HAMILTON, N.Y. - Aleksandra Kazala had eight of her team-high 17 kills in the final two sets as American rallied to earn a five-set victory over host Colgate in a Patriot League volleyball match Saturday.
The Eagles won the first set 25-20, but fell in the next two, 26-28 and 25-15. AU then completed the road comeback with wins of 25-16 and 15-9 to win its eighth straight match and its 10th in its last 12.
American improved to 16-7 overall and finishes the first half of Patriot League play with a 7-1 mark. Navy, which started the day alone in first place in the league, dropped into a tie for first with AU after a five-set loss at Army West Point late Saturday night.
Colgate fell to 11-9 overall and 2-6 in the league despite getting 24 kills and five blocks from Alli Lowe.
"This match against Colgate was a battle of two good teams fighting to stay alive in obtaining season goals," said AU head coach Barry Goldberg. "We knew they were going to come out swinging, and we had trouble responding in the middle of the match.
"We became efficient in sets 4 and 5 with big kills from several players and found a way to prevail on the road. This was a great comeback, and I'm hoping we continue improving as we close in on the final weeks of the season."
Cheyenne Orsi added 10 kills for the Eagles, getting double figures for the second time this season. She also added six blocks for AU.
Kazala earned her 14th double-double of the season, adding 13 digs, two service aces and two blocks to her totals.
Down 2-1 in sets, American opened the fourth by scoring the first eight points. Colgate chipped away to pull within 17-14, but AU put away the set with a 6-1 run.
The last of six ties in the fifth set came at 6-6 when the Eagles gained a lead they would not relinquish. The Raiders were within 9-8 when the Eagles used two kills from Kazala to spark a five-point run to take control.
American opens the second half of league play on Tuesday at Loyola Maryland. The Eagles return home on Friday, Oct. 20 to face the Midshipmen in a battle of PL leaders in Bender Arena at 7 p.m.
Tickets to all AU home volleyball matches are available at the Bender Arena Box Office. General admission seats are $8 for adults and $5 for children. AU students are admitted free with a valid student ID.