NEW ORLEANS -- Moira Kirk had 18 kills, a season high, five digs, four blocks and two aces Thursday to lead Xavier University of Louisiana to a 25-21, 20-25, 25-19, 25-23 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference women's volleyball victory against Tougaloo at The Barn.
The Gold Nuggets (14-6, 7-0 GCAC) are the lone unbeaten team in the conference. They're 17-0 in regular-season conference matches since the start of 2011. The Lady Bulldogs (17-11, 6-1) lost their fourth in a row.
Taylor Reuther had 11 kills, six aces, two blocks and, for the fourth time this season, 20 digs. Chinedu Echebelem had 10 kills and nine digs, and Claudia Haywood hit .529 with a career-high-tying 10 kills. Franziska Pirkl had 47 assists, six digs and four aces, and libero Jodi Chatters had 19 digs, giving her 51 in the last three matches.
Marcella Oliveira had 16 kills for Tougaloo, and Dayane Souza had 14 kills and 18 digs.
Xavier, playing with pink accessories on Breast Cancer Awareness Night, won the first set after a tie at 16. Tougaloo used a 10-4 run to even the match through two sets. The Gold Nuggets trailed 15-7 in the third set before rallying with an 18-4 run which included Reuther's four aces and three kills, Kirk's three kills and a block and two Pirkl aces. Two Kirk kills and a Souza attack error helped Xavier end the match after a fourth-set tie at 22.
Kirk produced double-figure kills for the third consecutive time after doing it twice in the first 17 matches. She recorded a block for the 40th consecutive match and the 48th time in 50 collegiate matches.
Tougaloo outhit Xavier .248 to .215, but the Gold Nuggets had advantages of 59-48 in kills and 13-2 in aces. For the third consecutive match, Xavier produced its most kills since reinstating volleyball in 2010.
Xavier will play GCAC opponent Talladega at 1 p.m. Saturday at The Barn. Talladega is 5-2 in the conference after its 25-15, 25-10, 25-19 Thursday loss at SUNO.