By: Isabel Smith ~Staff Writer~
The Xavier women’s volleyball team posted an impressive performance in its final road match up of the season, defeating the Butler Bulldogs three sets to one.
With the victory against their Big East rivals, the Musketeers helped head coach Mike Johnson record his 100th career win.
Johnson joined the Xavier family as the school’s ninth volleyball coach in June 2010.
He is only the second coach in school history to reach this milestone, following his predecessor, Floyd Deaton, who previously held the position for the 20 seasons.
Following a win the week before over the Georgetown Hoyas, the Muskies took their momentum into the game against Butler.
The Bulldogs entered the match with a Big East record (10-5) better than Xavier (9-6) by only one game, adding to the pressure for a knockout performance. The Musketeers certainly delivered.
Butler was ahead in the openin frame until Xavier went on a 5-0 run and took the lead it would never relinquish.
Xavier created a 12-point margin, which helped when the Bulldogs went on a late 6-1 run in an attempt to overcome Xavier’s offensive strength. The Musketeers captured the initial set 25-16.
The Bulldogs proved their status as tough competition in the second set.
They opened with offensive force and took the score to 12-1. Xavier put up a notable fight and eventually got within 1 point at 24-23.
The Bulldogs shut down the set with the kill, winning the frame 25-23.
Set three took the Musketeers one step closer to victory. Xavier opened with the lead, but Butler quickly answered the points.
Back-and-forth play continued, and at 24-23, the Muskies forced Butler to make an error and they took the set 25-23.
Both teams put up an impressive fight and there were a total of 12 ties in set four.
The last tie, at 17-17, was snapped when the Muskies went on a four-point run that led them to clinch the set 25-21.
Xavier led its final road match of the season in digs (93-73), kills (63-38) and assists (61-34).
Freshman Jesse Earl was named Big East “Freshman of the Week” for the second time this year after the match. Earl recorded a match high of 24 digs and added seven assists.
Xavier looks to carry the momentum from the integral Butler win as it closes out its season against St. John’s and Providence.