Gold Nuggets 5-0 in GCAC after four-set win at Dillard
October 1, 2011
NEW ORLEANS — Taylor Reuther had 19 kills and
a season-high 21 digs Saturday in Xavier University of Louisiana's 24-26, 25-16, 25-12, 25-18
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women's volleyball victory at Dillard.
The Gold Nuggets (10-3, 5-0) won for the ninth time in 10 matches.
Chinedu Echebelem had 10 kills and 16 digs for Xavier,
Moira Kirk had 10 kills and three blocks, and Patrice Hightower had a season-high-tying
10 digs and a career-high 42 assists. Celeste Poe had 19 digs, one less than
her career best.
It was the second time in the Nuggets' four-year history
that they won on the road after losing the first set. It was the first time they did
it on an opponent's floor, and it was the first time in four tries that they beat
Dillard at Dent Hall.
"I always wanted to come to Xavier and break records,"
said Echebelem, who recorded her second kill-dig double-double of the season.
"I'm glad to do it as a team."
Dillard (5-7, 0-2), the defending GCAC Tournament champion,
opened the match with a 10-1 run. Xavier rallied for ties at 20, 21, 23 and 24,
but the Lady Bleu Devils closed the set with a Monica De Alcantara kill and a
Jessica Goods-Morris block.
"We just had to calm down, relax and get in a groove after
that start," Hightower said. "We were shaking and nervous.
Ne (Echebelem) got a kill, got us pumped up and got us going."
Xavier trailed only twice more after the first set —
at 3-2 and 4-3 in the fourth. Reuther's kill put the Nuggets ahead to stay
at 5-4, and she ended the match with a kill.
Reuther recorded her team-leading seventh kill-dig double. She
hit minus-.333 in 15 attacks the first set but .419 in the final three sets.
Dillard's 6-1 run in the fourth set cut Xavier's lead
to 13-12 and prompted first-year Xavier coach Christabell Hamilton to call timeout. Then the Lady Bleu Devils committed
attack errors on each of the next four rallies, and Dillard never challenged
"Our team had to come together quickly after that start,"
Hamilton said. "Dillard is the defending
champion, and you don't want to give them that kind of lead at their place.
We stayed in there and started to fight."
Paula Ogbevoen led Dillard with 10 kills.
The teams will meet again Nov. 5 at The Barn. Next for the
Gold Nuggets will be a two-match home stand — 7 p.m. Wednesday against the
University of New Orleans, then 5 p.m. Thursday against Prairie View A&M —
before returning to Dillard for GCAC matches against Philander Smith and
Tougaloo on Friday and Edward Waters on Saturday.
NOTES: Xavier is 36-14 all-time (16-4 home,
8-4 away, 12-6 neutral) when winning the first set and 4-62 (2-16 home, 1-29 away, 1-17 neutral) when losing
the first set . . . Attendance was 800 . . . Poe had
eight digs in the first set . . . Xavier was 5-17 in GCAC regular-season matches its first three seasons.