Xavier battles past Dillard in four sets for 21st straight win in series between rivals

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NEW ORLEANS — For the second straight year, city rival Dillard ended a lengthy Xavier University of Louisiana sets-won streak in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. But the Gold Nuggets regained their composure and walked out of a raucous Dent Hall with a 22-25, 25-12, 25-23, 25-20 volleyball victory Friday.

The Gold Nuggets (11-4, 3-1) beat the Lady Bleu Devils (4-7, 2-1) for the 21st consecutive time, this time before the largest crowd ever to watch a XULA match: 1,000.

XULA will be at home Saturday for GCAC matches against Edward Waters at 11 a.m. and Talladega at 6 p.m. There will be four GCAC matches at the Convocation Center Saturday; Dillard will play Talladega at 1 p.m. and Edward Waters at 4 p.m.

XULA and Talladega share first place in the conference.

The Nuggets regrouped after hitting .098 in the opening set and dropping a set to a GCAC regular-season opponent for the first time in 48 attempts. XULA outhit Dillard .232 to .071 in the final three sets.

Kayla Black led XULA with 20 kills, and Vivica Price-Spraggins, Ema Causevic and Zora Barnett had seven kills apiece. Eva Le Guillou had 43 assists, an ace and a season-high-tying four blocks. Taylor McGee had two aces and a match-high 13 digs, and Jennifer Torres had 12 digs.

Price-Spraggins and Barnett had four blocks apiece, and Price-Spraggins served three aces and produced a career-best 10 digs.
Desire Neal had 12 kills, Bianca Ihetu seven and Codi Fillmore six for Dillard. Chloe Young had 11 digs, and Tristan Cojoe had four blocks.

For the match XULA outhit Dillard .191 to .094 and had advantages of 51-38 in kills, 47-33 in assists, 6-2 in aces and 55-52 in digs. Both teams produced eight blocks, but Dillard managed only four in the final three sets.

It was 18-all in the third set before XULA took the lead in the match with a kill by Causevic, another by Price-Spraggins, then two by Black for the 24th and 25th points.

In the fourth set a 7-2 run gave XULA a 19-13 lead, and Dillard — in the Christmas spirit a wee bit early — committed errors to the gift the Nuggets their final five points.

XULA increased its win streak in GCAC regular-season matches to 30.

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