Stallings, Smith, Rencher step up in Gold Nuggets' victory
October 7, 2011
NEW ORLEANS — Of the seven freshmen on the Xavier
University of Louisiana women's volleyball team, Morgan Stallings, Kia Smith and
Alexandria Rencher were the only ones who had played fewer than half the sets this season.
Yet all three played important roles Saturday in the
Gold Nuggets' 25-13, 25-8, 25-15 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference victory against
Edward Waters at Dillard's Dent Hall.
Stallings, who entered the match with six kills, equaled
that number in the third set and finished with nine. Smith and Rencher combined
for 32 of the Nuggets' 35 assists, with Smith collecting a season-best 19.
All three filled in capably for Chinedu Echebelem
and Patrice Hightower, who missed the match because of injuries. But Xavier (14-4, 8-0)
didn't miss a step and completed a two-day, three-match sweep against GCAC opponents at
The Gold Nuggets have won five of their last six matches and
13 of their last 15. Saturday's match was Xavier's fifth in four days.
"We expect all our players to be ready to go at any time,"
Xavier coach Christabell Hamilton said. "Morgan, Kia and Alex haven't played as
much as the others, but they've continued to work hard in practice and improve
their skills. It was nice to see them step up and play a part in this win."
Moira Kirk hit .421 and led Xavier with 10 kills and four aces.
Sophomore Kerris Crier had eight kills and a .727 attack percentage — the first time she's topped
.700 in 10 or more attempts and her first time this season with no attack errors.
Taylor Reuther had seven kills, seven digs, three aces and hit .429.
Reuther had three kills and three aces during a 13-4 run
which gave the Nuggets a 22-11 lead in the opening set. Xavier got four kills and two
aces from Kirk and two aces from Iva Bobkova in an 18-2 second-set run. Stallings
had three kills during an 8-0 run in the final set.
Xavier finished with 39 kills and hit .297. The Nuggets served
14 aces and finished with a 47-6 ace advantage in their three GCAC matches.
Edward Waters (3-19, 0-8) lost to Xavier for the second time
The Nuggets won't play their next GCAC match until Oct. 29,
when they visit second-place SUNO. In between there will be five non-conference
matches, with the next one at 7 p.m. Thursday at city rival Loyola. That's a makeup of a
Sept. 4 postponement due to Tropical Storm Lee.