Joliet, Ill. – Senior middle blocker Colleen O'Hara (Lemont, Ill./University of Iowa/Lemont) led the way with a match-best 13 kills, but the No. 2 seeded Saint Xavier University volleyball team failed to slow down No. 1 seed University of St. Francis (Ill.) Saturday and dropped the championship match of the 2012 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Volleyball Tournament at the Sullivan Center in Joliet, Ill. The Cougars fell in three sets by scores of 18-25, 14-25 and 18-25. After the match, SXU senior setter Desiree Aramburu (Chicago, Ill./Radford University/Mother McAuley) was named the 2012 CCAC Volleyball Player of the Year joining O'Hara and senior outside hitter Kelly Knudsen (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) on the first team all-conference squad, while senior libero Christine Bowe (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) and senior outside hitter Kayla Mullaney (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community) garnered spots on the second team.
USF jumped out to a 10-2 lead in Saturday's first set and a 10-1 advantage in the second set. The Fighting Saints fell behind 10-5 in the third and final set before rallying for the victory. Bowe led Saint Xavier's defensive effort with 16 digs, while Aramburu posted 23 assists and nine assists. With Saturday's victory, USF kept its undefeated win streak at home intact at 14-0 this season.
Saint Xavier (31-12 overall/18-1 CCAC) still has earned one of the two automatic bids to the 2012 NAIA Volleyball National Championships. The Cougars will learn their opening round opponent when the national office announces the pairings early next week.