Davenport, Iowa – Junior outside hitter Aaron Porter (Woodridge, Ill./Downers Grove South) combined for 28 kills and 18 digs over a pair of matches for Saint Xavier University Saturday afternoon at the Saint Ambrose University Men's Volleyball Triangular at Lee Lohman Arena in Davenport, Iowa. The Cougars (3-4 overall) won the first match over No. 10 ranked Grand View University (Iowa) in five sets by scores of 25-21, 29-27, 20-25, 14-25, 15-13. SXU then dropped a tough Mid-America Men's Volleyball Intercollegiate Conference (MAMVIC) match to No. 1 Saint Ambrose University in three sets 17-25, 19-25 and 14-25.
Porter was impressive in the day's opening match totaling 20 kills and 10 digs to lead the Cougars in both categories. Sophomore right side/middle blocker Evan Muys (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) and junior outside hitter Joe Zahalka (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) each posted eight kills in the victory over Grand View University. Freshmen setters Dan French (Chicago, Ill./Notre Dame) and Jim Boyce (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) split the setting duties in the first match finishing with 20 and 18 assists, respectively. Freshman middle blocker Sean Blackwood (Manhattan, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) was solid defensively leading SXU with six block assists. Things looked bleak late in the match with Saint Xavier trailing 13-10 in the deciding fifth set, but a kill by Muys and three attack errors by the Vikings set the stage for Porter to end the hard-fought match on an ace.
The second match against the host Fighting Bees proved to be a lot tougher as the Cougars fell in three straight sets. Porter led the SXU offense again with eight kills to go along with his team-best eight digs, while sophomore outside hitter Justin Cousin (Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park-River Forest) totaled six kills and five digs. The Cougars had trouble getting into a rhythm offensively recording 20 kills and 16 attacking errors for a team attack percentage of just .056. French had 12 assists for SXU in Saturday's final match.
Saint Xavier (3-4 overall/2-4 MAMVIC) returns to action next weekend at the Lindenwood University Tournament in Saint Charles, Mo. The Cougars open the event with a 3 p.m. match against Graceland University (Iowa) on Friday, February 3. It is the first of four matches for SXU on the weekend.