Did you hear that?
like the rooster was clearing his throat in anticipation of crowing the
entrance of a new day.
that’s the way it seemed on Wednesday (March 6).
descended on Xavier Prep’s Cavanaugh Courts as the beach volleyball teams of
Xavier and Gilbert Perry staged a match for the ages. The contest lasted a full
three hours, so long that people might have wondered if it would last until
dawn instead of dusk.
the Nos. 5 and 4 matches, but Perry, the defending state Division I champion,
rebounded for wins in the Nos. 3 and 2 matches. Perry had defeated Xavier in
the state quarterfinals last year.
A battle for
supremacy was next between the No. 1s, Xavier’s Trinity Cavanaugh and Shannon
Shields, and Perry’s Noelle Weintraub and Erin Myers.
game was a classic in itself, going back and forth, pendulum-like. It went
beyond the 21-point mark before Perry emerged with a 27-25 victory. All the
Pumas had to do was win one more game to secure the match.
and Shields came back to pull even with a 21-17 victory in the second game. It
was on to the 15-point third game. The sun was disappearing quickly and the
clock was moving toward 7 p.m.
more back and forth to start the game, but the Xavier duo began to establish
itself. The Gators were on the verge of winning when Shields, the Gatorade
Player of the Year last fall for indoor, made a great save and Xavier earned
the point for a 14-9 lead.
done yet. The Pumas scored two more points, but the Gators finally got point
No. 15 for a 3-2 match win. Xavier players just barely saw well enough to
locate their triumphant teammates and swarmed them.
the longest game in Xavier beach volleyball history (now in its eighth year).
We’ve had a couple of matches run long before, but nothing like this,’’ said
Xavier coach Tim McHale.
did a great job,’’ he said. “The 4s (Grace Lincoln, Shea Sciarappo) and 5s (Ania
Hiler, Katie Anthony) pulled through, and this last one was an epic battle.’’
He said that
Cavanaugh and Shields, both seniors, “are still learning to play together. In
the last game, they were able to control their emotions. In the times that
things didn’t go their way, they just said, “Let’s just put it behind us and
move on.’ ’’
said, “Playing in the dark was so hard. It was hard to judge what the ball was
doing, or if it was floating on the serves.’’
“I was late
to a few balls because it was tough to get a good look at their (Perry) arm
speed,’’ she said. “We were aggressive with our serves, and getting the early
“It was a
great win for us.’’
which already has one trip to Tucson, will make another drive south for its
next match on March 13, against Tucson Salpointe Catholic at the Tucson Racquet
and Fitness facility. First serve is 4 p.m.
Xavier Prep 3, Perry 2
No. 1 – Shannon Shields-Trinity Cavanaugh,
X, def. Noelle Weintraub-Erin Myers, P, 25-27, 21-17, 15-11. No. 2 – Matea Suan-Canon Bongard, P,
def. Serena Turner-Lydia Rush, X, 21-7, 21-15. No. 3 – Kylee Brinkerhoff-Morgan Seibel, P, def. Zaira Reyes-Tori
Burton, X, 21-16, 16-21, 16-14.
No. 4 – Grace Lincoln-Shea Sciarappo, X,
def. Ella Rud-Alyssa Montoya, P, 21-18, 21-19. No. 5 – Ania Hiler-Katie Anthony, X, def. Tatum Stall-Jillian
Hatch, P, 21-15, 19-21, 15-9.