Xavier's Drops Five-Set Heartbreaker To Close UC Irvine Invite

Alex Smith eclipsed 1,000 career kills on Saturday afternoon against American.

Alex Smith eclipsed 1,000 career kills on Saturday afternoon against American.

Sept. 21, 2013

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IRVINE, Calif. - Sarah Brown finished with 18 kills and 17 digs, but Xavier couldn't hold on to a 2-0 lead and fell in five sets to American (23-25, 18-25, 25-22, 25-19, 16-14). The 18 kills for Brown, a senior outside hitter, are a season-high.

Senior middle blocker Alex Smith entered the match needing just one kill to reach 1,000 for her career. She picked up the kill midway through the first set and finished with a season-high 15 kills, giving her 1,014 career kills.

Down by a point, 16-15, in the opening set, Xavier (7-6) used a strong serving effort, which included two aces, from junior setter Aubree Smith to pull ahead by three. The Musketeers went on to close out the set, 25-23.

Leading by as many as seven early in the second set, XU withstood a charge from American (12-1) that cut the advantage to just two points at 17-15. Freshman Sofia Peterson registered four kills over the Musketeers final eight points of the set to help Xavier take a two game lead with a 25-18 win.

Xavier found itself in a four-point hole, 20-16, late in the third set, but used a kill and two service aces from Brown to start a 5-1 run to even the score. However, American responded with a 4-1 spurt to end the set, 25-22, and send the match to game four.

After some back-and-forth jostling between the two teams that saw Xavier take a 15-14 lead, American used a pair of 5-1 runs to close out the set, 25-19, and force a decisive fifth game.

In a tightly contested fifth set, Xavier used a kill from freshman outside hitter Abbey Bessler to grab the first match point of the game. With Bessler serving for the win, American responded with a kill and then closed out the match, 16-14, by winning the next two points.

Alex Blair finished with 10 kills, marking the third-straight game in double-figures for the middle blocker. Blair also led the Musketeers with six blocks in the match. Peterson finished the match with a career-best eight kills.

Aubree Smith handed out 53 asssists and dug 14 attacks for her seventh double-double of the season. She was named to the all-tournament team following a strong showing this weekend, marking the third-straight tournament earning recognition. Bessler finished with 13 kills and 15 digs, joining Aubree with her seventh double-double.

Competition in the BIG EAST starts for Xavier when the Musketeers travel to Indianapolis for a match against Butler next Friday. This will be the program's first match in the conference, which both Xavier and Butler joined on July 1 of this year.