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Christabell Hamilton
Christabell Hamilton
Moira Kirk
Moira Kirk
Chinedu Echebelem
Chinedu Echebelem
Patrice Hightower
Patrice Hightower
Taylor Reuther
Taylor Reuther

Kirk is freshman of year; Hamilton shares coaching honor
November 9, 2011

     NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana's Moira Kirk is the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year in women's volleyball, and XU's Christabell Hamilton is GCAC Co-Coach of the Year.
     Kirk and teammates Taylor Reuther, Patrice Hightower and Chinedu Echebelem were chosen All-GCAC by the league's head coaches. It's the first time the Gold Nuggets have had four all-conference players in a season.
     The awards were announced Wednesday at a Nashville, Tenn., banquet honoring the eight teams competing in the conference tournament, which will begin Thursday. Xavier, the regular-season champion and No. 1 seed, will play eighth-seeded Edward Waters in the opening match at 10 a.m. in Fisk University's Henderson A. Johnson Gymnasium. If the Gold Nuggets win, they'll play fourth-seeded Talladega or fifth-seeded Tougaloo at 6 p.m. Thursday.
     Kirk, a freshman from Dallas, is second in the GCAC and 16th in the NAIA with a .363 hitting percentage. Eight times this season she hit .500 or higher, and she has 12 matches of 10 or more kills. She is Xavier's first GCAC Freshman of the Year since Korey Fondel in 2003, XU's first season.
     Hamilton, hired in June, shared the GCAC coaching award with Tougaloo's Shandrea Taylor. Hamilton has led Xavier to a 19-6 overall record and 10-0 in the GCAC. The conference championship and winning season are Xavier's first in four seasons of volleyball. The Gold Nuggets set school records for victories, consecutive victories (8), home victories (8), conference victories and victories on opponents' courts (6).
     Reuther, a freshman from Metairie, La., is second in the GCAC and 11th in the NAIA with 0.59 service aces per set. She leads the GCAC with 3.31 kills per set and leads Xavier with nine kill-dig double-doubles, six more than the Gold Nuggets produced in 2010. Hightower, a senior from New Orleans, leads the GCAC with 7.63 assists per set. Echebelem, a freshman from Dallas, ranks third on the Nuggets with 161 kills and 161 digs.
     Talladega senior Shalitha Swain was chosen Player of the Year.


 

 
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
The Xavier Gold Rush and Gold Nuggets compete in Division I of the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) as a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). Xavier fields men's teams in basketball, cross country and tennis and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis and volleyball.

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Xavier University of Louisiana
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Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
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