XULA Women’s Volleyball completes sweep of Huston-Tillotson; win streak is 9

By Ed Cassiere, Xavier (LA) Associate Athletics Director for Strategic Communications, Department of Athletics & Recreation


AUSTIN, Texas — Xavier University of Louisiana defeated Huston-Tillotson 25-17, 25-13, 25-23 Saturday to complete a two-match Red River Athletic Conference women’s volleyball sweep.
The Gold Nuggets (10-2 overall, 6-0 RRAC) have won nine straight and are tied for first place in the RRAC with Our Lady of the Lake, which defeated Southwest (N.M.) 25-19, 20-25, 25-16, 25-17 on the road. Also winning on the road was Louisiana Christian, 4-0 in the conference after its 25-19, 25-20, 25-19 victory at Paul Quinn.
XULA will visit city rival Loyola (11-7) at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Kennedy Wade, Stella Dineva, Sydney Murray, Maya Smith and Kendall Mack combined to hit .419 and produce 35 of the Gold Nuggets’ 37 kills. Overall XULA outhit Huston-Tillotson .297 to minus-.013 — the fourth time in the last five matches that a XULA opponent finished with a negative hitting percentage.
Wade, XULA’s best offensive player this season, had 12 kills, a match high, with three aces and seven digs. Dineva hit .538 with nine kills, and Murray, in her best performance in three weeks, hit .400 with eight kills.
Semira Blair had 21 assists and Emi Riglioni 12 for XULA, and Linda Mungai had a match-high 16 digs.
Chloe Gaytan hit 10 kills, and Elaina Spriggins served four aces for Huston-Tillotson (3-10, 2-4).
XULA scored the first three points and was uncatchable in the first set. Runs of 6-0 and 5-0 helped the Gold Nuggets take a two-set lead after trailing 7-6, and XULA clinched the sweep after trailing 19-14 in the third.
XULA’s active streaks include:
•  28 consecutive victories in regular-season conference matches on opponents’ courts . . . The last loss was in five sets at Talladega on Oct. 29, 2016, when XULA was a member of the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. XULA joined the RRAC in July 2021.
•  17 consecutive victories in RRAC regular-season matches.
•  30 consecutive sets won in the RRAC regular season.
XULA won 138 of its last 141 regular-season conference matches. The current nine-match overall win streak is the Gold Nuggets’ longest since 14 straight in the spring of 2021, when NAIA volleyball was a two-semester sport because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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A lifelong sports fan and follower of HBCUs, Willie Alexander Hines is an expert on any sport with tremendous recall of history and newsmakers.