Hopkins delivers with a career-high 20 kills against DePaul
By Molly Hulligan | Staff Writer
Xavier volleyball took a four-set win at home against DePaul 25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 25-19, to claim its sixth Big East win with just a few weeks left in the regular season.
With the victory, the Musketeers also secured a series sweep against the Blue Demons.
Junior right side hitter Moriah Hopkins led the team with a career-high 20 kills.
She accomplished this at a .533 hitting percentage, and her total of 21 points throughout the match proved a difference maker.
In the first set, both teams came out fighting, with DePaul holding a narrow 13-12 lead. After a three-point run, DePaul forced a Xavier timeout.
The Musketeers closed the gap at 20-22 and ultimately pulled through, with a five-point run composed of three kills and an ace to take the first set.
Xavier came out swinging in the second set, continuing the momentum from the first. Clinging to a four-point lead, the Musketeers forced a DePaul timeout within the first five points of the second set.
The Blue Demons fought back with a four-point run, but the Musketeers shut them down yet again with a three-point run to regain the lead. After trading points, DePaul clawed back for another three-point run, only for Xavier to respond with a 4-1 run of its own.
The Musketeers extended the lead to 20-15, but DePaul pulled even at 22-all. Xavier managed to pull out a final three-point run to win the second set.
Xavier was on the defensive during the third set, as DePaul averted a sweep. The Blue Demons earned their first five points as kills, while the Musketeers hung in, trying to force mistakes.
However, the Blue Demons built up a four-point lead. With a 3-0 run, the Musketeers eventually came through to tie the match at 19.
DePaul narrowly edged Xavier, though, with a 25-23 victory to force a fourth set.
The Musketeers and Blue Demons went head-to-head in the fourth set. At one point, DePaul owned a 10-9 lead.
Xavier turned the game around with a 5-1 run. DePaul wasn’t completely out of it yet, and its 4-0 run knotted the game at 17 apiece.
Xavier seized command from there, and the Musketeers’ 7-1 run lifted Xavier over DePaul.
Freshman outside hitter MaryAnn O’Toole complemented Hopkins with 12 kills, three blocks and three aces for a season-high 16 points.
Senior libero Madi Kutruff led the team with 24 digs, while setters Carrigan O’Reilly and Alisa Watson combined for 52 of Xavier’s 58 assists.
The Musketeers have two Big East matches this weekend on the road to the east coast against St. John’s on Friday before meeting Seton Hall on Sunday.