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Gold Nuggets rally from 7 down in 4th set to defeat SUNO
September 24, 2012

Box score

     NEW ORLEANS — Chinedu Echebelem had 10 kills and 11 digs Monday, and freshman reserve Patrice Smith scored five points during a fourth-set rally which gave Xavier University of Louisiana a 25-23, 25-21, 19-25, 25-22 women's volleyball victory against SUNO at The Castle.
     The Gold Nuggets (8-4 overall, 2-0 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference) won their third in a row and extended their school-record road win streak to eight. They snapped the school-record nine-match win streak of the Lady Knights (9-3, 1-1).
     SUNO led 12-5 in the fourth set before Xavier rallied with two kills and three blocks from Smith and three Taylor Reuther kills. Moira Kirk's ace tied the set at 17, and the Nuggets went ahead to stay on the next rally on an errant SUNO set. Xavier scored its final two points on SUNO attack errors and moved to match point after Kirk and Alexandria Rencher blocked a Christal Hollins attack.
     Reuther had nine kills, eight digs and two aces, and Kirk and Claudia Haywood had eight kills and six blocks apiece. Kirk served two aces, hit .538 — the third consecutive match that she topped .500 — and had a career-high nine digs.
     Zipporah Washington had 18 kills and 13 digs for SUNO, and Hollins had 13 kills and 11 digs.
     "We had key players come in late in the match and give us a boost," XU coach Christabell Hamilton. "Patrice Smith was one of them. Alex Rencher also did a great job at setter when Franziska Pirkl got hurt and left the match. Alex had a bad start but calmed down and kept her composure."
     SUNO outhit Xavier .159 to .129 and had advantages of 56-40 in kills and 69-63 in digs. But the Lady Knights committed 58 errors, 17 more than the Gold Nuggets.
     Xavier trailed 13-11 in the opening set before taking control with a 7-1 run which included two Kirk kills and one ace apiece from Pirkl and Reuther. Echebelem's ace put the Nuggets ahead to stay at 22-21 in the second set, and Reuther closed with a kill.
     The Gold Nuggets are 16-0 against GCAC opponents during Hamilton's two seasons as coach, including 12 regular-season victories.
     Xavier, which has played 10 of its 12 matches on the road, will travel for GCAC matches at 7 p.m. Thursday at Fisk and 1 p.m. Saturday at Philander Smith. The next home match will start at 6 p.m. Oct. 5 against Edward Waters at The Barn.


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, tennis and track and field and women's teams in basketball, cross country, tennis, track and field and volleyball.

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Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive
Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
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(504) 520-7934 fax

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