Oct. 18, 2005
WASHINGTON - With a .315 team hitting percentage for the match and Rubena Sukaj (Tirana, Albania/Asim Vokshi) clobbering 16 kills and adding two service aces, the American University volleyball team took down UMBC, 3-0 Tuesday night in Bender Arena. The middle blocking duo of Chelsa Brooks (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard-Darby) and Cutrina Biddulph (Reseda, Calif./Granada Hills) combined for 23 kills on a .435 hitting percentage and four and a half total blocks in the win.
Though the first game ended up being AU's greatest margin of victory, the Eagles stumbled early, letting UMBC out to a 13-7 lead before going on a 7-1 run to tie it up at 14. A combination of successful Eagles attacks and Retrievers' errors put AU up by four at 22-18, which they extended to a 30-22 win on a Sukaj kill. American hit .462 overall and Sukaj was virtually unstoppable with seven kills on eight attempts in the period.
The teams swapped points in the second game until 7-7 when the Eagles went on a 5-0 run to force a UMBC timeout. Though AU struggled hitting for the period, the Retrievers never got closer as AU won 30-24 on a Christina Nash (Princeton, Fla./Coral Reef) kill.
The third game started no different than the previous with both teams even at eight apiece before American started rolling, going on a 10-3 run and making UMBC call two timeouts. AU weathered a UMBC run before putting them away at 30-24 on a Biddulph kill.
The Eagles had one of their better combined defensive efforts with nine total blocks and 46 digs for the match. Nash continued her strong playmaking with 34 assists, six digs and three block assists.
American returns to conference play this weekend as they hit the road for matches against Colgate and Bucknell.