Balanced Attack Lifts Miami Redhawks Over Xavier

  0 Wendy Mayer | August 29th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News

CINCINNATI – A balanced offensive attack lifted Miami (Ohio) to a four-set win over Xavier on Tuesday night. The Redhawks won 28-26, 26-24, 21-25, 25-18 to move to 3-1 on the season.

Senior outside hitter Olivia Rusek (12), sophomore right side Margaret Payne (12), senior outside Katie Tomasic (12) and junior outside Stela Kukoc (11) led the way. Kukoc rounded out a double double with 11 digs, while Payne led the team at the net with six blocks. Senior libero Maeve McDonald racked up 30 digs, followed by redshirt junior Mackenzie Zielinski (16), sophomore defensive specialist Taylor Daignault (16), Kukoc and freshman setter Morgan Seaman (10). Zielinski and Seaman each notched double doubles, dding 25 assists to their respective dig tallies.

Senior outside Kristen Massa paced the Musketeers with 19 kills and 17 digs, while also served up a team-leading three aces. Redshirt junior middle Alexis Newsome followed with 12 kills and five blocks. Senior middle Lauren Frilling put up a team-best eight blocks, while redshirt junior libero Meredith Klare topped the backcourt defense with 23 digs. Redshirt senior setter Mackenzi Humm (19), freshman setter Nadia Diodonne (15) and senior defensive specialist Samantha Foti (14) also posted double-digit dig efforts.

The Redhawks tallied six more kills (61-55), outhit Xavier .188 to .150 and bested their foes in digs (101-97). The Musketeers outscored Miami 75-71, including a 7-0 lead in aces and 13-10 edge in blocks.

Miami went up by three at 1-07 and again at 13-10, but Xavier used a 6-1 run to grab the lead at 16-14. Massa served up two aces and added a kill during the rally. The Musketeers held the advantage until the Redhawks knotted the score at 19 and 20. Xavier had the first shot at the set at 24-22, but MU thwarted two set point chances and earned one of its own at 25-24 after Payne and Kukoc putaways.  A Krause kill kept the set going, but Miami closed out the 28-26 win with kills by Daignault and Tomasic.

Xavier jumped out to a 7-2 lead in Set 2, including a pair of Frilling aces. Miami chipped away and tied the score eight times, first at 10 and last at 18, before taking the lead at 20-18. A 5-1 run, including two kills, two Xavier errors and a block, grabbed the Redhawks the advantage, which the team maintained the rest of the way, en route to a 26-24 win. Kills by Rusek and Tomasek sealed the victory.

The lead changed hands four times over the first 34 points of Set 3, leading to a 17-all tie. Xavier seized control with a 4-0 run, including two Grossman kills. Miami narrowed the gap to one at 21-20, but the Musketeers held on for the 25-21 win. Massa put down the final kill to extend the match.

After a tie at 5-all, Miami pushed the margin to four at 12-8 on a block by Katie Coverdale and Haley Stewart, and then to  eight at 18-10 with help from a pair of Xavier errors. The Musketeers sliced the margin to three at 21-18 on a Klare ace, but could not complete the comeback. Miami wrapped up the match on a 4-0 run, including three Xavier miscues.



Courtesy: Miami Athletics

The Miami University volleyball team used a balanced offensive attack and a strong defensive game to earn a hard-fought, 3-1 (28-26, 26-24, 21-25, 25-18) win over Xavier Tuesday night. The RedHawks improve to 3-1 on the season, while the Musketeers suffer their first defeat, falling to 3-1.Miami kept the Xavier attack at bay all night, holding the Musketeers to a .150 attack percentage. The RedHawks recorded a season-high 101 digs in the four-set encounter, led by senior libero Maeve McDonald with 30. Redshirt junior setter Mackenzie Zielinski and sophomore outside hitter Taylor Daignault each had 16 digs.

The Red and White had offensive contributions from several players, with four finishing with double-digit kills. Senior right side hitter Katie Tomasic, senior outside hitter Olivia Rusek and sophomore middle hitter Margaret Payne each had 12 kills, while junior outside hitter Stela Kukoc finished with 11.

“To defeat Xavier on its home court is significant,” said head coach Carolyn Condit. “We did it with outstanding defense and incredible teamwork. Stela was our clutch attacker, while Olivia, Katie and Margaret each contributed 12 kills. Both our setters delivered a smart offense. Maeve was the stabilizer and helped inspire the energy and constant grind it takes to win on the road. I am proud of our progress.”

Set one was tight throughout. A kill from Kukoc to give Miami a 13-10 lead was one of only three times either team had a lead of three points. Xavier responded with a 9-3 run that gave it its largest lead of the set at 19-16. A kill from freshman setter Morgan Seaman and a Musketeer attack error forced a XU timeout. The teams traded side outs until a RedHawk attack error gave Xavier set point at 24-22. Back-to-back kills from Payne and Kukoc were able to fight that off and tie the score at 24. Another kill from Kukoc gave MU set point, but this time Xavier fought it off. Tied at 26, kills from Daignault at Tomasic finished off a 28-26 win.

