FRESNO, Calif. – After opening the season last weekend with matches inside the D.C. city limits, the American University volleyball team travels to the Left Coast to play four matches at the Fresno State Invitational, starting Thursday night.
NOTING THE EAGLES
• American is 2-1 so far this season, with the lone loss coming Sunday to top-ranked Stanford in the annual Bender Blue Out, presented by the Marines. The Eagles own victories over George Mason and George Washington thus far.
• Junior outside hitter Jasmine Ellison received honorable mention from the Patriot League this week after hitting .352 in the three matches. Ellison, who missed large parts of the last two seasons with injury, has 21 kills thus far in 2018, accounting for a third of her 63 career kills (in 52 career sets).
• Senior Aleksandra Kazala led the Eagles with 11 kills against the Cardinal, posting her first match of the season with double figures in kills. She is second on the team in kills and third in digs thus far.
• Sophomore Helena Elbaek leads American with 29 kills in nine sets, getting a career-high 21 in a four-set win at George Washington last Saturday. Elbaek spent the summer playing on the Danish National Team during the European Championships.
• Ellison (15 kills, 17 digs) and senior setter Kennedy Etheridge (50 assists, 20 digs) each posted double-doubles in the win over the Colonials.
• Head coach Barry Goldberg (732-257, .740) is in his 30th season in charge of the Eagles. His teams have won 15 championships in the 17 seasons American has been a member of the Patriot League.
• Fresno State Tournament Central: https://gobulldogs.com/sports/2018/7/25/fresno-state-invitational-tournament-central.aspx
• Live Stats: http://www.sidearmstats.com/fresnostate/wvball/
• AU Twitter: @AU_Volleyball
SCOUTING CAL BAPTIST (vs. AU - Thursday, 7:00 p.m. ET)
Cal Baptist swept four matches last weekend at the Starkvegas Classic, defeating host Mississippi State in the final match.
The Lancers have four players averaging at least three kills per set – sophomore Tesa Oaks, freshman Megan Sester, graduate student Summer Avery and sophomore Sydney Marks. Junior Natalie Zimmerer is averaging 11.4 assists per set.
SCOUTING SAN FRANCISCO (vs. AU – Friday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The Dons come into the Fresno State tournament at 2-1, including a five-set win at Army West Point last weekend.
Freshman McKenna Marshall and graduate student Lena Bondar are the top offensive threats, while sophomore Erin Anthony and freshman Ally Wada share setting duties. Sophomore Anna Dalla Vecchia is the libero for USF.
SCOUTING FRESNO STATE (vs. AU – Friday, 10:30 p.m. ET)
The Bulldogs have opened the season 4-0, sweeping their matches in a tournament at Eastern Illinois and winning their home opener on Tuesday against Fresno Pacific.
Seniors Jessica Gilbert (3.47 kps) and Taylor Slover (3.24 kps) lead the attack for Fresno State, while junior Madelyn Halteman is the setter. Sophomore libero Reagan Leonard has a 5.35 digs-per-set mark, while senior Haile Watson has 20 blocks in four matches.
SCOUTING SAINT MARY'S (vs. AU – Saturday, 1:00 p.m. ET)
The Gaels are 1-2 after playing in the Utah Volleyball Classic. SMC upset the host and 19th-ranked Utes in five sets, but lost to Denver and UC Irvine.
Lindsey Knudsen and Lindsey Calvin lead the Gaels in kills, with Alexsa Parker directing the offense. Alex O'Sullivan has 18 blocks in 13 sets thus far.
BACK AT HOME
AU's next home events come on Sept. 14 and 15 when the Eagles host the American Volleyball Classic. AU plays Buffalo on Friday at 7 p.m. before facing Howard on Saturday at 11 a.m. and Penn State on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Tickets to all home games for the 2018 season are on sale now. Season tickets are $50, with general admission seating for individual games at $8. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 885-TIXX to purchase tickets.