CHICAGO – Finishing the match with 18 total blocks (four solos), the Saint Xavier University volleyball team used its strong play around the net to pick up another Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) victory Tuesday evening defeating Robert Morris University (Ill.) at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars secured the match in three sets winning by scores of 26-24, 26-24 and 25-12. Senior outside hitter Kelly Knudsen (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) had a huge match recording 13 kills and five total blocks (one solo). SXU improves to 22-8 on the year with the victory and continues to sit atop the North Division of the CCAC with a conference mark of 12-1.
Senior outside hitter Kayla Mullaney (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community) had an amazing attack percentage of .545 on the night posting 12 kills without a single attacking error. Senior middle blocker Colleen O'Hara (Lemont, Ill./University of Iowa/Lemont) and sophomore middle blocker Marie Hackert (Evansville, Ind./Reitz Memorial) were key to the big defensive stops against the visiting Eagles. O'Hara tallied five block assists and Hackert finished with four total blocks, including two solo stops. Senior setter Desiree Aramburu (Chicago, Ill./Radford University/Mother McAuley) was also tough for the Cougars with 37 assists, four kills and five digs, while senior libero Christine Bowe (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) scooped up a team-high 14 digs.
The first two sets went down to the wire with RMU leading late in both. In the first set, the Eagles had a 24-23 lead before three straight attacking errors gave the Cougars the 26-24 win. In the second set, Robert Morris looked poised to even up the match with a 24-20 advantage, but SXU came storming back getting kills by Knudsen, Aramburu, Mullaney and O'Hara to record six straight points and tighten its hold on the match. The final set was all Cougars as the team built a 10-4 lead and never looked back en route to the 25-12 victory.
Saint Xavier (22-8 overall/12-1 CCAC) heads to Iowa this weekend to take part in the Grand View University Tournament. The Cougars have two matches on Friday, October 19, taking on Davenport University (Mich.) at 4 p.m. and then matching up against No. 12 Grand View University (Iowa) at 6 p.m. SXU finishes the tournament with two more matches on Saturday, October 20, taking on Evangel University (Mo.) at 10 a.m. and then finishing up with a 4 p.m. match against No. 19 Viterbo University (Wis.).