By: Isabel Smith ~Staff Writer~
Xavier volleyball ended an impressive season in Indianapolis at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Nov. 26 in the Big East Championship final match. The Musketeers fell to No. 21 Creighton in three sets (19-25, 15-25, 25-27). Xavier was seeded third and Creighton first heading into the match.
With the win, the Bluejays clinched their third straight Big East Tournament title.
In the initial set of the final, there were 10 ties and four lead changes. Creighton secured the set when the team went on an 8-2 run after being tied with the Musketeers at 17.
The Bluejays fully controlled the second set. They had a matchhigh .483 hitting percentage and limited the Musketeers to a .032 attack percentage.
Creighton sealed the match in the third and final set. Xavier took the lead at 18-14 after going on an 8-4 run. The Musketeers had match point at 24-22, but Creighton scored five to clinch the victory.
Senior outside hitter Abbey Bessler led Xavier with 13 kills in the final match while also posting seven digs. Junior outside hitter Kristen Massa also had doubledigit kills with 10. Junior outside hitter Samantha Foti and redshirt sophomore libero Meredith Klare added nine and eight kills, respectively. Redshirt junior setter Mackenzi Humm had a team-high 18 assists.
On the road to the Big East Tournament finals, the Musketeers defeated No. 2 seed Marquette in four sets (16-25, 25-20, 25-15, 25-19) in the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 25. The win marked Xavier’s 21st 20-win season.
In the semifinal match, Xavier’s seniors had notable performances. Bessler, right side/ middle blocker Brooke Betts and right side Sofia Peterson combined for 34 of Xavier’s 53 kills. The seniors only committed five errors in 73 attempts.
Peterson also posted a .542 hitting percentage and a teamhigh 14 kills. Sophomore right side Morgan Finn had a matchhigh .714 hitting percentage and 10 kills. Klare added a match-high 15 digs.
At the conclusion of the tournament, Bessler and Peterson were named to the Big East All- Tournament Team. In two matches, Bessler averaged 3.57 kills per set, and she posted a .308 hitting percentage, 2.14 digs per set, two blocks and four service aces. Peterson averaged 2.29 kills per set and posted a .268 hitting percentage, three digs and one block.
The Musketeers ended the season with a 20-13 overall record and 13-5 Big East Record.