Livonia, Mich. – Senior outside hitter Kelly Knudsen (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) finished with a team-best 11 kills and nine digs, but the Saint Xavier University women's volleyball team ended its 2012 campaign with a loss to No. 15 ranked Madonna University (Mich.) in the 2012 NAIA Volleyball National Championships Opening Round Saturday afternoon in Livonia, Mich. The Cougars fell in four sets by scores of 18-25, 15-25, 25-23 and 16-25. SXU ends the season with a 31-13 overall record and earned its second trip to the NAIA Volleyball National Championships in the past three seasons.
Senior setter Desiree Aramburu (Chicago, Ill./Radford University) posted a team-high 27 assists and racked up eight digs in Saturday's match. Both senior libero Christine Bowe (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South H.S.) and sophomore defensive specialist Dominique Aramburu (Chicago, Ill./University of Illinois-Chicago) were tough defensively each recording 10 digs on the day. The Cougars had a pair of players each rack up eight kills in the match with senior outside hitter Kayla Mullaney (Elmhurst, Ill./York Community H.S.) and senior middle blocker Colleen O'Hara (Lemont, Ill./University of Iowa) both hitting the mark. Junior setter and 2012 Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) Player of the Year Evia Prieditis led the host Crusaders with a match-high 47 assists to go along with a match-best 12 digs.
Saint Xavier wrapped up the 2012 season with an impressive 31-13 overall record and claimed second in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) regular season standings with an 18-1 mark. The Cougars also finished as runners-up in the 2012 CCAC Volleyball Tournament, which earned them a berth in this year's NAIA Volleyball National Championships.