Newswire photo by Desmond Fischer | Senior outside hitter Laura Grossman (No. 4) has played a pivotal role in Xavier volleyball’s recent string of success. Grossman recorded a career-high 21 kills and 24 digs in the four-set victory against Butler on Oct. 13.
Entering the 2018 season, the volleyball team knew that it would have its hands full in replacing a senior-laden roster from last season.
As a result, the Musketeers expected growing pains early in their development with a relatively inexperienced group this year.
However, as the season progressed, they hoped the results would turn positive, and things are starting to trend in the right direction.
Senior outside hitter Laura Grossman has been a large part of Xavier’s recent success as the team has emerged victorious in two of its last three matches.
Last week, Grossman, who hails from San Juan, Puerto Rico, was named the Big East Offensive Player of the Week for her play against DePaul and Butler.
Throughout the course of those two matches, she led the Musketeers in kills and digs with 34 and 32, respectively.
“It means a lot to be recognized by the conference,” Grossman said. “It was a reminder of how much I can help the team by stepping up offensively as a leader. I am looking forward to repeat that feeling and keep it up.”
Against Butler, Grossman tallied 21 kills, which marked a career-high performance.
In speaking about the Butler match, Grossman said, “I actually felt very comfortable out there. I found my rhythm with the setters early in the game, and I was able to take risky shots with more confidence than I normally do.”
Grossman feels like those around her have put her in a good position to succeed and take on the role she’s played.
“I think I’ve just had a lot of opportunity to play and step up. I am very grateful for my teammates for trusting me,” she said.
The only hiccup in the previous three matches for Xavier was in a five-set loss to Creighton, who was ranked 10th in the nation.
The Musketeers pushed the Blue Jays to the brink but could not come away with the signature victory. However, Grossman knows there are positives to be drawn from a match like that. She said the team is starting to put things together at the right time.
“It was a heartbreaker to (have) lost in such a tight match against Creighton, but it has more positives than negatives,” Grossman said. “With that match we have created momentum, and we proved that we are capable of winning the Big East Tournament.”
There are seven matches remaining before the conference tournament, with all seven coming against Big East foes.
There is still time to make a run in the standings, and Grossman and the Musketeers know the chances they have in front of them with seven conference games left.
“We still have a lot to improve, but we are definitely getting things together at the best time,” she said.
By: Paul Fritschner | Staff Writer