@AU_Volleyball Comeback Bid Falls Just Short in PL Final

Seniors Loren McKenzie, Meaghan Donahue, Kennedy Etheridge and Aleksandra Kazala hold the runner-up trophy.

WASHINGTONAleksandra Kazala led four Eagles with double figures in kills, but Navy won its first-ever Patriot League volleyball championship with a five-set victory over host American University in Sunday's final of the Patriot League Tournament.

The Eagles ended their season with a 20-13 mark overall, while the Midshipmen will carry a 23-8 record into the NCAA Tournament.

Navy won the opening set 25-22, but AU tied the match with a 25-19 win in the second. Navy put AU on the brink with a 25-21 win in the third set, but the Eagles escaped three match points in the fourth set to take a 27-25 win.

The Mids closed out the win with a 15-9 victory in the final set.

MATCH NOTES

• Kazala finished with 13 kills and a career-high 26 digs. It was her 13th double-double of the season.

Vela McBride had 12 kills and four blocks for the Eagles, with Helena Elbaek adding 11 kills.

Loren McKenzie had 10 kills and 10 blocks for American, posting the first double-double of her career.

Kennedy Etheridge finished with 43 assists and 14 digs, while libero Kristen Largay had 17 digs.

• McBride and Elbaek represented AU on the All-Tournament Team.

• The Eagles finished with 16 blocks in the match and 81 digs in a defensive battle. Navy ended up hitting .148, with AU posting a .138 percentage. The teams combined for 171 digs and 24 blocks.

• Tournament MVP Maddi Sgattoni finished with 25 kills for Navy, which also got 13 from Kelsey Kingsland. Libero Sydney Shearn had 30 digs to lead three Mids in double figures, and PL Setter of the Year Patricia Mattingly had 49 assists and 17 digs.