By: Robert Jamieson
Xavier opened up the weekend homestand against a struggling DePaul team with a three-set win (25-19, 25-9, 25-19), giving head coach Mike Johnson his 100th career victory and 78th at Xavier.
This was one of Xavier’s best matches of the year with three nearly flawless sets.
XU had an errorless first set, recording 17 kills and an impressive .654 hitting percentage en route to a 25-19 victory in the frame.
XU followed with a 25-9 blowout in the second set, putting down another 15 kills and registering just two errors. DePaul kept the first set close early, but Xavier pulled away with an easy 25-19 win to close out the match.
Freshman Abbey Besseler continued her stellar year with a game-high 18 kills to lead Xavier to victory.
The women’s volleyball team’s second game of the weekend was part of a cross-sport double-header with the men’s basketball game that was the same afternoon. With first place on the line, Xavier dropped a four-set decision to Marquette (21-25, 25-23, 25-18, 25-21).
While XU still retains second place in the Big East, it trails Marquette by two matches.
Xavier continued its clean play during the opening frame with 17 kills and only two errors. After dropping the second and third sets, Xavier came out playing well in the fourth, earning a 14-11 lead.
Marquette rallied back, however, tying the game at 19 and then finishing with a 6-2 run to end the match. Junior Aubree Smith led Xavier, tallying 46 assists, 22 digs and nine kills.
Besseler and Senior Sarah Brown contributed double-doubles of their own. Besseler finished with 15 kills and 13 digs while Brown registered 12 kills and 23 digs.
Xavier has a road trip this weekend for a pair of matches against Villanova and Georgetown.