Nuggets beat SUNO for school-record 4th straight victory
September 17, 2011
NEW ORLEANS — Taylor Reuther had a season-high 20
kills Saturday, and Celeste Poe had a career-best 20 digs to help Xavier University of
Louisiana defeat SUNO 25-12, 22-25, 28-26, 24-26, 15-9 in Gulf Coast Athletic Conference
women's volleyball at The Barn.
The Gold Nuggets (5-2, 1-0) set a school record with their
fourth consecutive victory. It was the first time they beat the Lady Knights (3-3, 0-1)
after going 0-4 against them a year ago.
Chinedu Echebelem had 10 kills and a season-high 17
digs for Xavier. Moira Kirk had seven kills, five digs and five blocks, and
Kerris Crier had six kills, five digs and five blocks. Reuther had three aces and 13 digs.
Zipporah Washington had 16 kills and 14 digs for SUNO.
Sabrina Scott had 10 kills, and Christal Hollins had nine kills and 12 digs.
Shametria Gonzales had 15 digs.
Reuther had five kills in the final set, but it was an
out-of-bounds SUNO attack — one of the Lady Knights' 67 total errors —
which put Xavier ahead to stay at 4-3. Two late Reuther kills moved the Nuggets to
match point, and another SUNO attack error ended the two-hour, five-minute contest.
Xavier scored 19 of the first 24 points to open the match,
but SUNO evened at one set apiece after rallying from a 20-18 deficit.
Xavier saved three set points before winning the third
set, but SUNO evened the match again with the help of 15 fourth-set kills, including four by Hollins.
"Our first set was phenomenal. I was so confident,"
Xavier coach Christabell Hamilton said. "But then we became individuals instead of
staying together, so it was a long night.
"We have to continue to focus and work on being more
consistent. We left the door open for SUNO, gave them a little room, and they
walked right in and made it a match."
SUNO, which finished second in the 2010 GCAC Tournament
and eliminated Xavier in the semifinals, dropped its second straight.
The victory was just the second for Xavier in 21
matches against in-city opponents.
Xavier, which had 46 total errors, outhit SUNO
.193 to .083 and had advantages of 52-48 in kills, 9-3 in aces and 74-58 in digs.
For the first time in the program's four seasons, Xavier
is 4-0 at home and three victories above .500. The Gold Nuggets will conclude a
three-match home stand with a 7 p.m. Monday contest against Southern. SUNO will
play host to city rival and defending GCAC Tournament champion Dillard at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
NOTES: It was the first time that Xavier
won its GCAC opener . . . Xavier has two five-set victories in each of its four
seasons. The other one this year was Aug. 29 at home against Mobile . . . Southern
will be Xavier's third NCAA Division I opponent this year. The Nuggets already have
beaten Alcorn State and Mississippi Valley . . . Xavier's Sept. 4 match at Loyola,
which was postponed because of Tropical Storm Lee, was rescheduled for 7 p.m. Oct.
13 at The Den.