Volleyball team shows success in Missouri

By: Adam Purvis ~Guest Writer~

Blair (left) recorded a career high 14 kills against Oakland University.

After sweeping its first invitational, Xavier women’s volleyball headed to the University of Missouri last weekend for the 2014 Mizzou Tiger Invitational with hopes of taking another three game sweep.

The Musketeers first faced the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies on Sept. 5 and won 3-0. While taking every set, the Musketeers broke ties multiple times in the first set and won after a 12 point breakaway 25-11.

In the second set, Xavier was up 20-14 with hopes to put the Golden Grizzlies away when Oakland caught fire with five unanswered points.

Xavier retaliated with five unanswered points of its own to capture the set 25-19. The next and final set ended with Xavier wining 25-18.

The Musketeers dominated Sept. 5 with freshman Kristen Massa and junior Makayla Agin recording eight kills each. Sophomore Abbey Bessler had 11 kills, while senior Alex Blair recorded a career-high 14 kills. Following the Golden Grizzlies, the Musketeers took on the Illinois State Redbirds.

Ready for its first game on Sept. 6, Xavier took victory in 4 sets. Taking an early lead, Xavier started off the first set 6-1 and prevented the Redbirds from taking the lead the entire set winning, 25-21.

Without more than a two-point lead the entire match, the Redbirds eventually took the lead 20-17 against the Musketeers. After tying the set at 23, the Musketeers proceeded to win 25-23.
ISU took the third set with an early 10-3 lead without Xavier being able to get closer than five points. The Redbirds took the set 25-17. In the final set, Xavier trailed 16-11. Scoring eight unanswered points, Xavier took hold of the lead 19-16. With little fight left in ISU, Xavier won the set 25-22.

The final match of the invitational was against the host, Mizzou. On the host’s home court, the Musketeers received their first loss of the season (setting the record at 5-1). The first set was taken by the Musketeers in a tight battle with six ties and a five point breakaway from Xavier. The Tigers, unwilling , came back within one point but succumbed to Xavier with the first set ending 25-22.

The second set was taken by Mizzou 25-21.Xavier took the third set as its own after capitalizing on two errors with both teams tied at 22. In the fourth set, Mizzou took a 16-3 lead. Xavier was unable to take the lead back for the rest of the set with a final score of 25-20.

Even with a nice start from the Muskies, the Tigers took the final set 15-8 due to 12 unanswered points. This match was well fought by the Musketeers, with four players having 10 or more kills. Bessler had 11, Agin and Blair recording 12 each and Massa recording 14 for her season-high.

The Musketeers have consistently had a balanced attack from contibuting players as they continue to find ways to win points.

Xavier continues its season this weel at 7 p.m. Sept. 12 against Ohio University as they host the Millennium Hotel Invitational with Ohio State and Syracuse University.