CHICAGO – Sophomore middle blocker Heidi Gregerson (Park Ridge, Ill./UW-Parkside/Maine South) posted 12 kills to lead the team, but Saint Xavier University fell to Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) in five sets in its Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) volleyball opener Tuesday night at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars won the opening set, 25-16, but dropped the next two, 18-25 and 13-25. SXU bounced back in the fourth set and held on for a 25-22 win, but fell behind early in the fifth and final set and could not recover en route to an 11-15 loss to decide the match. The Cougars fall to 3-6 on the year and 0-1 in CCAC play, while the Wolves move to 6-5 overall and 2-0 in the conference.
Junior setter Kelli Shaffer (Heyworth, Ill./Heyworth) had a solid effort Tuesday posting 26 assists, four kills, two service aces, two block assists and a career-high 20 digs. Other key performers for SXU Tuesday were juniors Marie Hackert (Evansville, Ind./Reitz Memorial), Jessica Galotta (Beverly, Ill./Parkland CC/Mother McAuley) and Dominique Aramburu (Chicago, Ill./UIC/Mother McAuley). Hackert had six kills and six block assists. Galotta had six kills as well to go along with 12 digs and two block assists. Aramburu recorded 17 digs on the night. Cardinal Stritch was paced offensively by senior Monique Morris. Morris finished with a match-high 20 kills and 15 digs.
Saint Xavier (3-5 overall) takes a break from conference play this weekend and heads east for a pair of non-conference matches. The Cougars take on Siena Heights University (Mich.) on Friday, September 20, at 7 p.m. (eastern) and then head to Ohio to face Lourdes College (Ohio) on Saturday, September 21, at noon (eastern).