranked University of Pittsburgh. They were swept 0-3 by the Panthers. AU will play their final match of the regular season against Army West Point on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. ET.