CHICAGO – Sophomore outside hitter Justin Cousin (Oak Park, Ill./Oak Park-River Forest) led Saint Xavier University with six kills, but the team struggled offensively Monday night in a home loss to No. 4 ranked Hope International University (Calif.) in Mid-America Men's Volleyball Intercollegiate Conference (MAMVIC) crossover action at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars (5-14 overall) lost the non-conference match in three sets by scores of 22-25, 15-25 and 19-25. The Royals were tough on the offensive side racking up 46 total kills to just 15 attacking errors for an attack percentage of .360 over the match.
Junior outside hitter Aaron Porter (Woodridge, Ill./Downers Grove South) and sophomore right side Evan Muys (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) each finished the match with five kills. Porter also led the Cougars with three service aces, while Muys posted four total blocks (one solo). Freshmen Jim Boyce (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) had 11 assists and team-best five digs. Sophomore middle blocker J.T. O'Connell (Evergreen Park, Ill./Brother Rice) led SXU with five total blocks (one solo). Freshman outside hitter Dominique Blonski led the charge for Hope International University with a match-best 10 kills.
Saint Xavier (5-14 overall/3-8 MAMVIC) returns to conference play on Wednesday, March 7, with a home match against Robert Morris University (Ill.). The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start at the Shannon Center.