Wade’s 27 kills tie XULA record as Gold Nuggets down Bryan with 5th set comeback

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#XULA volleyball wins 15-13 in the fifth set against Bryan at Marietta, Ga., on Aug. 27, 2022. Ed Cassiere calls the fifth set.
#TeamGold #HailAllHailXU #NAIATogether #NAIAWVB #HBCU

Posted by Xavier University of Louisiana Athletics on Saturday, August 27, 2022

MARIETTA, Ga. — It was an epic comeback Saturday for Xavier University of Louisiana and a record performance for Kennedy Wade, Sydney Murray and Linda Mungai.

The Gold Nuggets dropped the first two sets and trailed 8-3 in the fifth Saturday before clinching a 21-25, 27-29, 25-19, 25-19, 15-13 women’s volleyball victory against Bryan in XULA’s final match of the Running Eagles Classic at Life University.

XULA was 2-2 in the two-day event. Earlier Saturday, Ave Maria defeated the Gold Nuggets 25-11, 25-21, 16-25, 25-23.

“I thought the competition was great. It was just what we needed to start the season,” sixth-year XULA head coach Pat Kendrick said. “Being down two sets against Bryan forced us to dig deep and work hard for points. This weekend will definitely help us to get ready for conference play.”

Wade’s 27 kills tied the XULA match record set twice by Kayla Black in 2019, and she and Murray (23) became the first XULA tandem to combine for 50 kills in a match.

Murray tied the XULA record for kills in a match by a freshman. Moira Kirk reached 23 in 2011, and Wade did it in 2020.

Mungai had 30 digs and reached that number for the third time in four tournament matches. She’s the first XULA player to reach 30 digs in three matches in a season — Jennifer Torres (2020), Anna Della Vecchia (2017) and Darian Harris (2014) did it twice apiece — and Mungai tied Harris’ XULA career record of three matches with 30-or-more digs.

Additional XULA standouts:

• Adaeze Crenshaw with a six blocks, a match and career best.
• Stella Dineva with a season-high 11 digs.
• Two setters produced double-doubles. Emi Riglioni had 32 assists, 13 digs and three aces; Semira Blair had 29 assists, 19 digs and an ace.

Wade and Murray continued to fill up the stat sheet. Wade had 24 digs — she produced double-doubles in all four matches at this tournament — three aces and four blocks. Murray had 17 digs, an ace and four blocks.

Abby Rector had 16 kills, three aces and 18 digs for Bryan (2-1).

Next for XULA will be its home opener, Saturday in the Big Easy Blastoff against Louisiana Christian at 1 p.m. and Mobile at 5 p.m. The matches are being moved from the Convocation Center because of recent water damage that buckled sections of the court, which was installed in 2021. There will be no competition or practices in the facility for at least two months.

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