WASHINGTON – Patriot League teams have hit the quarter-mark of the season and on Friday night, two teams at the top of the standings face an important matchup when American hosts Lehigh at 7 p.m. in Bender Arena.
The Eagles come into the match with a 3-1 mark in the league standings, one game behind the Mountain Hawks and Navy, who sit atop the standings at 4-0.
American also faces a Saturday visit from Lafayette at 4 p.m., with the Leopards currently in seventh place in the league standings at 1-3.
Friday's match will be live streamed on the Patriot League Network via WatchStadium.com and on Twitter at @WatchStadium. It will also be available nationally on the 57 television stations on Stadium. Click here to check the availability in each market. There will not be video of Saturday's match.
The Eagles swept Delaware State on Wednesday in their last outing, improving to 11-7 overall. AU has won its last three and five of its last six matches.
Junior outside Aleksandra Kazala needs just 32 kills to become the 13th Eagle to reach 1,000 kills in her career. She sat out the match on Wednesday resting from a minor injury. She leads the Patriot League and is ninth nationally with a 4.72 kills-per-set average. She is also ninth in the PL at 3.41 digs per set and leads the team with 15 service aces.
Junior setter Kennedy Etheridge is fourth in the league in assists, while sophomore libero Kristen Largay is third in digs at 4.53 per set. Freshman Helena Elbaek (41) and senior Erin Swartz (40) lead AU in blocks.
Lehigh comes to Bender Arena on an eight-match winning streak, a stretch in which the Mountain Hawks have dropped just two sets (one each to Seton Hall and Lafayette). Lehigh is 13-5 overall.
Sophomore Ana Spangenberg leads a balanced offensive attack at 3.28 kills per set, with five Lehigh players averaging at least two per set. Freshman Sabrina Lancaster has also been strong from the outside.
Junior setter Megan Polak is second in the league in assists, with sophomore middle Lauren Bright among the league leaders in blocks with 67.
Lafayette, which plays at Navy on Friday, is 3-13 overall this season. The Leopards have lost three straight matches after opening PL action with a win over Holy Cross.
Senior Tori Smith (2.42 kills per set) and sophomore Katrina Ruggiero (2.05 kps) lead the Lafayette offense. Sophomore Julia Howard and freshman Jenna Bailey share the setting duties, while freshman libero Lexie Caraveo is sixth in the league in digs at 3.77 per set.
Tickets to all AU home volleyball matches are available at the Bender Arena Box Office. General admission tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children. AU students are admitted free with a valid student ID.