Volleyball opens Big East play

By: Isabel Smith ~Staff Writer~

Newswire photo by Tom vonAhelfeld | Kirsten Massa (left), Sofia Peterson (center) and Alexis Newsome (right) in a game last season.

Xavier volleyball kicked off Big East conference play on Sept. 23 and 24 on the road against St. John’s and Seton Hall. The Musketeers captured the opener at St. John’s in a four set win and fell short against Seton Hall in a four set loss.

Xavier won its Big East opener for the second straight year in its match against St. John’s. The Musketeers also moved to 8-0 all-time against the Red Storm.

The Musketeers trailed by eight in set one before going on a 9-1 run that tied the score. The two teams battled before Xavier took the set, 25-22.

Xavier also captured set two by securing an early 13-5 lead. In set three, St. John’s came back and scored three of the final four points to earn its only win of the match, 25-22.

The final frame was close, with several lead changes and ties. No team ever led by more than three points. The Musketeers secured the win with consecutive kills from redshirt senior Sofia Peterson and redshirt sophomore Alexis Newsome.

Peterson dominated with a match-high 12 kills. Senior Abbey Bessler also had an impressive performance.

In addition to posting three aces, Bessler had 10 kills and 19 digs to earn her eighth doubledouble of the year.

Xavier headed to South Orange on Sept. 24 to face Seton Hall. The Pirates took the match 3-1, but Xavier leads 5-2 in the series.

Redshirt sophomore Meredith Klare had a team-high 16 digs in the Big East matchup. Redshirt junior Mackenzi Humm posted a match-high 28 assists.

The Musketeers return to action on Friday, Sept. 30, against Creighton.