Xavier Volleyball Survives Test From Georgetown

Freshman Abbey Bessler led all attackers with 25 kills.

Freshman Abbey Bessler led all attackers with 25 kills.

Nov. 8, 2013

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - It took a career night from Abbey Bessler and gritty performances by Aubree Smith, Alex Smith, Alex Blair and Lauren Metzger, but Xavier (17-9, 8-3 BIG EAST) outlasted Georgetown (10-14, 4-7 BIG EAST) in a thrilling five-set match (17-25, 25-23, 24-26, 25-21, 17-15).

"First, credit to Georgetown," said head coach Mike Johnson. "Those kids brought it tonight. I loved how our group responded. WE battled all kinds of adversity. Hats off to Lauren Metzger. She showed true courage tonight in pushing herself the way she did."

"Aubree [Smith] did a wonderful job of distributing and we got clutch swings out of Abbey and our middles. Sarah [Brown] and our receive really held together late in the match. Lastly, our players on the bench really brought great energy tonight. I'm proud of everyone's effort."

After dropping the first set, 25-17, Xavier answered with a 25-23 win in the second set. Then, Georgetown built a comfortable lead in the third before Xavier rallied to force the set into extra points. The Hoyas held on for a 26-24 win. The Musketeers responded again in the fourth, taking the set, 25-21, and forcing a decisive fifth set.

The two teams battled to extra points in the final stanza, but Xavier used three kills from Bessler to close out the match. Tied at 14-all, Bessler put down her first kill to push XU ahead. After the Hoyas evened the set at 15, Bessler connected on consecutive kills to close out the match.

Bessler, Xavier's freshman outside hitter, posted a match-high 25 kills and 12 digs, marking the 18th time this season she posted a double-double. Aubree Smith also added a double-double with 56 assists and 12 digs.

XU's middle blockers, Alex Smith and Blair, had sensational nights. Smith connected on 13 kills without committing an error en route to posting a .542 hitting percentage. Blair was equally impressive, registering 13 kills on the strength of a .571 hitting percentage. Blair also added eight blocks in the match.

Metzger was sensational as Xavier's libero. She registered a match-high 23 digs, while anchoring the Musketeers serve receive.

Xavier will travel to Philadelphia for a Sunday afternoon tilt at Villanova. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m.