Kazala, Elbaek Lead AU to Win at Lehigh

Junior Kennedy Etheridge sets at the net.

LEWISBURG, Pa. – Aleksandra Kazala posted her 17th double-double of the season with 15 kills and 11 digs, while Helena Elbaek added 13 kills as American University scored a four-set victory over Lehigh in a Patriot League volleyball match on Saturday night.

AU won the first set 25-19, but lost the second 25-16. The Eagles secured the triumph with wins of 25-19 and 25-20 in the next two sets.

The Eagles won their 14th straight match and improved their record to 22-7 overall and 13-1 in league play. AU entered the evening in first place in the Patriot League in a battle to earn the top seed and home-court advantage in the upcoming PL Tournament on Nov. 18 and 19.

The Mountain Hawks fell to 17-11 and 8-6, currently holding the fourth spot in the league standings.

Junior setter Kennedy Etheridge had 40 assists against Lehigh, surpassing the 2,000-assist plateau for her career. Sophomore libero Kristen Largay led the Eagle defense with 19 digs and four service aces, while sophomore middle Vela McBride had five blocks.

"We battled well in a tough environment and found a way to win our final road match," said AU head coach Barry Goldberg. "We played a strong match serving and passing, as Kristen Largay and Aleksandra Sochacka were solid in the back row for most all the sets.

"Kennedy fought through to set our attackers with a good performance. Once again, Ola Kazala and Helena Elbeck put up good attacking numbers and led us to success."

Lehigh had three players in double figures in kills, led by 18 from Julia Pressley. Ana Spangenberg had 14 and Victoria Hemsath had a dozen for the Mountain Hawks, with libero Emily Develle adding 19 digs.

American returns to Bender Arena next weekend for the final two matches of the regular season. AU faces Colgate on Friday at 7 p.m., and hosts Bucknell on Senior Day next Sunday at 2 p.m.

Tickets for 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.