CHICAGO – Led by a match-best 15 kills from senior outside hitter Kelly Knudsen (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn Community), the Saint Xavier University volleyball team kept its perfect conference mark intact at 5-0 by defeating Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) North Division foe Judson University (Ill.) in three sets Tuesday night at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars averaged just over 14 kills per set and took the match by scores of 25-21, 25-13 and 25-17 improving their overall record to 12-2. The Eagles drop to 11-10 overall this season and 2-3 in conference play with the loss. Knudsen also tallied double figures in digs as well finishing with 11 on the night.
Senior outside hitter Kayla Mullaney (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community) finished with 11 digs and nine kills for SXU, while senior middle blocker Colleen O'Hara (Lemont, Ill./University of Iowa/Lemont) also played well with seven kills and a block assist. O'Hara committed just one attacking error in the match and had an impressive attack percentage of .429. Senior setter Desiree Aramburu (Chicago, Ill./Radford University/Mother McAuley) completed another solid evening for the Cougars racking up 39 assists to go along with her two service aces and 17 digs. Senior libero Christine Bowe (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) was equally stellar defensively totaling 17 digs as well with three assists and an ace.
The first set was a tight one, but SXU built a late 20-15 lead and held on for the 25-21 win. Aramburu set eight straight points to open the second set and the Cougars rode the early 8-0 advantage to a 25-13 win. The first half of the third set went back and forth before kills by Knudsen, Mullaney, O'Hara and freshman right side Meghan Falsey (Schaumburg, Ill./Schaumburg) helped SXU build a 21-15 lead. Kills by Mullaney and Falsey put the exclamation point on the match.
Saint Xavier (12-2 overall/5-0 CCAC) takes a day off before returning to action against the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) on Thursday, September 27. The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start at the Shannon Center.