Nov 20, 2016
WASHINGTON – Aleksandra Kazala led both teams with 20 kills to lift top-seeded American University to a 25-22, 25-18, 22-25, 25-21 win over No. 2-seed Colgate on Sunday in the 2016 Patriot League Volleyball Championship match played at Bender Arena.
The Eagles improved to 27-7 and won their 14th PL championship, including their fourth straight. AU improved to 28-0 in tournament matches played on its home court.
American earned the Patriot League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in two weeks, and will learn their first-round opponent and site during next Sunday's Selection Show.
Shannon Webb finished with a double-double for the Eagles with 14 kills and 11 digs. Kennedy Etheridge had her second straight double-double in the tournament with 52 assists and 11 digs.
Freshman libero Kristen Largay had 24 digs for AU, which hit .325 in the match.
Kazala, Etheridge and Largay were selected to the All-Tournament Team, with Kazala being picked as the Tournament MVP.
Colgate put four players in double figures in kills, led by 14 by Katie Stansbury. Kathleen Harris had a dozen, while Jaelah Hutchison and Katie Stebbins had 10 each. Madison McAndrews had 27 digs for the Raiders, who finished their season at 18-11.
Colgate used an eight-point run to take a 12-5 lead in the opening set. The lead was 18-12 when the Eagles got going. They used a 9-1 run to go ahead by two and closed the set from there. Webb had five kills in 11 attempts in the first set.
Kazala had nine kills without an error in the second set, as the Eagles got four more from their lone senior, Julita Kurdziuk. AU led 11-9 when the Eagles gained momentum. The lead grew to 18-11 and was never less than four the rest of the set.
American held leads of 8-3, 16-10 and 21-14 in the third set before Colgate rallied. The Raiders ended the set on an 11-1 run to send the match to a fourth set.
The momentum continued into that fourth set as Colgate earned a 19-14 lead. But the Eagles came within 21-19 before finishing the championship match on a six-point run. The final kill came fittingly from the left side by Kazala.