Xavier Attempts Rally, But Falls Short At Marquette

Freshman Abbey Bessler tallied 18 digs to lead Xavier on Friday night.

Freshman Abbey Bessler tallied 18 digs to lead Xavier on Friday night.

Nov. 22, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - After dropping the first two sets, Xavier won the third and led in the fourth before succumbing to Marquette (26-24, 25-15, 20-25, 25-22). The loss drops XU (20-10, 11-4 BIG EAST) into a tie for second in the conference with Butler and Creighton, which both won Friday night. The win gives MU (22-5, 14-1) the league title outright.

The match showcased the top two freshmen in the BIG EAST, Xavier's Abbey Bessler and Marquette's Autumn Bailey. Bessler pounded out 18 kills and picked up nine digs, but Bailey connected on a match-best 26 kills to go along with eight digs.

Xavier built as much as a five point lead in the first set, but couldn't hold on as Marquette won, 26-24. Both teams were on the attack from the onset. XU put down 18 kills, but MU connected on 21.

Marquette jumped ahead 5-2 in the second set and never looked back on its way to winning set two, 25-15. Xavier was able to cut the lead to a pair of points on a couple of occasions, but couldn't push through.

Intermission gave XU an opportunity to regroup, and the Musketeers took full advantage. After building as much as a six-point advantage, Xavier weathered a rally that cut the lead to two before winning, 25-20.

Both teams put together runs in the fourth set. Xavier won five of six points to push ahead, 15-11, but later surrendered a 7-1 spurt to Marquette. After the Musketeers evened the match at 21, Autumn Bailey took over the match. Bailey scored all four points in a 4-1 run by MU that closed the set and match, 25-22.

Alex Blair also reached double-digit kills in the match, registering 11. The league leader in blocks picked up five on the evening.

Lauren Metzger had a solid night on the back line, providing the Musketeers with 18 digs. Sarah Brown chipped in nine kills and 13 digs, while Makayla Agin added nine kills.

Xavier wraps up the 2013 regular season on Saturday in a match at DePaul. First serve is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.