Dec. 5, 2008
Washington, D.C.--The American University volleyball team was eliminated from the NCAA Volleyball Tournament with a 3-0 loss to North Carolina (25-16, 25-17, 25-17) on Friday at Bender Arena. North Carolina (22-10) advances to the NCAA Tournament second round to face 11th-seeded Oregon, which defeated Delaware (25-16, 25-18, 25-15) in earlier action. American, which won its eighth consecutive Patriot League title earlier this season, closes its season with a 24-9 record.
After the teams split the first 10 points of the first set, North Carolina rattled off five straight points, aided by three American attack errors. The Tar Heels never trailed through the rest of the set. North Carolina out-hit the Eagles, .200 to .000, taking the first set, 25-16.
North Carolina did not cool off in the second set, as the Tar Heels captured 10 of the first 12 points. North Carolina twice built nine-point leads, the second of which was capped off by a Lauren Prussing kill to give the Tar Heels a 19-10 advantage. American rallied with five consecutive points, including three kills by Patriot League Player of the Year Rubena Sukaj, but North Carolina stymied the Eagles' run with six straight points of their own. The Tar Heels scored seven of the set's final eight points to claim a 25-17 victory and a 2-0 lead.
The third set included nine ties and two lead changes. Neither team held a lead larger than three points through the set's first 28 points. After back-to-back points by American made it 14-14, North Carolina responded with five straight points. The Tar Heels closed the match by scoring 11 of the final 14 points.
For the match, North Carolina out-hit the Eagles, .258 to .069. Prussing led the Tar Heels with 10 kills. Heather Brooks added six kills and four service aces. In her final collegiate match, Sukaj led the Eagles with a match-high 18 kills while hitting .308. She also added five digs. Patriot League Setter of the Year Christina Nash chipped in with a match-high 25 assists, while Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year Ivana Cebakova produced a match-high 16 digs.