American holds off Loyola Maryland Greyhounds
Eagles win first Patriot League game of the season
The American University volleyball team (8-6) defeated the Loyola Maryland Greyhounds (3-8) in their Sept. 23 matchup 3-1.
From the beginning, American and Loyola were neck and neck, tying six times throughout the set. The Greyhounds were able to establish a small lead that left the Eagles trailing 22-19 before a 3-0 run from AU that included a set-tying kill from senior Zeynep Uzen.
The Eagles were not able to keep their run going, despite freshman Adelina Berisha holding off one set point with her sixth kill, and the Greyhounds pulled away for a 25-23 set victory.
Undeterred by Loyola’s set win, AU started the second set off strong with a three point lead. The Greyhounds chased after the Eagles lead until they met at 11-11.
After tying it up, Loyola took set point against the Eagles, before Berisha took over the game with three straight kills to secure a comeback victory for AU.
The third set started off with the same intensity that led the first two sets. No team took a solid lead until the Eagles went on a 6-1 run, including a service ace from senior Rachael Bennett, that made the score 13-8.
However the Greyhounds were not ready to give up, and they took the lead off of a 7-1 run. The teams tied at 19, 20, 21 and 22, before a block from Uzen and a double block from junior Katie Putney and senior Onuchi Ndee gave AU a 25-23 set win.
The pressure was on for the Greyhounds as the competitiveness of the first three sets rolled over into the fourth. The game was tied 10 times before American went on a four point run that was followed up by a five point run from Loyola.
The Eagles took over the set, going on a closing run by scoring seven of the last eight points of the match, putting an end to the back and forth competitiveness of the set. Sophomore Esma Sipahi served two service aces to close out the set 25-19 to clinch the AU match victory over Loyola.
The Eagles had a season-high 11 aces and a season-high 12 team blocks. Berisha led the Eagles with 18 kills and a career-high 10 digs, followed by a career-high 12 digs, three aces and 40 assists from Sipahi, and Uzen contributed 11 kills and nine digs.
The Eagles next take on the Lehigh University Mountain Hawks on Friday, Sept. 30 at Bender Arena to defend their undefeated home record and secure another Patriot League win.