CHICAGO – Behind 19 kills and 10 digs by junior outside hitter Kayla Mullaney (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community), the No. 2 seeded Saint Xavier University volleyball team defeated No. 7 seed Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) in quarterfinals action of the 2011 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Volleyball Tournament Tuesday night at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars claimed the match in four sets by scores of 27-25, 25-18, 20-25 and 25-15 and improved to 30-4 overall this season. Cardinal Stritch wraps up its 2011 campaign with an overall mark of 21-15. It was the seventh straight victory for SXU.
Junior middle blocker Colleen O'Hara (Lemont, Ill./University of Iowa/Lemont) also had a big night for the Cougars Tuesday posting 12 kills and a pair of block assists, while junior outside hitter Kelly Knudsen (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) tallied 11 kills and 18 digs. Junior setter Desiree Aramburu (Chicago, Ill./Radford University/Mother McAuley) was also key toward the winning effort with 43 assists, three service aces and team-best 20 digs. The Wolves were led by sophomore outside hitter Ashleigh Fisher with 12 kills and eight digs, while junior outside hitter Ashley Wipperfurth also played well with 10 kills and 16 digs.
CSU came out firing and took an 10-5 lead to open the first set, but the Cougars clawed back and tied things up, 12-12. The remainder of the set was tight, but a kill by senior middle blocker Kim Scudder (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community) followed by an attacking error by the Wolves gave Saint Xavier the early advantage in the match with the narrow 27-25 decision. SXU took control of the second set early jumping out to an 8-2 lead and never trailed en route to the 25-18 win. Cardinal Stritch would not quit and rattled off eight straight points in the third frame to help pull away for a 25-20 victory. However, the Cougars scored the first five points of the fourth set and secured the match with a 25-15 win capped by a kill from Mullaney.
Saint Xavier (30-4 overall/11-1 CCAC) takes on No. 3 seed Trinity Christian College (Ill.) in semifinals action on Thursday, November 10. The match will be played at the Shannon Center starting at 7 p.m.