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.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Gator volleyball gets job done in 1st round

Although the scores probably didn’t indicate as much, Xavier Prep volleyball coach Lamar-Renee Bryant said her team might have had a few first-round jitters against visiting Anthem Boulder Creek on Wednesday night (Nov. 2)
Second-seeded XCP defeated the 15th-seeded Jaguars 25-17, 25-17 and 25-10, earning another home match in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 3 p.m. against 10th-seeded Chandler Basha. Xavier has defeated Basha three times this season, once at Xavier, once at Basha and once in the Gilbert Invitational. Basha advanced by defeating seventh-seeded Gilbert High.
“We got out of here in three (games). That’s the good thing,’’ Bryant said.
The Gators were solid in the first game, but were challenged by their scrappy opponent in the second. Boulder Creek held a 9-7 lead, but Xavier ran off five straight points to go ahead for good.
“We didn’t pass very well in that game, and we are going to have to do a better job the next time,’’ Bryant said.
The defense helped pick up the slack. Senior Emma Cisneros-Luebke played well on the back line all night and finished with 11 digs.
“Emma provided a much-needed spark for us on defense,’’ Bryant said.
Junior outside hitter Lanie Wagner turned on the power with 15 kills. Seemingly half of those came in the third game, when Xavier pulled away.
 Bryant said junior middle blocker Ericka Snopko also played well off the bench.

First-round results
(Seedings in parentheses)
Chandler Hamilton (1) def. Surprise Valley Vista (16) 3-0.
Phoenix Desert Vista (9) def. Phoenix Horizon (8) 3-2.
Phoenix Mountain Pointe (5) def. Mesa Red Mountain (12) 3-0.
Gilbert Perry (4) def. Tucson Rincon (13) 3-0.
Tempe Corona del Sol (3) def. Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor (14) 3-0.
Goodyear Millennium (6) def. Mesa High (11) 3-0.
Chandler Basha (10) def. Gilbert High (7) 3-0.
Xavier Prep (2) def. Anthem Boulder Creek (15) 3-0.
Saturday’s quarterfinals
Phoenix Desert Vista at Chandler Hamilton
Phoenix Mountain Pointe at Gilbert Perry
Goodyear Millennium at Tempe Corona del Sol
Chandler Basha at Xavier Prep

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