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XU beats SUNO, clinches tie for GCAC championship

October 30, 2014

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     NEW ORLEANS — Senior Chinedu Echebelem had nine kills and 17 digs Thursday, and an improved Xavier University of Louisiana defense keyed a 26-24, 25-12, 25-20 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women's volleyball victory against SUNO at XU's Convocation Center.
     The Gold Nuggets (16-4, 12-0) clinched a tie for their fourth consecutive GCAC regular-season championship. Xavier needs one victory in its final two conference matches to win the title outright. Xavier clinched the No. 1 seed for next month's GCAC Tournament.
     Xavier women's volleyball

Chinedu Echebelem, left, led the Gold Nuggets with nine kills and 17 digs.
     Echebelem's kill after four XU digs ended the first set, and Echebelem and Jodi Hill ended the match with a block of a SUNO attack.
     Xavier trailed 15-12 and 18-16 in the final set.
     In the opening set, SUNO rallied from an 18-10 deficit to tie at 22 and 24. Jada Broussard had five kills in a 14-4 XU run to close the second set.
     Xavier, outhit .202 to .144 in its five-set victory at SUNO on Oct. 1, outhit the Lady Knights .207 to .089 this time. SUNO (22-9, 11-2) entered the match ranked 13th in the NAIA with a .253 hitting percentage and was hitting .326 in GCAC matches.
     Broussard and Claudia Haywood had seven kills apiece for Xavier. Darian Harris had 12 digs, and Hill had three blocks. Setter Franziska Pirkl had three kills, 26 assists, an ace and seven digs.
     Xavier committed 19 total errors, and SUNO made 38.
     "This past week we watched a lot of video and trained really hard," XU coach Hannah Lawing said. "Last time we played SUNO, we struggled with our hitting and could not find a way to put the ball down. We worked really hard on seeing where the open spots were on the other side of the court tonight. We had to stop being egotistical and trying to hit every ball as hard as we could. If we needed points on tip shots, we went for it."
     Andrea Titonea had 11 kills and Christal Hollins nine for SUNO. Milica Golubovic and Ana Privat had 12 digs apiece.
     The victory was the fifth in a row for the Gold Nuggets, who snapped SUNO's season-best six-game win streak. Xavier has won 55 consecutive matches against GCAC opponents — 46 in the regular season — and 53 straight against HBCUs.
     Xavier will go for an outright GCAC championship in a noon match against Philander Smith at Little Rock, Ark. Xavier's next home match will start at 10 a.m. in the GCAC Tournament quarterfinals on Nov. 14.


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
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(504) 520-7934 fax

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