Alex Smith earned a spot on the all-tournament team in the University of Delaware Invitational
Xavier (7-4) opened the first set with an 11-3 run and rode the strong start to a 25-15 first-set win over Delaware (1-7). The Musketeers connected on 14 kills, compared to only six for the Blue Hens.
The second set was much tighter. XU didn't connect on as many of its hitting attempts and Delaware found a rhythm on the attack. Alex Smith took control late in the set, recording four of the last five points for Xavier to lead XU to the 25-23 win.
Aided by three blocks on Delaware attacks, Xavier opened a 7-3 lead in the final set. The Musketeers withstood a run from the Blue Hens, a spurt that actually gave the home school the lead at one point, before winning the set, 25-18.
"I have tremendous respect for Coach Kenny and the Delaware program," said Xavier head coach Mike Johnson. "To beat a team that has been a perennial NCAA Tournament participant means a lot to us. More importantly I'm happy with our focus, execution and effort, and I'm excited for where we're headed."
Texas A&M won the tournament after going undefeated in its three matches. Columbia earned third-place with a 1-2 record and Delaware finished last in the four-team event.
Xavier has a five-day break between matches, with the next match coming at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Notre Dame in the Golden Dome Invitational. In the two-day tournament hosted by the Fighting Irish, the Musketeers will also square-off against Kansas and Loyola Marymount in a pair of matches on Saturday.
University of Delaware Invitational All-Tournament Team
Alisia Kastmo, Texas A&M (MVP)
Allie Sawatzky, Texas A&M
Tori Mellinger, Texas A&M
Sarah Brown, Xavier
Alex Smith, Xavier
Molly Winger, Columbia
Ariel Shonk, Delaware