LAWRENCE, Kan. – The American University volleyball team closed the three-game Kansas Invitational with a 3-0 loss to Auburn, 25-21, 26-24, 25-23.
The Eagles fall to 4-7 for the season after falling to Loyola Marymount and host Kansas to open the tournament on Friday.
- Senior Aleksandra Kazala and junior Vela McBride led the team with 11 kills each. A new season-high for McBride, she also closed with three blocks, including one solo block.
- Senior Kennedy Etheridge led the team with 35 assists while junior Kristen Largay closed with a team-high 10 digs.
- Senior Loren McKenzie put up good numbers at the net, earning two solo blocks and five block assists for a season-high seven.
- AU opened with an early lead against the Tigers after kills from Kazala and McBride put the team at a 7-2 advantage. American built up to a six-point cushion at 11-5 before Auburn found its tempo and tied the game at 14-14.
- It was a back-and-forth battle through the rest of the set but the Tigers outpaced AU to close at 25-22.
- Although Auburn pushed to an early lead in the second set, it was the Eagles who reached set point first at 24-21. They were unable to overcome late pressure from the Tigers, though, who hit a 5-0 run behind a three-kill effort from Shaina White to eventually take the set, 26-24.
- AU searched for its rhythm throughout the early portion of the third set and trailed Auburn by as much as four before an Auburn error and kills from senior Meaghan Donahue and Kazala tied the game at 19-19. Another Auburn error and Kazala kill put AU up by two but the Tigers regained their edge after a series of errors on American's side brought the score to 23-22.
- An Auburn service error brought the Eagles even once again at 23-23, but the Tigers took the final two points to win the set and match.
- McBride was selected to the all-tournament team after closing the weekend with 24 kills, six errors, eight blocks, and three digs.
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.
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For the latest on American University Volleyball, stay tuned to AUEagles.com and follow the team on Twitter @AU_Volleyball.