CHICAGO – Despite 12 kills and six total blocks (one solo) by senior middle blocker J.T. O'Connell (Evergreen Park, Ill./Brother Rice), the Saint Xavier University men's volleyball team lost a hard-fought NAIA Great Lakes Division battle with No. 10 ranked Lourdes University (Ohio) Saturday afternoon on Bob Hallberg Court at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars (3-12 overall/3-4 GLD) lost the opening set, 25-21, but bounced back with a 25-19 win in the second set. However, the Gray Wolves took the third set, 25-18, and then took the match with a 25-21 victory in the fourth set after rallying back from an early 14-6 deficit. SXU's offense struggled late in the match totaling just four kills to five attacking errors in the final set.
Sophomore middle blocker Sam Kull (Darien, Ill./Downers Grove South) also posted double digits in the kills category with 10, while also recording two service aces and three block assists. Freshman setter Moises Lopez (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) led the Cougars with 38 assists, while freshman outside hitter Sean Barry (Wilmette, Ill./Loyola Academy) had a solid all-around match for SXU with eight kills and team-bests of four aces and nine digs. Lourdes was led by junior outside hitter Jo'Lon Clark with 15 kills and two aces. The Gray Wolves improve to 11-4 overall this season and 6-2 in the Great Lakes Division with Saturday's win.
Saint Xavier (3-12 overall/3-4 GLD) continues its home stand with a match against Great Lakes Division foe Cincinnati Christian University (Ohio) on Tuesday, March 11. The match is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start and, prior to the start; the parents of the players on the Cougars squad as well as the senior class will be recognized in honor of "Senior & Parents Night."