NEW ORLEANS, La. – The Loyola Volleyball team got a match-high 12 kills from freshman outside hitter O’Neal McMullan, as the Wolfpack defeated the Xavier University Gold Nuggets, 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-21). Loyola improves to 14-8 while Xavier drops to 14-5.
“It was a nice game against a cross-town rival,” said head coach Tommy Harold. “We went out took care of business, and won in three. It was a nice home crowd, and we played well in front of them. We are still looking to make improvements. Overall, it was a nice match.”
Along with her 12 kills, McMullan also contributed three service aces. Junior Kailey Tuthill followed closely behind McMullan garnering eight
kills, while sophomore Sabrina Stansberry had seven and freshman Lauren Brand added six. Stansberry also produced three blocks for the match. Junior SSAC Player of the week Samantha Worsham dished out 27 assists and nine digs. Senior Amanda Oldani led LU in digs with 16, and Becca Burnet supplied 14.
For the Gold Nuggets, freshman middle blocker Moira Kirk tied McMullan for the match-high 12 kills. Junior outside hitter Taylor Reuther had seven kills and 12 digs. Loyola got off to a great start jumping on top of Xavier 12-5. However, the Gold Nuggets fought hard to come back and tie the set up at 12. The set remained close from there on until an O’Neal McMullan kill paced the ‘Pack for five straight points as they pulled ahead 21-16. After a Xavier timeout, Taylor Reuther delivered a critical kill to put the Gold nuggets
within 3 points. Nevertheless, McMullan stepped up and delivered back-to-back two service aces as the Wolfpack took the first set 25-17.
The second set started off extremely tight. Loyola and Xavier remained neck and neck until the Gold Nuggets began to slowly pull away going up by two points. The ‘Pack stayed steady and pulled it together with back to back aces from Tuthill, and McMullan deliving the set-winning kill as Loyola won 25-19.
The third set started much like the first. Loyola got off to a great start jumping on top of Xavier 11-4 with kills from Stansberry and Worsham. The Gold Nuggets crept back and pulled within one point. A O’Neal McMullan and Tiffany Walker block got the ‘Pack back on track. With kills from Tuthill and McMullan, Loyola went up by five points. The Gold Nuggets fought hard to remain close but Lauren Brand delivered the match-winning kill as Loyola took the third set 25-21.
The Wolfpack takes a week off before returning to action next Thursday, Oct. 20 in Jackson, Miss. when they take on conference foe Belhaven. Fans can follow the ‘Pack on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/loyolawolfpack) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/loyolawolfpack). For additional information, please call (504)864-PACK.