ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Aleksandra Kazala had 24 kills and 22 digs for American University, but a balanced attack and strong blocking lifted host Navy to a four-set win over the Eagles in a Patriot League volleyball match on Tuesday.
The Eagles dropped to 8-7 overall and 1-1 in league play, while the Midshipmen improved to 12-3 and 2-0 in the PL.
Navy won the first two sets 29-27 and 27-25, with the Eagles responding for a 25-23 triumph in the third. The Midshipmen completed the win with a 25-20 decision in the fourth set.
"Navy played hard and did a nice job matching up against our strengths," said AU head coach Barry Goldberg. "They are improved, and we will continue to work on increasing our efficiency for our next matches."
Sophomore libero Kristen Largay finished with 40 digs for American, the first time an Eagle player has had at least 40 in a single match since AU joined the Patriot League in 2001.
Kazala posted the second 20-kill, 20-dig performance of the season, while Kennedy Etheridge had a double-double with 50 assists and a career-high 20 digs. Freshman Helena Elbaek finished with 10 kills for the Eagles, who got 14 digs from freshman Megan Crush and 10 from Aleksandra Sochacka.
Kazala's 81 attack attempts fell four short of the AU school record, set by Lea Windlin in 1991.
Maggie Phillips had 19 kills to lead Navy. Maddi Sgattoni and Katie Patrick added 10 each, with Tara Dotzauer and Sarena Seelbach finishing with nine apiece. Setter Patricia Mattingly had 51 assists and 18 digs for the Mids.
Navy finished with a 14-6 edge in blocks, led by nine from Patrick.
AU held a 9-3 lead in the first set, but Navy pulled even at 11-11. That was the first of 10 ties in the set. Kazala's eighth kill of the set erased the Mids' fifth set p0oint, but kills from Olivia Kluger and Dotzauer ended the long set.
Neither team held a lead larger than two points in a closely contested second set that included 21 ties. The Eagles managed two set points down the stretch, but Navy was able to outlast AU.
The third set was tied at 20-20, when AU turned a service error and two blocks into a 23-20 lead. A kill from Kazala on the Eagles' second set point sent the match to four.
Navy used a 6-1 run to take a 17-12 lead midway through the final set. The Eagles pulled within four points three times down the stretch, but could not pull closer.
American stays on the road this weekend, playing at Holy Cross on Friday and at Army West Point on Saturday. The Eagles return home on Wednesday, Oct. 4 to host Delaware State.