No. 20 Saint Louis Defeats Volleyball, 3-0, in Semis of A-10 Tourney

Senior Hillary Otte and freshman Alex Smith

Senior Hillary Otte and freshman Alex Smith

Nov. 21, 2009

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DAYTON, Ohio - In the semifinals of the 2009 Atlantic 10 Volleyball Championship, the Xavier volleyball team ended its season with a 3-0 (21-25, 15-25, 23-25) loss to No. 20 Saint Louis at University of Dayton's Frericks Center. The Musketeers finish the 2009 season with a 20-12 overall record, marking the 17th 20-win season in program history and head coach Floyd Deaton's 12th career 20-win season.

The Musketeers were led by A-10 Student-Athlete and All-Conference Second Team member senior Kelly Ruth with eight kills to go with eight digs. Atlantic 10 Libero and Rookie of the Year freshman Stephanie Vorherr got under a match-high 10 digs in the contest while All-Conference First Team member junior Claire Paszkieiwcz set 25 assists.

Xavier (20-12) got off to a quick start in the first set, going up 4-1, but Saint Louis tied the frame at five-all after a Musketeer attack error. XU rattled off three straight to set the score at 8-5 but the two squads were tied again at 11. The Billikens reclaimed the lead at 13-12 on a kill by Megan Boken and stretched it to three, 17-14. Trailing by four, 23-19, the Musketeers got the side out on a kill from Ruth but a service error gave SLU set-point. Senior Hillary Otte kept the Musketeers alive with a kill but A-10 Co-Player of the Year Sammi McCloud ended the set with a kill for the Billikens, 25-21. Ruth led the Musketeers in the first set with five kills and a .556 attack percentage.

Saint Louis (23-6) opened the second frame with a 5-1 run and Xavier burned a timeout to talk it over. SLU continued to dominate the set, going up seven, 8-1, before XU scored again and it led by as many as 14. The Musketeers could not overcome the steep deficit as the Billikens took the 2-0 match lead with a 25-15 second-set win. Sophomore Michelle Matia had three kills and a block for XU in the second frame.

After the intermission, Xavier rattled off three straight to open the third frame and enjoyed a five-point lead at 7-2. Saint Louis pulled within one, 13-12, but a kill from A-10 All-Rookie Team member Alex Smith gave the Musketeers back the serve. The two traded points and the set was tied at 19-19 when SLU claimed a one-point lead with a kill from McCloud. The Musketeers called a TO and out of the break, Smith tied the set again with a kill followed by a service ace by Otte to give XU the lead, 21-20.

Both teams continued to battle in the third set and SLU found itself holding match-point, 24-22. A Billiken service error kept the Musketeers alive and SLU called timeout. Saint Louis' Bridget Fonke recorded the match-winning kill as the Billikens took the frame, 25-23, and the match, 3-0.

The Billikens were led by Boken with 13 kills and with 12 kills while A-10 Setter of the Year Whitney Roth set a match-high 40 assists.

This was the Musketeers 12th consecutive appearance in the A-10 Championship and XU moves to 8-11 all-time in A-10 tournament play. Three senior team members finished their careers for Xavier: Lauren Kaminsky, Hillary Otte and Kelly Ruth. The Xavier athletic department would like to thank them for all their hard work and dedication and would like to wish them the best of luck in the future!