By: Tim Wilmes
The Xavier women’s volleyball team had a successful road trip this weekend after a 3-2 victory at Georgetown and a 3-0 win at Villanova, giving the squad an 18-9 (9-3 Big East) record overall.
Freshman outside hitter Abbey Bessler was the difference for the Musketeers against the Hoyas, carrying the team through a five-set victory on Friday (17-25, 25-23, 24-26, 25-21, 17-15). Bessler finished the match in the nation’s capital with 25 kills and 12 digs, marking the 18th time this season that the young XU playmaker has recorded a double-double in a match.
Junior setter Aubree Smith also finished the match with a double-double, posting 56 assists and 12 digs.
Bessler carried the team in the closing moments of the final set of the match, recording five consecutive kills after a tied score to secure a Musketeer victory.
Senior middle blockers Alex Smith and Alex Blair were also key players for Xavier against the Hoyas, recording points in big moments to keep XU in the match. Smith notched 13 kills and a .542 hitting percentage, while Blair also connected with 13 kills and recorded a .571 hitting percentage.
The Musketeers then travelled to Villanova on Sunday and handily defeated the Wildcats in three sets (25-14, 25-17, 25-20). The victory places Xavier in a tie for second place in the Big East with Creighton and cements a spot for the Musketeers in the Big East Tournament at the end of November.
Alex Smith led the charge for Xavier with nine kills in a match where five Musketeers registered at least seven kills. Senior outside hitter Sarah Brown also recorded a match-high 15 digs in the XU victory.
The biggest challenge of the match for the Musketeers occurred in the third set. The score was tied at 17 before Xavier scored five straight points and eventually went on to secure a 25-20 match-deciding victory.
Xavier will host Villanova at noon this Friday and Georgetown at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Cintas Center. The match against the Hoyas will be the last home match for the Xavier seniors