By: Andrew Utz ~Staff Writer~
The Xavier volleyball team had a rough weekend at the Bobcat Invitational hosted by Ohio University. The Musketeers’ first game was Sept. 4 against the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan captured the first two sets from Xavier, scoring 21- 25 and 18-25. Xavier managed to win the third set 27-25, but the Wolverines took the fourth and final set 25-11.
Junior Abbey Bessler led the team with 10 kills, as well as two blocks and two aces. Sophomores Lauren Frilling and Kirsten Massa both contributed nine kills during the match. On the defensive side, redshirt freshman Meridith Klare made a career and team high 31 digs against Michigan. Bessler contributed an additional 23 digs.
The Musketeers took on the host Ohio University on Sept. 5. The match went to five sets, with the Bobcats securing the final set 15-6. Xavier took the first two matches 26-24 and 25-19, respectively, but could not hold back Ohio in the third and fourth sets (18-25, 25-27).
The highlight of the Musketeers’ night was a career performance by Massa, who posted 17 kills throughout the match. Bessler followed that with 14 kills of her own, while Klare continued leading the team defensively with 23 digs. Freshman McKena Estes and redshirt sophomore Mackenzi Humm each contributed 22 assists during the match.
Xavier wrapped up the invitational on Sept. 6 against LSU. The Musketeers lost 3-1 across the match, winning the first set 25-21. The Tigers grabbed the remaining sets 14-25, 22-25, and 18-25. Massa led the team in kills, posting ten.
Redshirt junior Sophia Peterson added eight additional kills. Bessler was held to single digits for the first time this year, compiling six in the match. Humm again led the Xavier assists board, setting 23 kills for the Musketeers. Defensively, Klare had a teamhigh of 21 digs in the loss. The LSU loss marks the fourth straight for the Musketeers, who are now 2-4 in the season.
Xavier next plays against Florida A&M on Sept. 11 in the Aloft Seminole Invitational in Tallahassee. The team will also face Coastal Carolina and host Florida State as part of the same even.