Courtesy: Xavier University of Louisiana Athletics
NEW ORLEANS — Pat Kendrick got her 500th career victory as a head coach, and Xavier University of Louisiana overcame a lethargic second set to post a 25-12, 24-26, 25-18, 25-14 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference volleyball decision Saturday over Dillard at the Convocation Center.
Kendrick is 33-7 in her second season at XULA and 500-446 in 32 seasons overall. She coached NCAA Division I George Mason from 1985-2014.
“A huge congratulations to coach,” said XULA sophomore Kayla Black, who had 15 kills and 11 digs in her 10th double-double of the season. “She’s a phenomenal coach because she pays attention to the little things. She congratulates us when we win, but she also makes sure that you’re working to get better the next time you play. That’s what a coach should do.”
The Gold Nuggets (10-4, 1-0) hit a season-high .336. Jordan Johnson and Marine Angely had 11 kills apiece, Vivica Price-Spraggins had 10 kills and hit .409, and Eva Le Guillou had a career-best 54 assists. Le Guillou, Angely and Taylor Ducros served two aces apiece. Beatrice Formilan had 16 digs, and Ducros had 10.
Freshman Desire Neal had 20 kills, more than half of Dillard’s total, and hit .400. Her teammates hit a collective .000. Alexis Barnett had 15 digs, Ma-Kayla Johnson served four aces, and Precious Butler served three.
XULA never trailed at any point in the final two sets after falling behind 23-18 in the second, then rallying for a tie at 24. But Dillard (6-10, 1-1) evened the match when Tristan Cojoe and Neal closed that set with kills.
“Dillard made it competitive,” Kendrick said, “and we did not expect anything less.”
However, XULA wasn’t meeting expectations.
“Coach told us teams are going to come in here and not give up,” Black said. “We have to play hard every minute, every set. We cannot play to the level of our opponents. We have to play the way we know how. We let that second set go, then we put it behind us and fought hard the rest of the way. We played as a team, and we cheered for one another.”
Kendrick’s reaction to reaching 500 victories? “I’ve had a lot of good players over the years,” she said. “That’s how it happened.”
XULA will conclude a three-match home stand Monday when GCAC and city rival SUNO visits the Convocation Center at 6 p.m. The Gold Nuggets will visit Dillard Oct. 8.
Kendrick gets 500th win; Nuggets stymie Dillard again
story: https://t.co/FvgsOKNCdt#TeamGold #HailAllHailXU pic.twitter.com/jl5xTMpOpP
— XULA Athletics (@xulagold) September 15, 2018