Nov. 18, 2012
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - It was everything you'd expect a rivalry championship matchup to be and then some.
Top-seeded Dayton beat No. 2 Xavier 3-2 (26-28, 19-25, 25-16, 25-14, 15-7) in the Atlantic 10 Volleyball Championship finals Sunday afternoon at Duquesne University's Palumbo Center. Xavier took a 2-0 lead early in the match before Dayton took sets three and four to force the decisive fifth set in the nationally televised (CBS Sports Network) match.
The Flyers captured their fourth consecutive A-10 title, and eighth overall. This was the third straight year and fifth time overall that Dayton and Xavier have met in the A-10 Championship finals. UD earns the Atlantic 10's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA selection show will air on ESPNU on Sunday, Nov. 25 at 4:00 pm ET.
Dayton (26-5) used an 8-0 run in the fifth set to take a commanding lead that turned into a 15-7 win. The decisive points came courtesy of two kills and a block from All-Championship team member Megan Campbell and two kills from the Championship's Most Outstanding Player Rachel Krabacher. Krabacher finished with an 18-kill, 12-dig double-double in Sunday's final.
Xavier (20-11) took an early lead in set one with an aggressive offense, pulling ahead by six at 10-4 on an Alex Blair block. But Dayton rallied and tied it set at 14 on an attack error. The Flyers the held a slight advantage until an ace by Elizabeth Lucich, one of four XU aces in the first set, tied it at 23. The teams traded match points until Aubrey Smith game the Musketeers a one-point advantage on a quick kill. A Dayton attack error gave XU the 28-26 win.
Set two was a back and forth affair until, with the XU leading 10-9, Dayton reeled off five straight points, four of which came on two kills apiece from Krabacher and Campbell. The Musketeers stormed back with a 11-2 run to take a 23-18 lead and force a UD timeout. Sarah Brown and Blair each had two kills and a block assist to spur the run. A Shayne Brown kill halted the run, but a pair of XU kills from Ame White and Kelsey Dunaway finished off the 25-19 set two win for the Musketeers. It marked the first time all season that an A-10 team won two sets from Dayton, who finished the regular season perfect in conference play at 14-0.
The Flyers came out of the intermission and dominated the early part of set three, scoring five of the first six points on four kills, including two from Campbell. The Flyers pushed that lead to six on several occasions and then got it to eight in an Aliana Turner kill. Dayton got to match point on a phenomenal point where XU fended off multiple Dayton attacks before the Flyers got a block from Krabacher and Campbell. A kill from Campbell sealed the 25-16 win.
Set four started with a short run by each team that evened the score at five, but Dayton won 10 of the next 11 points, establish a lead the Flyers never relinquished. XU closed to within six midway through the match, but UD pulled ahead again and secured the 25-14 win.
Joining Krabacher and Campbell on the All-Championship team were Samantha Selsky of Dayton, Sarah Brown, Smith and Blair of Xavier and Temple's Gabreilla Matautia.