Libero Lauren Metzger earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team following her 27-dig performance in the semifinals.
Nov. 29, 2013
OMAHA, Neb. - In its inaugural BIG EAST Conference tournament, the Xavier volleyball team dropped a 3-1 decision (25-20, 25-19, 22-25, 25-17) to host Creighton in the semifinals. The loss drops Xavier to 21-11 on the season, while Creighton improves to 22-7 and advances to face Creighton in the finals Saturday evening.
Lauren Metzger was all over the defensive side of the ball for Xavier. The libero picked up a match-high 27 digs, an average of 6.8 d/s. Metzger's efforts led to being named to the All-Tournament Team.
"It was a tough way to go," said head coach Mike Johnson. "I think Creighton has had a very good team this year. I thought they played very well."
"I just don't think we played as well as we were capable of in the first two sets," continued Johnson. "But, what I am most of our kids for is being in that position, down 0-2, where it would have been easy to throw in the towel, we fought. In the fourth game we came out and battled and fought again. I feel like we were fighting until the very last point. As a coach, you just can't ask for more than that from your kids."
Game one featured runs from both teams. Creighton grabbed an early 10-4 lead with a 4-0 run, only to have Xavier respond with five unanswered. The Bluejays then employed an 8-3 spurt to push ahead, 18-13. XU countered with a 6-2 run, but CU scored the next three to take command and pull out a 25-20 win.
The two teams traded points through the early moments of the second, but Creighton put together a 5-1 run to grab an 11-7 lead. A kill from Sarah Brown momentarily stemmed the tide, but the Bluejays scored the next five points to take firm command of the set. Xavier went into intermission down, 2-0, after falling 25-19 in the frame.
Xavier regrouped during the break and jumped out to a 6-2 advantage before weathering a rally from Creighton. The Musketeers and Bluejays were all-square at 17 when Xavier won four of the next five points, a stretch that was capped with a solo block from Alex Smith. Smith later closed the frame, 25-22, with a kill.
Creighton used a 4-1 run midway through the fourth set to take a 15-11 lead headed into the media timeout. The margin was all the Bluejays would need, as they marched on to a 25-17 victory.
Abbey Bessler led the Musketeers offensively, knocking out a match-high tying 13 kills. Makayla Agin added nine, while both Smith and Brown chipped in eight. Aubree Smith tallied 39 assists and 14 digs.
The 21-win season was XU's fifth-consecutive season with at least 20 wins, which includes all four seasons under Johnson's guidance. Four Musketeers, Alex Smith, Aubree Smith, Bessler and Alex Blair earned spots on the All-BIG EAST Conference teams for their efforts this season.