BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Loyola University New Orleans volleyball team took both of their matches in the final day of the BSC Fall Classic on Saturday, sweeping Xavier 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-16) before knocking off the University of New Orleans 3-2 (21-25, 25-14, 20-25, 25-15, 15-13).
In the final match against NCAA Division-I UNO, Loyola (11-7) dropped the first set and the teams alternated wins to send the contest into game five. The Privateers had an 8-3 advantage in the decisive set, but the Wolfpack clawed back to take the lead, then a kill by junior Lindsay Mullinix sealed the match with a 15-13 win.
Junior Gina Gill led Loyola with a career-high 27 kills while adding 18 digs. Gill had a pair of kills in LU’s 5-0 run which tied the score at 8-8 in set five.
The Loyola defense game through in the final frame as sophomore Samantha Worsham teamed up with junior Ashley England for a block, giving the ‘Pack the lead at 10-9. Worsham and freshman Sabrina Stansberry knocked down another kill attempt at 13-10, then after UNO battled back to within one, Mullinix ended the game with a kill.
The Wolfpack recorded 81 digs in the win, led by junior Amanda Oldani with 19 and Worsham added 17 to go along with her 38 assists. LU had 12 team blocks on the evening, led by freshman Katie Broadbent with eight.
Rounding out the offensive leaders, sophomore Kailey Tuthill recorded seven kills and England added six. Kathryn Johnson served three of Loyola’s nine aces in the win.
UNO (5-8) was led by Edina Dobi with 21 kills and Cassidy Asebroek had 46 assists.
In the opening match, Loyola took on Xavier University for the first time since 2004. The Gold Nuggets played close early in the first two sets, but the Wolfpack put together late runs to go up 2-0. In the third set, Gill served eight consecutive points to break a 13-13 tie as Loyola won the final game 25-16.
Gill and Tuthill teamed up for 17 of Loyola’s 32 kills, with Gill finishing with a match-high 11. Worsham had 18 assists and freshman Jennifer Simon chipped in with nine.
On defense, Oldani led with nine digs and England blocked four attacks.
The teams played to a 13-13 tie in set one, then a kill by Tuthill gave Loyola a 19-15 cushion. Oldani’s second ace put the score at 22-15 and a serving error by the Gold Nuggets ended the game at 25-20.
In the second set, Loyola was able to force Xavier into a timeout at 16-12 after an ace by Gill. LU’s lead grew to 23-18 on a Worsham ace, then back-to-back attack errors gave Loyola a 2-0 lead.
Xavier (4-9) led momentarily in set three, going up 9-8 on a kill. With the game tied at 13’s, the ‘Pack pieced together an 8-0 run to put the match away. The run included two aces, three kills, and two blocks, making the score 21-13. An attack error by the Gold Nuggets ended the match as Loyola improved to 8-0 all-time against Xavier.
Loyola is back in SSAC action on Tuesday, Sept. 28, when they head to Mobile, Ala. to take on the University of Mobile Lady Rams at 7:30 p.m.