Volleyball favorites prevail as Xavier and Dillard earn right to clash for GCAC title

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TALLADEGA, Ala. – Sweeps were the theme of the early stages as all but one of the matches leading up to tomorrow’s Championship bout were won in straight sets with the exception of Edward Waters advancing past the Quarterfinals due to COVID-19 protocols in the Talladega program and Dillard taking down Philander Smith in four.

Quarterfinals:
No. 1 Xavier (Bye) – The Gold Nuggets earned a well-deserved bye straight to the Semis, not dropping a single set all season long in conference play.

No. 2 Dillard (vs. #7 Rust) – DU made quick work of the Lady Bearcats, giving up a combined 16 points over the first two sets before a more competitive final game which ended at 25-21. Attacker of the Year Desire Neal led the charge with nine kills and a 0.375 hitting percentage, Setter of the Year Kamryn Linton was the only student-athlete on either side to log double-figure assists (10) and Codi Fillmore led the defense notching 12 digs.

No. 3 Philander Smith (vs. #6 Tougaloo) – Philander Smith slipped past a fiesty Tougaloo squad on the back of 18 assists by Jakayla Shrum plus the attacking duo of Nylah Lloyd (13 kills) and DeAundria Green (10 kills).

No. 4 Edward Waters (vs. #5 Talladega) – The ladies from Jacksonville received an unexpected bye into the next round when it was revealed that the host Talladega College Lady Tornadoes were unable to compete due to COVID-19.

Semifinals:
No. 1 Xavier (vs. #4 Edward Waters) – The gold and green made it ten consecutive title game appearances with a sweep of the Lady Tigers. Kayla Black registered a kill-dig double-double of 12 and 11, Freshman of the Year Kennedy Wade shared the digs lead with Jennifer Torres (15) and Eva Le Guillou tallied a mirrored amount of assists (15) as well.

No. 2 Dillard (vs. #3 Philander Smith) got all it could handle from a talented PSC team as Coach Washington’s bunch took set three 25-19 while almost coming away with the fourth game as well (25-22). Codi Fillmore was having none of it however, putting together a double-double of 12 digs and 11 kills to go along with a monster performance from Defender of the Year Chloe Young who averaged 6.75 digs per set (27 overall) to propel the Blue and White into the Championship game.

The GCAC championship should be a classic as the two New Orleans-based GCAC members square off for city and conference bragging rights inside the Billy Hawkins Student Center on the campus of Talladega College at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

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