Career-highs by Kazala, McBride Lift Eagles

Career-highs by Kazala, McBride Lift Eagles

WASHINGTON, D.C.Aleksandra Kazala and Vela McBride each posted career-highs in kills as American University survived a scare from Navy, 3-1, in a Patriot League volleyball match Tuesday at Bender Arena.

Kazala had 28 kills and McBride finished with 14 as the Eagles improved to 5-0 in the league with a 25-16, 25-16, 31-33, 25-23 victory.
 
American, which won its sixth straight match and ninth in the last 10 matches, is now 15-6 overall.
 
The Midshipmen fell to 11-5 and 1-3 in the league.
 
Kennedy Etheridge finished with a double-double for AU, getting 47 assists and 11 digs. Freshman libero Kristen Largay also hit a career-high with 25 digs. Loren McKenzie led AU with six blocks.
 
Navy put three players in double figures in kills, led by Gaby Smith with 13. Katie Patrick added a dozen, with Maggie Phillips finishing with 10. Sydney Shearn had 30 digs for the Midshipmen.
 
American went on an 8-2 run to take a 16-10 lead in the first set. The teams traded points until the Eagles scored the final three to win 25-16.
 
AU held leads of 6-2 and 10-3 in the second set, when again they began to trade points. The lead was never less than seven points the rest of the set. Kazala had seven kills and McBride had six in the set.
 
There were 25 ties and nine lead changes in a tightly contested third set. Navy fought off six match points to finally prevail, 33-31, getting back-to-back kills from Tara Dotzauer and one from Sarena Seelbach on set point to send the match to a fourth set.
 
The loss was AU's first in a set since Sept. 17 at Hofstra and ended a string of 17 straight sets won by the Eagles.
 
Navy led through much of the fourth set, holding leads of 6-3 and 12-7. The Eagles finally pulled even at 20-20. With the set tied at 23-23, a kill by Kazala and a block from Kazala and McBride ended the match.
 
American has a pair of important Patriot League matches this weekend.
The Eagles play host to second-place Lehigh (8-10, 4-1) on Friday at 7 p.m. as AU's fraternities and sororities host a Pink Out to raise funds for cancer research. The Eagles then host third-place Colgate (7-8, 3-1) on Saturday at 2 p.m.
 
Tickets for all AU home volleyball matches are available online at www.aueagles.com/tickets.