Nuggets sweep Carey after climbing out of 1st-set hole

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NEW ORLEANS — Juliana Tomasoni and Vivica Price-Spraggins keyed a Xavier University of Louisiana rally late in the first set Thursday to help the Gold Nuggets emerge with a 31-29, 25-9, 25-21 volleyball victory against William Carey.

The Gold Nuggets (12-2) won for the 11th time in 12 matches and completed a two-match regular-season sweep of the Lady Crusaders (11-9).

XULA, led by Tomasoni’s four kills and Price-Spraggins’s two blocks and a kill, rallied from a 24-19 deficit in the opening set. The Gold Nuggets never trailed in the set after Tomasoni’s kill tied it at 25, and Price-Spraggins combined with Lauryn Taylor on a block for the 30th point and with Kayla Black on a block for the clincher.

“We weren’t going to quit,” Price-Spraggins said. “We weren’t going to let balls hit the floor.”

“We kept fighting,” XULA coach Pat Kendrick said. “We had opportunities to make plays late in the set, and we were ready to do it.”

A 19-3 run sparked XULA in the second set, and the Gold Nuggets ended the match after a third set that included four Tomasoni kills, three Taylor kills and three Price-Spraggins blocks.

Three Gold Nuggets finished with double-doubles. Tomasoni had 13 kills and 14 digs — she also hit .323 — Black had 11 kills and 12 digs, and Tiffany Phillips had 14 assists and 11 digs.

Price-Spraggins produced a career-high seven blocks — the most in a match by a XULA player in four years and most by a XULA freshman in five years — and Anna Dalla Vecchia had 17 digs to reach double figures for the 10th consecutive match. Eva Le Guillou had 21 assists and two aces.

Caroline Golden had nine kills and 10 digs for William Carey, and Emma Cotney had 12 digs.

XULA outhit William Carey .215 to .087 and had advantages of 43-35 in kills, 4-1 in aces, 61-57 in digs and 11-4 in blocks. It was the first time this season that the Gold Nuggets reached double figures in blocks.

XULA, 7-0 at home this season, will conclude a three-match home stand when Gulf Coast Athletic Conference opponent Philander Smith visits at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Convocation Center. The Gold Nuggets are 5-0 in the GCAC and hold a two-match lead in the loss column.

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