Data News Staff Edited Report
Xavier University of Louisiana defeated Dillard 25-6, 25-17, 25-13 Thursday at Dent Hall to set a state volleyball record for success in conference play. The Gold Nuggets (21-2, 12-0 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference) became the first Louisiana team to win every set against regular-season conference opponents in one year. They finished 36-0 in GCAC sets. The previous state best was by LSU, which won 24-of-25 sets in the SEC in 1989 and 1990. XULA’s previous best was 36-2 in 2013.
Tiffany Phillips served seven aces — the most in a match by a XULA player in three seasons — and had 12 assists and 11 digs in her ninth double-double of the year. “I just tried to serve tough and find the seams,” Phillips said. “That’s the way coach (Pat Kendrick) has been telling us to do it all season.”
The victory was the 11th in a row for XULA, which will have a first-round bye in next week’s GCAC Tournament at SUNO’s The Castle. The Gold Nuggets will play SUNO or Edward Waters in the semifinals at 3 p.m. Nov. 10. The championship match will start at 11 a.m. Nov. 11.
Kayla Black had eight kills for the Gold Nuggets, and Juliana Tomasoni had seven kills, 10 digs, two assists, two blocks and an ace. Hasani Salaam had a career-high-tying five blocks, and Vivica Price-Spraggins and Lauryn Taylor had three apiece. Eva Le Guillou had 13 assists and two aces, and Anna Dalla Vecchia had a match-high 15 digs. Shelby Stewart had nine kills and two blocks for Dillard (19-16, 9-3), and she was the only Lady Bleu Devil with more kills than attack errors. Tristan Cojoe had five blocks, and Alexis Barnett had 11 digs.
XULA opened by allowing its fewest points ever in a set to Dillard, and the Gold Nuggets outhit the Lady Bleu Devils .600 to minus-.214 in that first set. For the match XULA outhit Dillard .272 to minus-.094. XULA’s 33 kills were its second-fewest in a match this season, but the Gold Nuggets compensated with 11 aces and nine blocks.