@AU_Volleyball Faces Tests at Kansas Invitational

Jasmine Ellison blocks against Stanford.

LAWRENCE, Kan. – American University continues non-conference action against some of the top teams in the nation this weekend when it travels to the Kansas Invitational volleyball tournament.

The Eagles will play the host Jayhawks, Loyola Marymount and Auburn in three matches on Friday and Saturday. AU evened its season record at 4-4 on Wednesday evening with a three-set sweep at Delaware State.



• The Kansas Invitational is a homecoming of sorts for AU's senior setter Kennedy Etheridge. She is a native of nearby Overland Park, Kan., and comes into the tournament leading the Patriot League with a 9.75 assists-per-set average. Etheridge is also second on the team in digs with 3.46 per set, behind only junior libero Kristen Largay (4.23 dps).

• After starting the season with less than her normal offensive output, senior outside Aleksandra Kazala has found her groove. She has double figures in kills in each of the last six matches and was voted to the All-Tournament Team last weekend at the Fresno State Invitational.

• Junior middle Vela McBride sat out most of the Fresno State tournament with an injury, but is on the mend. McBride had seven of her 10 kills against Delaware State on Wednesday in the third set, her first match in double figures this season.

• AU has been strong at the net so far this season, with junior transfer Jeanne Westney (1.10 blocks per set) and senior Loren McKenzie (1.04 bps) are fifth and ninth in the PL.


SCOUTING KANSAS (Friday, 1 p.m. EDT)

• The Jayhawks come into the tournament with a 3-2 record overall. Kansas lost a five-set match to 16th-ranked Kentucky in the final of the Bluegrass Battle in its most recent match.

• Junior Ashley Smith leads KU with a 2.79 kills-per-set average, while the libero is freshman Lacey Angello (4.08 digs per set).



• The Lions are 5-1, with their lone loss being a five-set defeat to 24th-ranked Cal Poly at the Utah State Tournament.

• LMU has a pair of offensive threats in senior opposite Sara Kovac (4.19 kps) and junior outside Savannah Slattery (3.95 kps). Junior Tess Reid is averaging 13 assists per set and has 10 aces.



• The Tigers are 3-2 coming into Lawrence this weekend, having taken two of three at the Butler Invitational last week.

• Brenna McIlroy, a senior outside, leads Auburn's offense at 3.31 kills per set, with freshman outside Taylor Rowland at 3.14. The Tigers are starting a freshman, Mica Allison, at setter (10.94 aps).



All matches will be available on ESPN+ :

• Video (AU-Kansas): http://www.espn.com/watch/_/id/6075a937-8142-43ac-b984-0b5f328a0a1d/american-vs-kansas

• Video (AU-LMU):http://www.espn.com/watch/_/id/e61b24fc-36c4-467b-a603-02e5dfb4eae5/american-vs-loyola-marymount

• Video (AU-Auburn): http://www.espn.com/watch/_/id/59776622-7c9b-42f2-9006-a4f5165ad3a3/auburn-vs-american


Live Stats: https://kuathletics.com/sidearmstats/wvball

Twitter: @AU_Volleyball



The Eagles return home on Sept. 14 and 15 to host the American Volleyball Classic. The four-team event will be highlighted by a Saturday-night visit from No. 5 Penn State. 

AU faces Buffalo on Friday at 7 p.m. and Howard on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Buffalo and Penn State play on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., with Buffalo facing Howard at 4:30. The Eagles and Nittany Lions begin at 7 p.m.



Tickets to all AU volleyball matches at Bender Arena are available throughout the season.

  • Bring a group of 10+ and save over 40 percent off your purchase, available at $3 per person
  • Individual game tickets are available for $8 for adults, $5 for general admission, youth under 17 and seniors over 65. Military members, veterans and AU students are invited to join the Eagles for free admission with valid ID.


• For inquiries, e-mail clawed@american.edu or call 202.885.TIXX (8499).