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Xavier prevails in 5th, preserves win streaks
October 1, 2014

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     NEW ORLEANS — Chinedu Echebelem produced four kills in the final seven rallies Wednesday to give Xavier University of Louisiana an 18-25, 25-19, 25-23, 19-25, 15-12 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women's volleyball victory at SUNO.
     The Gold Nuggets (10-2, 7-0) have won 10 straight. They extended their win streak against GCAC opponents to 50 — 41 in the regular season. Xavier has not lost to a GCAC opponent since 2010.
     Xavier trailed 11-9 in the fifth set before scoring six of the final seven points. Claudia Haywood's block of a Stephanie Buhl attack put the Gold Nuggets ahead to stay, 13-12. Then Echebelem closed the 2-hour, 7-minute match with a pair of kills.
     Echebelem had 21 kills, a career high, and 21 digs. Haywood had 13 kills and six blocks, Jada Broussard had nine kills, and Jodi Hill had eight kills and three blocks. Darian Harris had 30 digs, and CeCe Williams had a career-high 24. Franziska Pirkl had 51 assists, a season high, and 11 digs.
     Echebelem and Pirkl have five double-doubles apiece this season.
     "We tried to stay focused and play one point at a time," Pirkl said. "By the end of the fifth set it wasn't about skills. It was about the mind and staying strong."
     Adriana Titonea had 22 kills for SUNO (13-6, 4-1), and Christal Hollins had 12 kills and 31 digs. Edrielle Barrow and Jana Reininghaus had 11 kills apiece.
     SUNO opened the match with a 14-4 run. Xavier won the second set after a tie at 12, and Broussard closed the third set with a pair of kills. The Lady Knights forced a fifth set after closing the fourth with an 8-2 run which included three Reininghaus kills.
     SUNO had a 64-59 advantage in kills and outhit Xavier .202 to .144. The Gold Nuggets had advantages of 7-3 in aces — Harris and Ralitsa Hadzhistoyanova served two apiece — and 9-8 in blocks. Both teams had more than 100 digs.
     Xavier will return to the court one week from Friday (Oct. 10) in a 6 p.m. home match against Spring Hill.


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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