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, October 27, 2021

Huskies lower v-ball boom with their brooms vs. XCP

 Chandler Hamilton has a very good volleyball team, certainly good enough to repeat as the 6A Conference state champion.

And that doesn’t tell the whole story, particularly for whoever faces the Huskies after they have lost.

That was the predicament that Xavier Prep’s Gators found themselves in on Wednesday night (Oct. 26), when they played host to Hamilton.

In its previous match on Oct. 21, Hamilton was swept 3-0 by Premier Region rival Gilbert Perry.

The Huskies were a bit miffed, and they played like it.

After a close contest against Xavier in Game 1 (the Huskies won 25-21), Hamilton unleashed state title-caliber play. The digs were plentiful, the sets were strong and the kills were mercilessly pounded anywhere, everywhere and often.

A 25-12 victory in Game 2 and a 25-14 triumph in Game 3 sealed the 3-0 sweep.

It was Hamilton’s second sweep over the Gators this season, and the third sweep in a row by Xavier opponents on this tough stretch of road in October – the others were by Perry and Tempe Corona del Sol. Xavier had put together four straight sweeps before the road turned treacherous.

Xavier is now 21-10 and has maintained the No. 6 spot in the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s power points list, with Hamilton at No. 2 at 28-5 behind leader Phoenix Sandra Day O’Connor.

Xavier’s final regular-season match will be on Thursday (Oct. 28) against Mesa High. However, the 6 p.m. contest will be played at next-door neighbor Brophy Prep (details below).

How dominant was Hamilton against the Gators?

Hamilton had 47 kills, Xavier had 14. Hamilton had 10 blocks, Xavier had none. Hamilton had 47 digs, Xavier had 25.

Xavier had 10 assists, all by setter Alexa Shiner. Shiner also had 6 digs, with libero Hannah Ulisch getting 7.

Home “regular season finale’’

Day/time: Thursday, Oct. 28, 6 p.m.

Location: Brophy Prep’s Robson Gym (main gym)

Parking: Brophy South lot

Entrance: Through the neighboring Dutch Gym and into the main gym

Tickets: Table set up outside the entrance. Tickets can be purchased at the site on the day of the match, cash only and no credit cards.

Refreshments: None. No access to snack bar. Only water permitted.

6A Conference state tournament

There will be a “play-in’’ tournament on Nov. 2 between seeds 9-24 on the power points list. Winners advance to the state tournament that begins Nov. 4. The top eight seeds will open the tournament at home against the winners (re-seeded) of the play-in games.

The opening games of the state tournament will be seeds 16 at 1, 15 at 2, 14 at 3, 13 at 4, 12 at 5, 11 at 6, 10 at 7 and 9 at 8.

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