American Falls in Four Sets to Delaware in NCAA Tournament

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Juliana Crum had 16 digs and nine kills for American against Delaware.
Juliana Crum had 16 digs and nine kills for American against Delaware.

Dec. 2, 2011

2011 NCAA Volleyball Tournament Interactive Bracket

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – 2011 Patriot League Champion American won the first set to take an early lead, but dropped the next three to suffer a 3-1 loss to Delaware in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Rec Hall on the campus of Penn State University. With the loss, the Eagles finish the season with an overall record of 23-11.

Delaware won the match with set scores of 17-25, 25-22, 25-22 and 25-23.

Morgan Hendrix finished with a team-high 12 kills, while Monika Smidova and Alexandra Hammer posted double-doubles. Smidova logged 30 assists with 11 digs, while Hammer had 17 dishes with 10 digs. Three Eagles joined Hendrix with double-digit kills, with Kelly McCaddin posting 11 and Sara Rishell and Rebecca Heath collecting 10 apiece.

McCaddin hit a match-high .526, posting her 11 kills on 19 swings with only one error. Hendrix hit .333 with eight block assists, while Rishell had a .273 attack percentage with six block assists.

The Eagles dominated the first set en route to the 25-17 win. Smidova’s service ace put the Eagles up 13-7, and a Hendrix kill later in the frame put American up 19-11. The Blue Hens put together a 3-0 run to cut the American lead to 23-16, but the Eagles captured two of the next three points to capture the first game.

The second game was almost an exact opposite of the first. The Blue Hens built an early 13-7 lead and had a 21-15 advantage when the Eagles called timeout. Delaware won the next point after the stoppage, but American scored six straight points thanks to three Delaware attack errors, kills from Hendrix and Rebecca Heath and a Heath service ace. The teams traded points, and the Blue Hens won the final two rallies to post a 25-22 victory and tie the match.

The third frame was a back-and-forth affair with nine ties and six lead changes. American used a 4-0 run to take a 21-19 lead, but the Blue Hens posted a 4-0 run of their own after a timeout and went on to capture another 25-22 victory to move ahead in the match 2-1.

Delaware started the fourth game with a 4-1 run, but the Eagles rallied to tie the frame at seven. After the two engaged in another tie at 9-9, American scored four straight and six of the next nine to go up 15-12. A pair of Blue Hen attack errors and a McCaddin kill lifted the Eagles to a 19-14 advantage, and another McCaddin attack point gave them a 21-16 lead. Delaware scored three straight, which led to an American timeout. A strike from Rishell put the Eagles ahead 22-19, but the Blue Hens put together another 3-0 run to tie the frame at 22 and force another American timeout. Hendrix scored the next point for the Eagles, but Delaware logged another 3-0 run to capture the set 25-23 and clinch the match.

The Eagles led Delaware in every major statistical category. American hit .231 while the Blue Hens logged a hitting percentage of .172. American had 55 kills to 54 for Delaware, and owned a 50-46 edge in assists and a 71-58 lead in digs. The Eagles also led in blocks, 12-7.