Kazala, Largay Lift Eagles to PL Final

Kazala, Largay Lift Eagles to PL Final

WASHINGTON - Aleksandra Kazala finished with 18 kills, Kristen Largay had 22 digs and Kennedy Etheridge finished with a double-double as top-seeded American edged Navy, 25-19, 27-25, 25-22 in a semifinal of the 2016 Patriot League Volleyball Tournament on Saturday at Bender Arena.

The Eagles, now 26-7 overall, advance to Sunday's championship match at 1:00 against second-seeded Colgate (18-10), which beat Army West Point, 25-20, 25-11, 23-25, 26-24, in the second semifinal.
 
The Midshipmen ended their season at 20-9.
 
Kazala, who received her PL Player of the Year Award in pregame ceremonies, also had six digs and four blocks. Largay, a freshman libero, finished with the most digs in a three-set match for the Eagles this season, improving on her previous-best of 17.
 
Etheridge, a first team All-PL setter as a sophomore, had 35 assists and 10 digs.
 
Senior outside Gaby Smith had 13 kills for Navy, with Sarena Seelbach adding 10. Sydney Shearn, the PL Libero of the Year, had 18 digs, with PL Setter of the Year Patricia Mattingly recording a double-double at 35 assists and 10 digs.
 
American used a five-point run to take a 16-11 lead in the first set. The lead stayed between three and five points until the Eagles won on Kazala's seventh kill of the set.
 
Navy led 22-18 in the second set and was up 24-22 before the Eagles survived three set points. PL Rookie of the Year Vela McBride ended the seesaw set with a kill for the Eagles.
 
AU led 11-5 in the third set and Navy stayed close throughout until pulling even at 22-22. The Eagles were able to complete the win by scoring the final three points.
 
Tickets to Sunday's championship match are $8 for adults and $5 for students. Students of participating schools can attend for free with a valid student ID. Tickets are available online at www.aueagles.com/tickets.