Xavier Topped By No. 22 Creighton In Four Sets

Kelsey Dunaway helped Xavier register 62 kills.

Kelsey Dunaway helped Xavier register 62 kills.

Oct. 5, 2013

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CINCINNATI - Despite sparkling efforts from Aubree Smith and Abbey Bessler, Xavier dropped a four-set thriller to No. 22 Creighton on Saturday afternoon at Cintas Center. Xavier fell to 9-7 overall and 2-1 in the BIG EAST, while Creighton improved to 10-4 and 1-1 in the conference.

"Credit to Creighton, they are a good team that played well today," said head coach Mike Johnson. "When two strong teams face off, it always comes down to a few little plays. We're going to keep working and keep improving, so that next time we'll be on the other end. I'm proud of our effort. We fought until the end and will continue to battle.

Keeping the first set close all the way till the end, the Musketeers could not separate themselves from the Bluejays even with the help of Abbey Blessler, Alex Blair and Aubree Smith. Bessler tallied a total of five in the frame, while Blair and Smith had three. Tied at 23-23, the Bluejays pulled away with a kill from Michelle Sicner, giving them the momentum to win the set, 25-23.

In the second set, the Musketeers showed no sign of backing down. Keeping it close in the beginning, Blair gave Xavier an ace and they ran with it. Thirteen proved to be a lucky number for Xavier this set. The duo of Kelsey Dunaway and Bessler came out firing, combining for 13 kills. Smith dished out 13 assists to help Xavier take the set from Creighton, 25-20. Also during this stanza, Bessler achieved her team-leading 10th double-double of the season. She had 14 kills and 11 digs through just two sets.

Creighton pulled away early in the third set, taking a 6-1 lead that was difficult to recover from. The Bluejays capitalized on several service errors from the Musketeers on their way to winning the set, 25-18.

Xavier did not take no for an answer tying Creighton 12 times during the fourth set. Alex Smith and Dunaway showed some signs of hope by rising to the occasion and registering a combined seven kills. At 17-17, the Bluejays pulled away from the Musketeers and took 24-18 advantage. Xavier rallied with four-unanswered points to close the gap, but CU closed the match, 25-22.

Aubree Smith narrowly missed a triple-double, finishing with 46 assists, nine kills and nine blocks. Smith eclipsed the 3,000 assist plateau and now has 3,007 in her career. The junior setter also tallied five blocks, while Blair added eight. Bessler added 20 kills and 15 digs and Sarah Brown (20), Lauren Metzger (15) and Sariah Suryadevara (12) combined for 47 digs.

Xavier's next match is Sunday, Oct. 5, 2013 against St. John's. First serve will be at 2:00 p.m.