Xavier volleyball dominates Big East play over the weekend

By Ryan Hulligan, Staff Writer

Xavier Women’s volleyball took on Georgetown and Villanova this past week in two huge Big East matchups. Xavier won both games for the second time this year, beating Georgetown 3-0 and Villanova 3-1.

Georgetown struggled putting up points against the Musketeers. Senior outside hitter MaryAnn O’Toole, senior outside hitter Brooklyn Cink and sophomore outside hitter Anna Taylor all came out strong, getting a solid few kills down to put Xavier in the lead early. Followed by a bunch of errors and a couple kills from senior right side/setter Carrigan O’Reilly, Xavier found themselves with a 25-12 win in the first set.

The second set was a lot similar to the first, except this time junior middle blocker Hunter Fry got a few kills down for Xavier. With yet another tough stretch for Georgetown’s defense, the Musketeers picked up a 25-16 win in the second set.

The third set was total domination on the Musketeers’ end. Georgetown was unable to capitalize on many offensive attempts as their defense continued to struggle. A fantastic team effort led Xavier to the 25-10 win of the third, settling the match at 3-0.

Starting off the game against Villanova, both teams came out gunning. O’Reilly in particular came out strong. She put up an assist and a kill for Xavier’s first two points that didn’t come by errors on Villanova’s side. After getting down by a few points, junior middle blocker Delaney Hogan and Cink brought the game back to a one point deficit. The Musketeers took the lead after three straight attacking errors from the Wildcats, making the score 13-11, but Villanova was still able to keep the game close. Cink stepped up big towards the end of the set, putting six more kills in to lead the Musketeers to a 25-22 win.

Villanova started off the second set eager for a win. They managed to keep around a six point lead all the way up until the twentieth point. Taylor and graduate student middle blocker Angel Robinson stepped up to bring the Musketeers within two with assists from O’Reilly. Unfortunately, their efforts were not enough as Villanova took the second set 25-23.

The Musketeer’s started the third set hot. After jumping out to an early 11-3 lead with a couple hits from Hogan and O’Reilly and several errors from the Wildcats, they never looked back. The Wildcats’ loss in the third set was mainly due to their errors, but Taylor, O’Reilly and Cink all stepped up to put their hits away when necessary. Xavier won the third set 25-15.

Villanova stepped up their defense in the final set, but it wasn’t enough. After a few rough defensive plays that got them behind, the Musketeers fought back with kills from Cink, Robinson, O’Reilly, Hogan and Taylor, putting them at a 20-18 lead. After a few errors and a couple kills from O’Toole and Hogan, Xavier found themselves sitting at match point. Junior libero Stevie Wolf got the assist to O’Reilly for the game winning kill. The Musketeers outscored the Wildcats 25-21 in the fourth set, ending the game 3-1 for yet another huge Big East win.

The Musketeers will look to keep their Big East winning streak going as they take on St. John’s University on Friday and Seton Hall on Saturday. Both will be away games.