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Gold Nuggets win in 4, will play for tourney championship
August 31, 2013

Box Score

     HOUSTON — For the Xavier University of Louisiana women's volleyball program, victories after first-set losses have been rare. But that trend has improved lately.
     The Gold Nuggets defeated Columbia (S.C.) 25-27, 25-20, 25-20, 25-15 on Saturday morning for their third victory in as many matches at the UST Labor Day Tournament. Xavier is 10-73 all-time when losing the first set but has two such victories in the past five matches.
     Taylor Reuther's sixth-consecutive double-double — 15 kills and 14 digs — Moira Kirk's 11 kills and reserve Claudia Haywood's seven kills and three blocks in two sets helped propel Xavier (5-2) into a 4 p.m. championship match later in the day against Montana Tech, the tournament's other 3-0 team.
     The Nuggets were a roller coaster in the opening set, turning a 4-1 deficit into a 15-10 lead, then falling behind 21-19 before rallying again for a 25-24 advantage after a CeCe Williams kill. But Columbia prevailed, closing the set with three consecutive kills.
     Xavier finally found some momentum late in the second set, with Haywood and Kirk collecting three kills apiece to pull the Nuggets out of a 16-14 hole and even the match. An 8-2 run helped Xavier pull away in the third set, and 8-1 and 10-2 runs in the fourth clinched the Nuggets' 21st victory in their last 22 neutral-site matches, a streak which began in 2011.
     Reuther hit .159, her lowest since the season opener, but also served four aces, the most in a match by an XU player this season. Kirk hit .370, and Haywood — who sat out both Friday matches due to injury — hit a season-best .462 in 13 attempts.
     Xavier produced 74 digs for the second consecutive match. Jodi Chatters had 20 to reach 60 for the tournament, Franziska Pirkl had 12 and Chinedu Echebelem nine. Pirkl had 32 assists in her second consecutive double-double and fourth of the season.
     The Nuggets hit .208 — .286 in the final two sets — and served a season-high 10 aces. Echebelem had three aces to equal her career high. Columbia (0-4) served four aces, but only one in the final three sets.


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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