Volleyball keeps killing it

By: Donald Menke ~Staff Writer~

Newswire photo by Thomas vonAhlefeld | Agin spikes the ball back at Villanova on Nov. 7.

The volleyball team continued its hot streak in conference play, downing Seton Hall three sets to none by scores of 25-17, 25-18 and 25-22 this past Friday. The first set was a close one with eight ties and five lead changes. However, Xavier managed to pull away with a 12-4 run to close the set. The second set was not nearly as close, with Xavier jumping out to a 7-3 lead and winning the set by seven. The third set was the closest, even after Seton Hall got out to a 7-1 lead. Xavier made a 12-5 run to take a 13-12 advantage. With the score 15-15, Xavier went on a four point run to lead 19-15 and held on for the 25-22 win.

Sophia Peterson led the team with 10 kills in the match. Makayla Agin, Abbey Bessler and Kristen Massa each had eight kills. Assisting them were McKena Estes with 22 assists and Mackenzi Humm, who recorded 12 assists. Humm also served up two of the team’s five aces. Xavier also out-blocked Seton Hall 12-2, and Peterson led the team with four block assists. Brooke Betts and Alexis Newsome each had three block assists and one solo block. Bessler, in addition to her eight kills, led the team in digs with 11 and served two aces. Meredith Klare was not too far behind with 10 digs of her own.

On Saturday, Xavier beat Villanova in five sets, 23-25, 25- 20, 25-20, 23-25 and 15-10, to solidify a spot in the four-team Big East tournament in Omaha, Neb., on Nov. 27-28. The first set was close with 11 ties and three lead changes, but Villanova hung on for the 25-23 win. In the second set there were 10 ties, including one at 19-19. However, Xavier went on a 6-1 run to win the set. The third set was even closer than the second, featuring 15 ties, the latest coming at 17-17, but once again Xavier went on a run to win the set 25-20.

Xavier did not trail in the fourth set until Villanova went ahead 23-22 and went on to win 25-23. In the fifth set, Xavier led start to finish to win the set and the match. Four players, Peterson, 16, Kristen Massa, 12, Lauren Frilling, 11 and Agin, 11, each had more than 10 kills. Betts also added nine kills. Humm and Estes once again led the team in assists with 29 and 28, respectively. Bessler and Klare again led the team in digs with 23 and 15, respectively. Xavier returns to action on Nov. 13 at Creighton.