Gold Nuggets hit .507 to storm past Philander Smith

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana hit a Convocation Center-record .507 and rolled to a 25-5, 25-10, 25-8 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference volleyball victory Saturday against Philander Smith.

The Gold Nuggets (13-2, 6-0) are 8-0 at home this season. Overall they’ve won 12 of their last 13 matches.

Juliana Tomasoni, Jaida Dowd and Kayla Black all produced career highs for hitting percentage. Tomasoni had 14 kills and hit .778, Dowd had eight kills and hit .800, and Black had eight kills and hit .500.

Tomasoni, who had 18 attacks, produced the most kills without an error in a match by a Gold Nugget since Moira Kirk had 14 kills against SUNO in the 2011 GCAC Tournament final. Tomasoni also had a match-high 16 digs in her ninth double-double season and served two aces to extend her streak of consecutive matches with an ace to 19.

Dowd was perfect in the first set, producing kills on all six of her attempts. Black served a career-best six aces, four during a 10-0 first-set run.

Lauryn Taylor chipped in five kills for the Gold Nuggets. Amanda Perry had seven digs, her most in a match since August, and served three aces to equal her career high. Tiffany Phillips produced 19 assists, and Eva Le Guillou had 17. Kaelan Temple served back-to-back aces in the final set.

Autumn Trimble had four kills for the Lady Panthers (4-14, 0-7), and Mikaya Gent served two aces.

XULA limited Philander Smith to minus-.110 hitting — the second straight GCAC match in which the opponent finished on the negative side — and had advantages of 41-9 in kills, 14-3 in aces and 44-20 in digs. The Gold Nuggets matched their season high for aces.

First serve was moved up three hours to 10 a.m. CDT because of the expected approach of Hurricane Nate.

XULA is 12-0 all-time against Philander Smith. They’ll meet against Oct. 17 in Little Rock, Ark.

Next for the Gold Nuggets will be a 6 p.m. Thursday match at NCAA Division II Spring Hill. It will be the first of five consecutive road matches.

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