Gold Nuggets bounce back, win at UNO in four sets
October 22, 2011
NEW ORLEANS — Taylor Reuther had 18 kills, 10 digs and
three aces, and Xavier University of Louisiana recovered from a pair of four-point deficits Tuesday
to defeat the University of New Orleans 22-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-13 at UNO's
Human Performance Center.
The Gold Nuggets (16-6) avoided consecutive losses
for the sixth time this season and swept their two-match season series with the Privateers (2-17).
Moira Kirk had 12 kills, a season-high-tying seven digs and
hit .526 for Xavier. Patrice Hightower had three kills, 31 assists and a career-high
13 digs, and Celeste Poe had 11 digs.
UNO closed the first set with an 8-3 run — Tory Hearn
clinched with consecutive aces — and led 9-5 in the next set. But from that
point the Privateers committed 13 unforced errors, and Reuther had two kills in the
final eight rallies to help Xavier even the match
"Early on it was a nightmare for us," Xavier coach Christabell
Hamilton said. "We kept making all kinds of mistakes. I didn't see the confidence on their faces.
I called timeout and told our players if they stay together, they'll win this match.
I told them they were talented enough to do this. They stuck through it and came back."
Xavier trailed 21-17 in the third set before fighting off
a set point and scoring the final five points. That's where Hamilton's concerns ended.
In the final set the Gold Nuggets hit .500 and got three Reuther
kills and two Jeanay Butler aces during a 13-2 run which gave Xavier a 19-7 lead.
Twelve rallies later, Poe assisted on Hightower's match-ending kill.
"We took control in the final set," Hamilton said. "I was
so glad we ended the way we did because that's the team I've been looking to see since
our conference matches at Dillard several weeks ago. I hope we can carry this
momentum on and transition to Faulkner and SUNO later this week."
Elena Villar had 13 kills and 10 digs for the Privateers, who
have lost 12 straight, and Hearn had 13 kills and four aces. Laila Hansen had 10 kills.
Reuther recorded her most kills in nine matches and produced
her team-leading eighth kill-dig double-double of the season. Kirk hit better than .500
for the seventh time this season, including both UNO matches.
Xavier outhit UNO .232 to .119 and had a 63-50 advantage in digs.
The Privateers committed 56 errors, 20 more than the Gold Nuggets.
Xavier finished 5-2 this season against NCAA Division I opponents.
The Gold Nuggets will play Faulkner at 3 p.m. Friday at The Barn,
then travel to Gulf Coast Athletic Conference and city rival SUNO for a 6 p.m. Saturday match.
Xavier has clinched a share of the GCAC regular-season championship and needs a victory
against SUNO or at home against Dillard on Nov. 5 to win the title outright.