NEW ORLEANS — Ana Privat served three aces early in the fifth set Friday to help SUNO defeat Xavier University of Louisiana 25-21, 25-22, 14-25, 13-25, 15-9 at The Castle and snap the Gold Nuggets’ lengthy Gulf Coast Athletic Conference win streaks.
The Gold Nuggets (8-5, 4-1 GCAC) had won 52 in a row in the GCAC — the ninth-longest regular-season conference streak in NAIA women’s volleyball history — and 63 straight including GCAC tournaments. Xavier had not lost to a GCAC opponent since losing in five sets to SUNO in the semifinals of the GCAC Tournament on Nov. 13, 2010. The Nuggets had not lost a GCAC regular-season match since losing in four sets at SUNO on Oct. 12, 2010.
Privat served her only aces of the match in the fifth set to give the Lady Knights (8-5, 2-0) leads of 2-1, 4-1 and 6-1. Although Privat committed a service error after her third ace, Xavier never got closer than four points thereafter. A Jana Reininghaus kill ended the match and gave SUNO its first victory against Xavier after 12 consecutive losses to its city rival.
Adriana Titonea and Shannon Jones had 13 kills apiece for SUNO. Titonea had four blocks, and Privat had 17 digs.
Jada Broussard had 15 kills, a career best, and hit .591 for Xavier. Taylor Reuther and Claudia Haywood had 10 kills apiece. Darian Harris had 19 digs, and Franziskl Pirkl had 42 assists, seven kills and 14 digs.
Xavier committed five attack errors and a service error after leading 19-16 in the second set.
“We were so focused on actually winning that we lost focus on how to play point-by-point,” said Reuther. “We were just focused on the end result instead of what was right in front of us.”
Although Xavier outhit SUNO .176 to .136 for the match, the Lady Knights had a .274 to .141 advantage in their winning sets. They outhit Xavier .350 to .158 in the fifth.
“This may seem like a historical loss to some people,” said Pirkl, “but this loss does not define us.”
Xavier will visit the University of Mobile in a non-conference match at 7:30 p.m. next Friday. The Gold Nuggets’ next home match will start at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 6 against Belhaven, and the next GCAC match will start at 7 p.m. Oct. 8 at home against Edward Waters. SUNO will visit Xavier in the Nuggets’ final home match at 1 p.m. Oct. 31.