WASHINGTON – Needing one more win to clinch the top spot in the 2015 Patriot League Tournament, the American University volleyball team returns to action this weekend for a pair of league matches versus tournament-bound opponents.
The Eagles host Lehigh on Friday at 7 p.m., while facing Colgate on Saturday at 4 p.m.
The field for this year's Patriot League Tournament has already been set, with American, Army West Point, Lehigh and Colgate clinching spots. However, the seeding is still to be determined, with the Eagles and Black Knights still in contention for the top seed.
American enters this weekend with a 22-6 overall and 13-0 mark in Patriot League play. The Eagles have a two-match lead over Army West Point in the loss column after capturing the season sweep over the Black Knights last Saturday.
Despite battling injuries last weekend, the Eagles picked up a pair of league victories, defeating Holy Cross in straight sets before earning a 3-1 win at Army West Point.
Against the Crusaders, freshman Carmen Unzue registered a career-best 11 kills to lead the Eagles, while senior Kristyna Lindovska tallied a season-best 21 kills to lead AU's effort against the Black Knights.
For the season, senior Allison Cappellino averages a team-best 3.28 kills per set, along with 2.72 digs per set, while Lindovska adds 2.51 kills per set. Senior setter Monika Smidova averages 9.87 assists and 3.03 digs per set and sophomore libero Hoakalei Dawson leads the team with 3.79 digs per set.
Lehigh enters Friday's match with a 17-11 overall mark and 9-4 record in league play. The Mountain Hawks are on a three-match winning streak that includes victories over Colgate (3-1) and Bucknell (3-0) last weekend.
Senior Leah Turner averages 3.58 kills per set to lead Lehigh, ranking second in the Patriot League, followed by classmate Stephanie Slater with 2.94 kills per set. Senior setter Amy Matula averages 9.23 assists per set, while junior Mariah Brantley leads the Mountain Hawks with 3.52 digs per set.
Colgate, the only PL team to push American to five sets this season, currently owns a 10-14 overall record and 8-5 ledger in the Patriot League. The Raiders split a pair of league matches last weekend, falling to Lehigh, 3-1, before defeating Navy in straight sets.
Junior Kathleen Harris is the top performer for the Raiders this season, averaging 3.07 kills and 3.00 digs per set. Junior Katie Stebbins adds 2.14 kills per set, while classmate Madison McAndrews averages a team-best 3.61 digs per set.