DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

V-ball wins 30th, set for final home match

The record will show that Xavier Prep’s volleyball team scored a three-game sweep of host Scottsdale Chaparral on Tuesday night (Oct. 27).
Peel away a few numbers and you will find that accomplishing that objective wasn’t as easy as it might have seemed.
Xavier trailed in all three games, including a seven-point deficit in Game 2, but managed to come away with hard-fought victories over surprisingly tough Chaparral.
The Gators move on to play their final regular-season home match on Wednesday (Oct. 28) against defending Division I Phoenix Desert Vista, then wrap up the regular season with a road match at Mesa High on Thursday (Oct. 29).
Scores against Chaparral were 25-22, 28-26 and 25-21.
Xavier’s win was its 30th of the season, while Chaparral fell to 15-14.
In the first game, Chaparral trailed 23-22 and was threatening to tie it. Xavier senior outside hitter Khalia Lanier responded with a big kill, and Chaparral erred for the decisive point.
Xavier trailed 12-5 in the early part of Game 2 and did not pull even until 24-24 with a service ace by freshman Shannon Shields.
Chaparral kept the pressure on and took a 26-25 lead. But Xavier relied on the 6-foot-2 Lanier and 6-4 junior middle blocker Makena Patterson for three straight kills and the win.
The Firebirds started to wear down in the late stages of Game 3. They were tied with the Gators at 17-17 before Xavier took control with four straight points. Chaparral pulled close again at 23-21, but Lanier came up with a kill and then Xavier got match point shortly thereafter on another Chaparral error.

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