The Musketeers jumped to a quick 5-0 lead to begin set two, forcing Miami to take an early timeout. The break was effective as two kills from sophomore middle hitter Haley Stewart, along with kills from Kukoc, Rusek, Tomasic and Daignault were part of a 10-5 run that tied the score at 10. The teams traded the next 10 points before two in a row for Xavier made it 17-15. The RedHawks answered with a 6-2 run that put them in control 22-19. Xavier scored the next two before Rusek put down a kill to make it 23-21. Miami had set point at 24-22, but the Musketeers were able to score two in a row to retie the score. That proved not to matter as back-to-back kills from Rusek and Tomasic gave the ‘Hawks a 26-24 victory.

Similar to the first two sets, no one could establish control in set three. Through the first 34 points, neither team could build more than a two-point cushion and they found themselves in a 17-17 tie. At that point Xavier scored four in a row to take a 21-17 lead. A kill from Tomasic followed by back-to-back kills from Payne pulled the RedHawks to within one at 20-21. That would be as close as MU could get as the Musketeers went on a 4-1 run to close out a 25-21 victory.

Two kills from Tomasic, along with kills from Payne and Rusek helped stake Miami to a 9-6 advantage to begin set four. Leading 12-9, a kill from Stewart started a 6-1 run that put the RedHawks in control at 18-10. Xavier did not give up as it answered with an 8-3 run that pulled it to within three at 18-21 and forced MU to call timeout. The break proved beneficial as the ‘Hawks immediately scored four in a row to take a 25-18 victory and a 3-1 win in the match.

Both setters finished with double-doubles as Zielinski added 25 assists to go with her 16 digs, while Seaman had 25 assists and 10 digs. Stewart had seven kills, while Daignault finished with six. Payne led Miami with six blocks (two solo and four assisted); she had a team-leading 16.0 points for the match.

The RedHawks return to action this weekend when they compete in the IUPUI Hampton Inn Invitational. On Friday, Miami faces Marquette at 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, the Red and White take on host IUPUI at 12:30 p.m. and Wichita State at 5 p.m.


Courtesy: Xavier Athletics

Xavier volleyball dropped its home opener on Tuesday night, falling to Miami (Ohio) in four sets (26-28, 24-26, 25-21, 18-25) at Cintas Center.

The Musketeers moved to 3-1 on the year, while the RedHawks improved to 3-1.


Kristen Massa posted a career-high 19 kills to go along with 17 digs, her second double-double of the season. The senior outside hitter added three aces.

• Xavier had seven more aces (7-0) than Miami and had three more blocks (13-10). Senior Lauren Frilling led Xavier with six blocks. She added three aces and five kills.

• Alexis Newsome hit .360 with 12 kills. The junior middle blocker added three blocks.

• Mackenzi Humm posted her second double-double of the season, recording a match-high 25 assists to go along with 19 digs. Nadia Dieudonne posted her first career double-double as the freshman setter had 20 assists and 15 digs.

• Meredith Klare led five Xavier players in double-figure digs with 23. Laura Grossman was third on the team in kills with nine.


• Trailing 14-11, Xavier scored five straight to regain the lead and force a Miami timeout. The Musketeers led 24-22 before back-to-back kills by Margaret Payne and Stela Kukoc tied the match at 24. The RedHawks scored six of the final eight points of the match to pull off the 28-26 set victory.

Kristen Massa had six of the Musketeers 14 kills in the frame. Mackenzi Humm nearly had a double-double, recording nine assists and 10 digs. Massa added two aces.


• Xavier opened the frame by scoring five unanswered points. Miami battled back to tie the match at 10. All told, the set had nine ties with the final tie at 24. The RedHawks got back-to-back kills from Oliva Rusek and Katie Tomasic to pull away for the 26-24 win.

• Maya Krause and Alexis Newsome both had four kills in the set. Meredith Klare had six digs, while Mackenzi Humm and Nadia Dieudonne both had seven assists.


• With the match tied at 17, Xavier scored four straight points to regain the lead (21-17). Miami responded with a 3-0 run, but the Musketeers scored four of the final five points in the set to win, 25-21.

• Laura Grossman hit .714 with five kills.


• Miami led by as many as eight (18-10) before Xavier battled back to get within three (21-18) down the stretch. The RedHawks took advantage of three Xavier miscues, while getting a kill from Stela Kukoc to win the set, 25-18.


• The Musketeers will host their own tournament at Cintas Center on Sept. 1-2. Xavier faces Texas State, Western Michigan and crosstown rival Cincinnati during tournament play.

• Xavier opens tournament play on Friday night at 7 p.m. against rival Cincinnati.

Leave a Reply


About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

Read More »

Don't want to miss anything?

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive our latest updates!