Bourbonnais, Ill. – Despite a combined 33 kills by junior outside hitter Kelly Knudsen (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) and freshman outside hitter Aubrey Wanta (Johnsburg, Ill./Johnsburg), the No. 25 ranked Saint Xavier University volleyball team lost its Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) opener to Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) Tuesday night in Bourbonnais, Ill. The Cougars played tough dropping the match in four tight sets by scores of 19-25, 25-23, 28-30 and 22-25. SXU was without the services of its kills leader, junior outside hitter Kayla Mullaney (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community), who suffered an injury during tournament play over the weekend and will be temporarily sidelined for recovery.
Other highlights from Tuesday's match included 26 digs by junior libero Christine Bowe (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South), five total blocks (two solos) by senior middle blocker Kim Scudder (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community) and 40 assists by junior setter Desiree Aramburu (Chicago, Ill./Radford University/Mother McAuley). The first set was close throughout with Saint Xavier trailing 19-17 late, but Olivet Nazarene took six of the final eight points to take the early advantage in the match. The Cougars responded late in the second set breaking a 23-23 tie with back-to-back kills by freshman outside hitter Kelli Shaffer (Heyworth, Ill./Heyworth) and Aramburu, respectively. SXU trailed 17-10 in the third set, but came storming back to make things interesting before ultimately falling 28-30. The fourth set was another tight battle, but with the Cougars trailing 23-22, the Tigers got two straight kills to claim the match.
Saint Xavier (8-2 overall/0-1 CCAC) takes the weekend off and returns to action with a conference match at home against Purdue University-North Central (Ind.). The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start at the Shannon Center in Chicago.