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, October 5, 2019

Gators 6th in Nike v-ball tourney's Gold Bracket

Xavier Prep’s volleyball team finished in sixth place in the Gold Bracket of the annual Nike Tournament of Champions on Saturday (Oct. 5) at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Phoenix.

The Gators were 4-3 in the event, which featured 96 teams from across the country, including 28 from Arizona. Xavier is now 25-7 entering matches this coming week.

Xavier was 3-0 in pool play on Friday (Oct. 4), but fell 25-18, 25-20 to North Raleigh Christian Academy (N.C.) in an early morning qualifying match on Saturday. Instead of the top bracket (Platinum), the loss put the Gators in the Gold, one level below.

In the first round of the Gold, XCP was defeated by Cathedral Catholic (Calif.) 25-10, 26-24 to drop into the loser’s side of the bracket.

The Gators’ next match was against a more familiar team from Arizona, Phoenix Sunnyslope, and Xavier earned a 25-16, 26-15 triumph.

That put XCP in the fifth-place game against Walton (Ga.) and the Gators were defeated in their final match of the tournament, 25-21, 25-16.

Xavier now returns to regular programming this week, with a match at Chandler High on Tuesday (Oct. 8) and a home encounter against Chandler Basha on Wednesday (Oct. 9). The latter contest was moved from Thursday (Oct. 3) to allow both of those teams to[ prepare for the Nike.

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