Gold Nuggets win at Loyola to end their losing streak

NEW ORLEANS — Juliana Tomasoni had 15 kills, hit .371 and served three aces Tuesday to help Xavier University of Louisiana rally for a 21-25, 25-23, 25-21, 27-25 volleyball victory against Loyola at the Wolf Pack’s First NBC Court. The Gold Nuggets (2-8) snapped a five-match losing streak, their longest in six seasons.

XULA played twice at Loyola. In their first match, the Gold Nuggets lost 25-18, 25-17, 26-24 to St. Thomas (Texas). Tomasoni also had four assists, five digs and two blocks. She reached double figures in kills for the fifth time this season.

Against Loyola, Hasani Salaam had nine kills, and Monet Fontaine and Terri Drake had eight apiece. Amanda Perry had 16 digs and reached double figures for the ninth consecutive match to tie a XULA record. Taylor Ducros and Kayla Jones had 10 digs apiece. The Gold Nuggets’ .248 hitting percentage and nine blocks were season highs.

XULA recorded back-to-back wins against Loyola at the Wolf Pack’s home court for the first time. The Gold Nuggets won in five sets last season. Loyola leads the series 12-6, but the Gold Nuggets won six of the last seven meetings.

Against St. Thomas, Salaam had 10 kills and hit a career-high .556 with no errors in 18 attacks. Adili Rikondja had eight kills and hit .438, both career bests, and Perry had 10 digs and two aces.

XULA will play its home opener Friday in its Big Easy Opener at the Convocation Center. The Gold Nuggets will play Pikeville at 11 a.m. and William Carey at 5 p.m. SUNO and Southwest (N.M.) also are in the tournament; they’ll meet at9 a.m. Friday to open the five-team, nine-match, two-day event.

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