Xavier Sweeps Robert Morris Behind Brown, Smith

Sarah Brown paced Xavier's offense with 12 kills in the Musketeers sweep of Robert Morris.

Sarah Brown paced Xavier's offense with 12 kills in the Musketeers sweep of Robert Morris.

Sep 6, 2013

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PITTSBURGH - Seniors Sarah Brown and Alex Smith led Xavier to its third-straight win with a sweep of Robert Morris (25-22, 25-20, 25-23) in the opening match of the Duquesne/Robert Morris Invitational.

"Robert Morris is a disciplined, defensively scrappy team, which played with a ton of emotion," said head coach Mike Johnson. "I'm glad that we were able to respond to their surges and pull out the match at the end.

Brown posted her second double-double of the season with 12 kills and 10 digs. She previously registered a 10-kill, 18-dig effort against Northern Kentucky.

Smith finished with 10 kills and a .500 hitting percentage, improving her program-best career-hitting percentage to .343. The middle blocker is hitting an astonishing .479 on the season.

With the score tied at 13 in the first set, the Musketeers used five-unanswered points to put some distance between themselves and the Colonials, before closing out the set, 25-22.

Xavier wasted little time establishing a lead in the second set, jumping out to a 10-4 lead. Robert Morris answered with a 6-1 spurt to close the gap to one, but XU regained its composure and won four-out-of-five points to move ahead 24-19 before Smith closed out the set, 25-20, with another kill.

A spirited Robert Morris crew emerged from intermission and quickly jumped out 8-4 over Xavier. The Colonials held a two-point margin at 23-21 and looked to put away the Musketeers, but consecutive kills by Alex Smith and Aubree Smith evened the scored. Freshman Emily McIlquham came through with an ace and Alex Smith closed out the match with her 10th and final kill.

Freshman Abbey Bessler was close to joining Brown with a double-double, finishing with nine kills and 13 digs. Junior Alex Blair had six kills and five blocks. Aubree Smith handed out 38 assists in the match, while also connecting on six kills.

A quick turnaround awaits the Musketeers, who play at Duquesne Saturday morning at 11 a.m. and close the tournament against Central Michigan in a 4 p.m. match set to be held at Robert Morris.