CHICAGO – Behind 17 kills, 15 digs and a pair of service aces by senior outside hitter Kayla Mullaney (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community), the Saint Xavier University women's volleyball team secured a key Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) victory over Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) Tuesday night at the Shannon Center. The Cougars (20-5 overall) looked poised to take the match in three sets after winning the first two sets by scores of 25-20 and 25-19 and leading 24-20 in the third. However, the Wolves were not going down without a fight and rattled off six straight points to take the third set, 26-24, and carried the momentum into the fourth set for a 25-15 victory. In the decisive fifth set, SXU got three big kills from senior middle blocker Colleen O'Hara (Lemont, Ill./University of Iowa/Lemont) and took advantage of six CSU attacking errors to secure the match with a 15-12 win. The Cougars now hold sole possession of first place in the North Division of the CCAC with a 10-1 mark.
O'Hara finished the night with 12 kills and four total blocks (one solo), while senior libero Christine Bowe (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) set a new career high with 31 digs for the Cougars Tuesday. Senior setter Desiree Aramburu (Chicago, Ill./Radford University/Mother McAuley) also turned in 49 assists and 22 digs toward the winning effort. Senior outside hitter Kelly Knudsen (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) and sophomore Marie Hackert (Evansville, Ind./Reitz Memorial) had solid nights as well for SXU. Knudsen posted a double-double of 13 kills and 11 digs, while Hackert led the team with six blocks (three solos) to go along with eight kills.
Saint Xavier (20-5 overall/10-1 CCAC) continues conference play on Thursday, October 11, heading up to Deerfield, Ill., to face off against Trinity International University. The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.