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Defending champ Nuggets to play host team in 1st round

November 6, 2012

     NEW ORLEANS — The Xavier University of Louisiana women's volleyball team will play Philander Smith at 10 a.m. Thursday in the first match of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Tournament at Philander's Mims Gym in Little Rock, Ark.
     The Gold Nuggets (18-7) finished 10-0 in the GCAC to win their second consecutive
     Xavier will attempt to win its second consecutive GCAC Tournament

Xavier will attempt to win its second consecutive GCAC Tournament.
regular-season championship. They're the defending champion of the GCAC Tournament after winning all four of their matches a year ago in Nashville, Tenn.
     All eight conference members qualified for the three-day, double-elimination event. Xavier is the No. 1 seed from the South Division, and Philander Smith is seeded fourth from the North Division. The tournament winner will receive the GCAC's automatic bid to the NAIA National Championship, which will begin Nov. 17 with 12 first-round matches at campus sites.
     The other first-round matchups Thursday will be Edward Waters (No. 4 South) vs. Tougaloo (No. 1 North) at noon, Talladega (No. 2 North) vs. Dillard (No. 3 South) at 2 p.m. and SUNO (No. 2 South) vs. Fisk (No. 3 North) at 4 p.m.
     If Xavier defeats Philander Smith, it will play the Talladega-Dillard winner at 6 p.m. Thursday. If Philander Smith defeats Xavier, the Gold Nuggets' second match would start at 8:30 a.m. Friday — in the losers bracket against the Tougaloo-Edward Waters loser. A first-round loss would require Xavier to win three matches Friday and three more times Saturday to repeat as champion.
     Sophomores Taylor Reuther (286 kills, 66 aces, 251 digs), Moira Kirk (197 kills, .308 hitting percentage, 23 aces, 69 blocks) and Chinedu Echebelem (211 kills, 220 digs) are, like last year, the Gold Nuggets' leaders. Freshman Jodi Chatters, recruited as a setter, became the Nuggets' libero late in the season and will enter the tournament with a streak of eight consecutive matches with 10 or more digs — the longest streak since Xavier reinstated volleyball in 2010. Three more freshmen recorded 100 or more digs, including Franziska Pirkl, who has 116 digs, 663 assists and 36 aces.
     Xavier got eight kills apiece from Kerris Crier, Reuther and Echebelem and won 25-17, 25-15, 25-5 at Philander Smith on Sept. 29 in their other meeting this season.
     The Gold Nuggets defeated SUNO 25-12, 25-17, 25-20 in the 2011 tournament final. Xavier rallied for a 21-25, 17-25, 25-15, 25-12, 15-7 victory against SUNO at The Barn last week to clinch the regular-season championship.


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.

Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
Xavier University of Louisiana
1 Drexel Drive
Campus Box 92
New Orleans, LA 70125
(504) 520-7329 phone
(504) 520-7934 fax

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