CHICAGO – Behind solid all-around play by junior setter Desiree Aramburu (Chicago, Ill./Radford University/Mother McAuley), the Saint Xavier University volleyball team swept through the remainder of its tournament unscathed with victories over Morningside University (Iowa) and Davenport University (Mich.) Saturday at the Shannon Center in Chicago. Aramburu combined for 57 assists, 12 kills and 38 digs over the two matches Saturday. The Cougars won each match in four sets beating Morningside by scores of 25-19, 25-23, 20-25 and 25-23 and then knocking off Davenport 22-25, 26-24, 25-13 and 25-21. SXU is off to one of the best starts in the history of the program at 8-1 overall.
In Saturday's morning match against the Mustangs, junior outside hitter Kelly Knudsen (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) led the offensive attack with 12 kills, while senior middle blocker Kim Scudder (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community) posted seven kills and team-best three service aces. Aramburu recorded 33 assists to go along with 10 kills and team-leading 20 digs in the opening match. The Cougars had an attack percentage of .357 (14 kills, four errors) in the final set of the match.
Things looked rough early for Saint Xavier in the day's final match against Davenport after dropping the first set 22-25 and falling behind 24-21 late in the second. However, the Cougars regrouped and rattled off five straight points to take the set, 26-24, and even up the match. SXU rode that momentum the rest of the way taking the final two sets 25-13 and 25-21. Knudsen finished the match with 16 kills and 19 digs, while Scudder was tough as well with 12 kills, three service aces and five total blocks (one solo, four assists). Freshman outside hitter Kelli Shaffer (Heyworth, Ill./Heyworth) contributed 13 kills and nine digs toward the winning effort. Defensively, junior libero Christine Bowe (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) tallied 21 digs, while Aramburu posted 24 assists and 18 digs.
Saint Xavier (8-1 overall) begins its Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) schedule on Tuesday, September 6, when the Cougars travel to Bourbonnais, Ill., to take on rival Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.). The match is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and the Tigers are receiving votes in the 2011Tachikara-NAIA Volleyball Coaches' Preseason Top 25 Poll.