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.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

XCP volleyball 3rd in Nike Platinum bracket

Saturday (Sept. 30) was Mater Dei’s day.

And Xavier Prep’s volleyball team stood in the way.

The Gators gave it all they had in the semifinals of the top bracket (Platinum) of the Nike Tournament of Champions but fell to the Los Angeles-area team 25-22 and 25-18.

Xavier then played for third place and defeated Santa Margarita (Calif.), 25-21 and 25-20. XCP finished the tournament with a 6-1 record and is 22-2 overall. Mater Dei, meanwhile, went on to meet Walton High of Marrietta, Ga., and won the title trophy.

The Gators defeated Tempe Corona del Sol earlier in the day, 23-25, 25-19 and 15-11 in a rematch of last year’s 6A semifinal battle won by Corona del Sol 3-2. Corona del Sol went on to win the state title with a 3-0 sweep of Phoenix Mountain Pointe.

XCP had earned the right to face Corona del Sol with a 25-20, 25-19 victory over Pope John Paull II (Slidell, La.) in the first match of the day to determine bracketing for the rest of the tournament.

Xavier returns to 6A Premier Region play on Wednesday (Oct. 4) in the Activity Center against Chandler Hamilton. The Gators face Mesa Desert Ridge the following night (Oct. 5) at home before playing in another tournament, the two-day Gilbert (High) Invitational.

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