Volleyball seeks to finish Big East play strong

By: Donnie Menke ~Staff Writer~

Newswire photo by Tom vonAhlefeld | Peterson (2) and redshirt freshman Meredith Klare (6) dive for a ball in Xavier’s last home game, a five-set win over Villanova.

The volleyball team split its latest road trip, losing to Creighton on Friday and beating Georgetown on Sunday. The match against Creighton ended a five-match winning streak, as the team lost three sets to zero by scores of 25-20, 25-22 and 25-15.

The first set was close, with nine ties and five lead changes, but Creighton went on a 7-2 run to close the set after the score was tied at 18-18. The second set was just as close, with five ties and two lead changes. Despite an early deficit, Xavier pulled within one before making two unforced errors and losing the set. The third set was never close, with Creighton dominating start to finish and winning 25-15.

Redshirt junior Sofia Peterson and sophomore Kristen Massa led the team with eight kills each. Junior Abbey Bessler added six kills and an assist. Once again, freshman McKena Estes and redshirt sophomore Mackenzi Humm led the team in assists with 14 apiece.

The loss dropped Xavier to 11-4 in Big East play and 15-11 overall. The win secured Creighton its second straight regular season conference title. Xavier’s next match came against Georgetown two days later. Xavier defeated the Hoyas three sets to one, by scores of 25- 20, 25-19, 23-25 and 25-19.

In the first set, Xavier never trailed and with the score tied at 20-20, ended with a 5-0 run to capture the set. In the beginning, the second set was more lopsided than the first, with Xavier building an eight point lead to open the set with a 13-5 run. It got close toward the end of the set, with Georgetown pulling within one at 20-19. Once again, Xavier closed the set on a 5-0 run to win, this time by a score of 25-19.

The third set was Georgetown’s best of the match, jumping out to a lead and holding on. With the score 24-21, it looked like Xavier might come back by scoring two straight points to make it 24-23. Georgetown held on to win the set 25-23. However, that was the last time Georgetown led, as Xavier got out to a quick lead and never looked back. After leading by as many as eight points, Xavier captured the set and the match by a score of 25-19.

Bessler, Peterson, and senior Makayla Agin each had 10 or more kills, with 15, 12 and 10 respectively. Humm and Estes led the team in assists again with 24 and 20. The win gave Xavier its 12th conference win, improving its record to 12-4 in conference and 16-11 overall. The loss dropped Georgetown to 4-13 in conference and 10-20. Xavier volleyball is back in action Friday at Cintas Center. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.