It was a busy weekend for Xavier’s volleyball team, but the Gators came out of the eight-team Gilbert Invitational at Gilbert High with six wins in seven matches.
The only blemish was against Chandler Hamilton, which has proven to be a thorn in the Gators’ side in recent times. Hamilton defeated Xavier in last year’s Division I semifinals and again in a regular-season match at Hamilton earlier this year.
The Gilbert tournament featured best-of-three matchups (due to time constraints) instead of the usual best-of-five in a traditional match.
Xavier started out with a 23-25, 28-26, 15-9 victory over Chandler Basha. Next was Phoenix Sunnyslope, and the Vikings took the match to a third game before falling. The scores were 25-19, 22-25 and 19-17.
The Gators wrapped up Friday’s (Oct. 16) play with a 25-22, 25-20 win over Tempe Corona del Sol and a 25-20, 25-21 triumph over Phoenix Horizon.
Host Gilbert served as the opponent when play began on Saturday (Oct. 17). Xavier prevailed 25-23 and 25-19. Phoenix Mountain Pointe took the court against the Gators and Xavier took the match 25-18 25-19.
Xavier just couldn’t get things going against Hamilton, falling 21-25 and 16-25.
Gators coach Lamar-Renee Bryant was pleased with her team’s overall effort.
“We had some great performances from Shannon Shields (freshman), Makena Patterson (junior) and Kristen Largay (senior),’’ Bryant said.
Bryant added that Largay, the team’s libero, “provided stability in every match. Her defense and passing were by far the best in the gym.’’
Xavier has two home matches this week, against Scottsdale Desert Mountain on Tuesday (Oct. 20) and against Gilbert Highland on Thursday (Oct. 22).