By: Adam Tortelli ~Staff Writer~
In the midst of conference play, Xavier volleyball has been hard at work during the past two weeks, putting together a 2-1 stretch over Butler, Villanova and Seton Hall. Xavier’s head coach Christy Pfeffenberger led the team to Indianapolis on Oct. 3 to steal a victory from home team Butler. The high-octane offense, fueled by 14 kills from junior Abby Bessler, aided the team to a quick victory over the Bulldogs in three straight sets.
Xavier dominated the first two sets before being tested in the third and withstanding a valiant Bulldog effort to sweep the day in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. After a week off, the Musketeers ended their Big East road trip on Oct. 9 against the Villanova Wildcats in Philadelphia (just missing Pope Francis). Despite extending the match to four sets, the Wildcats were victorious. Bessler led the way with another impressive line of 12 kills in addition to the 11 contributed by sophomore Kristen Massa.
A lead midway through set four vanished quickly, sending Xavier packing and back to Cincinnati with its eighth loss of the season. Fortunately, returning in front of a home crowd is exactly what the team needed, rebounding in a five-set victory versus the Seton Hall Pirates. In this match, Xavier set a new season high with 10 aces to come back from a two-set deficit. Bessler once again led the way with a noteworthy 18 kills paired with 17 digs in addition to five aces.
Xavier now stands at 9-8 on the season (5-2 against Big East opponents), which is good enough for third in the conference as the second half of the season is in full swing. The Musketeers return to action at 3 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16 at Cintas Center to face the Georgetown Hoyas.