Dearborn, Mich. -
Sophomore outside hitters Kayla Mullaney
(Elmhurst, Ill./York Community) and Kelly Knudsen
(Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) both earned all-tournament honors as the Saint Xavier University women's volleyball team won three of its four matches and finished third place overall out of 12 teams at the 2010 University of Michigan-Dearborn Earlybird Challenge in Dearborn, Mich., over the weekend. The Cougars (3-2 overall) won their first match against St. Catharine College (Ky.) on Friday, but dropped the late match against No. 23 Georgetown College (Ky.). However, SXU bounced back with a pair of big wins Saturday defeating Cornerstone University (Mich.) and Marygrove College (Mich.), respectively.
Behind a team-best 16 kills by Knudsen, Saint Xavier rolled to a victory over St. Catharine College in three sets 25-17, 25-15 and 25-22. Junior setter Ashley August
(LaGrange Park, Ill./Lyons Township) finished the match with 28 assists, while junior middle blocker Kim Scudder
(Elmhurst, Ill./York Community) tallied nine kills. The Cougars played tough against Georgetown, but ultimately fell in three sets, 21-25, 23-25 and 18-25 despite 10 kills apiece from Mullaney and Knudsen. Junior setter Jaclyn Major
(Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) recorded 26 assists in the loss, while sophomore libero Christine Bowe
(Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) posted seven digs.
SXU opened the Saturday matches with a three-set victory over Cornerstone 25-13, 25-16 and 25-16 thanks in part to 13 kills and three service aces by Knudsen. Major set things up with 30 assists, while Scudder posted four total blocks (three solos) and nine kills. The Cougars closed things out with another nice win in three sets against Marygrove College 25-11, 25-14 and 25-20. Knudsen again led the way with 11 kills, while Bowe played well defensively with 10 digs. August tallied 27 assists toward the winning effort.
Saint Xavier (3-2 overall) will co-host the SXU/IIT Crossover Tournament with Illinois Tech this weekend. The event opens on Friday, September 3, and the Cougars will take on St. Catharine College at 4 p.m. Friday in its first of four matches over the weekend.