Dubuque, Iowa – Three different Saint Xavier University players achieved career-best match totals, but the Cougars could not pick up the victory falling to Clarke University (Iowa) in five sets (25-22, 25-27, 27-25, 21-25, 16-18) in non-conference women's volleyball action Wednesday night at the Kehl Center in Dubuque, Iowa. It was the season-opening match for the Crusaders. Juniors Meghan Falsey (Schaumburg, Ill./Schaumburg) and Heidi Gregerson (Park Ridge, Ill./UW-Parkside/Maine South) propelled the offense with 19 and 15 kills (both career-bests), respectively. In addition, senior setter Kelli Shaffer (Heyworth, Ill./Heyworth) set a new match-best total for herself Wednesday racking up an impressive 53 assists.
Falsey also led SXU defensively at the net turning in three block assists, while senior middle hitter Marie Hackert (Evansville, Ind./Reitz Memorial) had an attack percentage of .400 behind 14 kills and also tallied a pair of block assists along with Gregerson. Senior libero Dominique Aramburu (Chicago, Ill./UIC/Mother McAuley) posted a team-leading 21 digs, while Shaffer was tough defensively as well with 14 digs to go along with her match-best four service aces. The Cougars had their chances jumping out to an 8-4 lead early in the fifth set and then going ahead 16-15 late. However, Clarke picked up the final three points behind back-to-back kills and an attacking error by SXU to rally and claim the match.
Saint Xavier (1-2 overall) returns to Chicago and co-hosts the SXU-TCC Crossover Tournament along with Trinity Christian College (Ill.) this weekend. The two-day event kicks off at 2 p.m. on Friday, August 29, at the Shannon Center in Chicago with 13 teams competing between the two sites. The Cougars open their tournament play with a 4 p.m. match Friday against William Penn University (Iowa).