Nov. 16, 2005
WASHINGTON - Headed by Cutrina Biddulph (Reseda, Calif./Granada Hills) and Elizabeth Maloney's (Toronto, Ontario/Richview C.I.) All-Patriot League First Team selections, the American University women's volleyball team put four athletes on the All-PL teams, the Patriot League announced Wednesday. The poll, which was voted on by the head coaches of the PL, also named freshmen Rubena Sukaj (Tirana, Albania/Asim Vokshi) and Christina Nash (Princeton, Fla./Coral Reef) to the All-PL Second Team for their play this year as well.
Biddulph, the 2004 PL Co-Player of the Year, is having an equally great 2005 campaign, leading the league's best hitting team. In combined statistics - including league and a strong non-conference schedule - Biddulph is second in hitting percentage with a .343 average. Among hitters with more than 400 attempts she is first. With a 4.09 kills per game average, she stands at second in the league.
In league play, Biddulph has dominated in all front line categories. Her .427 hitting percentage and 4.52 kills per game in conference matches tops the league. In points per game, which is a combination of kills, blocks and service aces, Biddulph is first again, averaging 5.49 per game. On defense, Biddulph is third in total blocks per game with .96.
Having a career year as well is Maloney, who has given opposing teams nightmares with her serves. In league play, she is averaging almost twice as many aces per game than any player on another team with .98 per game. Overall she's averaging .79 which is on pace for the second-best average in a season in school history. At the front line she's hitting .324, which is fourth best in the league in PL play. Her 3.41 kills per game and 4.72 points per game rank in the top seven in conference matches. She has tallied career-highs in 2005 in kills with 20 against Georgetown, 15 digs against Navy and eight service aces versus Howard.
AU's represented by its youth on the PL second team with Sukaj and Nash. Sukaj brought her talents from the beginning of the season, coming out as a force on the outside for the Eagles. She had 10 matches with over a .350 hitting percentage on the season and tallied career-highs of 21 kills twice. Sukaj is second teammate Maloney in aces per game in conference matches. Fellow newcomer Nash has played a vital role as a triple threat for the Eagles with her hitting, passing and blocking. The Florida native struggled earlier in the year, but earned a spot in the starting rotation mid-season and has played very well since. In league play Nash is the only freshman in top eight in assists and blocks.She registered a three-game career high of 41 assists in a win over Holy Cross earlier this year.
Head coach Barry Goldberg and the Eagles host the PL Tournament Friday and Saturday at Bender Arena. AU has won the last four years and will be hosting for the fifth straight year. In the semifinals, they play against Bucknell at 6 p.m. with the winner of that matching taking on the winner of Army versus Navy in the championships on Saturday at 7 p.m.