CHICAGO – Senior setter Desiree Aramburu (Chicago, Ill./Radford University/Mother McAuley) finished with 32 assists, 12 digs and two service aces to help lead Saint Xavier University to a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) victory over Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) to complete its regular season volleyball slate Thursday night at the Keating Sports Center in Chicago. It took the Cougars (29-11 overall) just three sets to claim the match by scores of 25-18, 25-22 and 25-15. SXU finishes in a tie for first place with University of St. Francis (Ill.) with 18-1 marks in the final CCAC standings. USF claims the first automatic bid for the NAIA Volleyball National Championships awarded to the conference's regular season champion by winning the head-to-head match-up with Saint Xavier earlier this season. The Cougars look to garner the other automatic berth by winning next week's CCAC Tournament.
Senior outside hitter Kelly Knudsen (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) led the offensive attack for SXU Thursday with 10 kills and an impressive attack percentage of .391. Senior middle blocker Colleen O'Hara (Lemont, Ill./University of Iowa/Lemont) was just as good racking up nine kills and an attack percentage of .500 to go along with a pair of block assists. Senior libero Christine Bowe (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) led the team with 16 digs, while senior outside hitter Kayla Mullaney (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community) posted seven kills and 10 digs. Sophomore middle hitter Marie Hackert (Evansville, Ind./Reitz Memorial) was also tough defensively with a team-best three block assists along with six kills.
Saint Xavier (29-11 overall/18-1 CCAC) takes the No. 2 seed into next week's CCAC Tournament and will host a first round match against a yet-to-be-determined opponent on Tuesday, November 6. The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start at the Shannon Center in Chicago.