Nuggets defeat Southern, extend school-record win streak
September 19, 2011
NEW ORLEANS — Freshmen Taylor Reuther, Chinedu Echebelem and Moira Kirk
combined for 31 kills Monday to lead Xavier University of Louisiana to a 25-20,
25-22, 25-22 women's volleyball victory against Southern at The Barn.
The Gold Nuggets (6-2) extended their school-record win
streak to five and tied another XU mark with their fifth home victory of the season.
Xavier is 3-0 against SWAC opponents and unbeaten at home.
Reuther had 12 kills — her team-leading sixth match of the
season in double figures — Echebelem had 11, and Kirk had eight. Reuther also had
two aces and a season-high-tying 17 digs in her fourth kill-dig
double-double. Echebelem had a season-best .385 attack percentage with just
one error in 26 attempts.
XU senior setter Patrice Hightower, in her first start
since an injury in late August, had nine digs and a season-high 34 assists.
Ja'Quincia Willliams had 13 kills for Southern (3-11), and
Beonka Savoy and Amber Shelby had seven apiece. Savoy and Kirsten Buggage had 10 digs apiece, and Payton
Mitchell had five blocks.
Xavier rallied from deficits of 15-12 in the first set,
12-5 in the second set and 5-1 in the third. Kills by Kerris Crier, Jeanay Butler and
Reuther ended the sets.
Xavier used a 7-1 first-set run which included three
consecutive Southern attack errors to take the lead for good at 19-16. The Gold
Nuggets never led in the second set until a Williams attack error gave them
a 19-18 advantage. The Lady Jaguars tied the set at 22, but Kirk's kill
put Xavier ahead to stay.
Four Southern attack errors fueled an 8-1 Xavier run
in the final set which put the Nuggets ahead to stay at 9-6. Blocks by Williams and
Chanda Journet against Reuther closed Xavier's lead to 21-20, but a Kirk kill and
two straight Southern attack errors moved the Nuggets to match point.
Xavier outhit Southern .275 to .189 and had advantages of
43-37 in kills and 5-1 in aces. The Lady Jaguars committed 29 total errors, one more
It was the first match between the teams. They'll meet again
next Monday in Baton Rouge. But before then Xavier will travel to Talladega, Ala.,
for three Gulf Coast Athletic Conference matches. The Nuggets will play Friday
against Talladega at 1 p.m. and Edward Waters at 5 p.m., then play Fisk at 8 a.m.