Nuggets clinch tie for 7th straight GCAC championship
TALLADEGA, Ala. — Xavier University of Louisiana defeated Talladega 25-15, 25-20, 25-12 Saturday to clinch no worse than a share of its seventh consecutive Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season volleyball championship.
The Gold Nuggets (18-2, 10-0) will win the championship outright with a victory in their final two GCAC matches or a Dillard loss in its final four GCAC matches. Dillard (14-15, 6-2) will visit third-place Tougaloo (17-9, 8-3) Monday; XULA will play fourth-place SUNO (5-17, 4-5) at 6 p.m. Thursday at XULA’s Convocation Center.
XULA closed the first set with a 12-2 run and scored seven straight points to take a 19-7 lead in the third. Kayla Black’s kill ended the match, which lasted 66 minutes.
Juliana Tomasoni hit .417, served two aces and had 13 kills and 15 digs in her 12th double-double of the season. Lauryn Taylor produced double-figure kills for the second straight match; the freshman had 10 kills, hit .450 and had three blocks.
Also contributing for the Nuggets were Anna Dalla Vecchia with 16 digs; Adili Rikondja with three blocks, a .353 hitting percentage and a season-high nine kills; Black with seven kills, 12 digs and two blocks; Vivica Price-Spraggins with six kills and two blocks; Eva Le Guillou with a career-high-tying 25 assists; and Tiffany Phillips with 13 assists, seven digs and two aces.
Talladega (9-16, 2-7) has lost four straight.
The victory was the Gold Nuggets’ eighth in a row; the last five matches were on the road within 10 days. XULA has won 17 of its last 18 matches and all 30 of its sets against GCAC opponents.
The Gold Nuggets are 16 victories above .500 for the first time since 2013.
XULA-SUNO will be a Dig Pink match for breast cancer awareness, and fans are encouraged to wear pink. Seniors Tomasoni and Kaelan Temple will be honored in a pre-match ceremony.
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