Xavier volleyball shows improvement, beats EKU

Newswire photo by Desmond Fischer | Senior outside hitter Laura Grossman (No. 4) was a key component in the Musketeers’ three-set sweep against Eastern Kentucky last Friday in the Queen City Tournament. She recorded a team-high nine kills.

After a tough start to the 2018 season, Xavier volleyball looked to redeem itself last weekend against Indiana, Eastern Kentucky (EKU) and the University of Cincinnati in the Queen City Tournament.

While the Musketeers fell to Cincinnati and Indiana, they captured a win against Eastern Kentucky Friday afternoon.

After dropping the first contest of a doubleheader to Indiana, the momentum swayed in the direction of the Musketeers as they defeated Eastern Kentucky in a clean three-sets-to- none sweep.

In the first set of the contest, Xavier was locked in a tight matchup with EKU. Freshman middle blocker Mackenzie Mangette led the charge early, allowing Xavier to stay in a position to pull away from EKU. Mangette was a key contributor in the win, collecting five kills. Xavier had a one-point advantage — up 24-23 — and the set came down to a game-winning kill from freshman outside hitter Kelly Franxman to lock up the first set of the match.

Xavier was much more ambitious in the second set. The Musketeers claimed an early 10-5 lead and displayed an all-around team effort. Both senior outside hitter Laura Grossman and sophomore right side hitter Moriah Hopkins put on a show late in the game, in what became a runaway set that Xavier won 25-16.

The Musketeers carried that momentum into the final set to notch their second victory of the season and complete the sweep over the Colonels. In the third set, Xavier benefitted from EKU’s array of errors, such as miscommunications on the court and periodic service errors.

Grossman yet again led the way in what was another complete blowout.
She recorded a team-high nine kills scattered across the three sets while sophomore setter Nadia Dieudonne led the team with a total of 21 assists throughout the match.

The Musketeers undoubtedly showed improvement in their three matches last weekend.
Xavier didn’t show much life against the Indiana Hoosiers but was able to turn things around and defeat Eastern Kentucky handily.

In the team’s loss against Cincinnati, the outcome did not represent how close every set was. Xavier scored 20 points or more in each part of the four-set match.

Several players, including Grossman, Mangette, Dieudonne, freshman libero Ryan Shannon and senior right side hitter Morgan Finn, all packed the stat sheets this weekend and continued to make a concerted effort for the Musketeers.

Xavier opens Big East action this weekend when it travels to St. John’s and Seton Hall before returning home to take on Providence at Cintas Center next Friday.

By: Joe Thomas | Guest Writer