Setters Carrigan O’Reilly and Alisa Watson notched 22 assists vs. Red Storm
By Hannah Hover | Staff Writer
Six games into conference play, Xavier volleyball holds a 3-3 record in the Big East after splitting a pair of home matches against Seton Hall and St. John’s at Cintas Center.
The Musketeers made quick work against Seton Hall on Friday, sweeping the Pirates 25-19, 25-23, 25-17 to claim back-to-back Big East wins.
This was the team’s first sweep of the season, and Xavier recorded its best team hitting percentage for a single match this season at .398.
Junior right side hitter Moriah Hopkins led the team offensively with 10 kills, converting 44% of her hits. She also pitched in defensively with two blocks. Both were assisted.
Sophomore middle blocker Jayda Carlton anchored the Musketeers’ defensive effort with four blocks, including a solo block.
In the first set against Seton Hall, Xavier took an early 16-11 lead after five straight kills. The Pirates threatened a comeback with a 4-1 run, but Xavier won the first set.
In the second set, Seton Hall gained an 8-1 lead, but Xavier responded swiftly to tie the score at 13-all, following a 6-1 run.
The Musketeers played the remainder of the set at a one or two point deficit but eventually came back to edge out the Pirates 25-23.
Seton Hall jumped out to an early 5-0 advantage in the third set, which Xavier immediately followed with seven consecutive points.
Xavier carried that momentum ahead 14-9 and eventually clinched the set — and the match — with an eight-point margin of victory.
Xavier concluded its home stretch against St. John’s on Saturday, dropping the match 25-14, 25-19, 25-22.
Carlton continued to shine defensively with seven blocks and even put away three kills without an error.
Redshirt freshman right side hitter Lauren Hanlon paced the offense with five kills. Freshman setter Carrigan O’Reilly produced a team-high 13 assists, and junior setter Alisa Watson had nine assists. O’Reilly and Watson assisted all but one of Xavier’s 23 team kills.
In the first set, St. John’s took an early lead that set the tempo for the set, and the Red Storm held a double-digit advantage by the set’s end.
Xavier came alive in the second set and established control. However, St. John’s responded with a 7-1 run to retake the lead. The Red Storm eventually won in a more competitive set.
At one point in the third set, Xavier owned a 14-12 edge, but St. John’s, much like the previous set, came back and seized a 16-15 lead. Xavier tied the score but was unable to take the match to a fourth set.
The Musketeers’ Big East slate continues with a trip to Providence to play the Friars on Friday.