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, September 25, 2019

XCP volleyball on verge of 20th victory

After dropping its first match of the season and a long trip to a weekend tournament in Las Vegas, the Xavier Prep volleyball team settled back in at home on Tuesday night (Sept. 24) and came up with a 3-0 sweep of visiting Mesa Red Mountain.

The Gators won handily by scores of 25-9, 25-12 and 25-10 to pull to within one win of the 20-victory mark at 19-3, while Red Mountain dropped to 7-16.

Xavier trailed 4-3 early in the first game, but went on a 13-point run that “set the tone,’’ according to Gators coach Lamar-Renee Bryant.

With senior outside hitter Juli Westfall out for at least a week while nursing a finger injury, senior outside hitter Katelen Tellez picked up the slack with aggressive play up front.

Bryant also pointed to Tellez’s sister, Tiffany, a sophomore outside hitter, who did most of her damage with her serves, including several aces.

“She helped us hold serve during that run in the first game,’’ Bryant said.

Senior outside hitter Bri McKnight had a productive effort with 16 kills. Senior middle blocker Jasmine Knight also did well at the offensive end with several kills in which she seemed to hang in the air forever before applying the hammer.

The Gators will be back at the Activity Center on Thursday (Sept. 26) when they face visiting Surprise Valley Vista. Start time is 6 p.m.

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